Frankly here at Skin Magazine we’re shocked. A new report claims that a quarter of people with psoriasis have been dumped because of their skin condition. 15% of people will not go on holiday because of their psoriasis, more than half of psoriasis sufferers believe their co-workers act as if there is something wrong with them because of the way they look and 7% have felt suicidal due to their psoriasis.
But it’s not just this report, commissioned in association with National Psoriasis Day tomorrow, that has shocked us, it’s that it has confirmed an ugly truth about what people really think about skin conditions that we have been trying to rise above.
It seems that no matter how much we try and educate people about skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne and cold sores, misconceptions and straight up unpleasant prejudices are still very much part of the realty of living with a skin condition.
Every week we receive comments from people about articles we write about skin conditions and interviews we do with people who suffer from ski conditions that leave us reeling with disbelief and shame.
We regularly interview people with skin conditions and we hear of the insults they have had to hear, the discrimination they have experienced at work, the treatment they have received from being bullied at school to being heartlessly dumped by partners due to their skin condition and in many cases even the sufferers own family have been cruel and insensitive about their skin condition.
We have felt moved by this new report to actually print some of the comments we have received and the things sufferers have told us that have particularly outraged us.
We hope that publishing these comments will perhaps shame those who still hold such blatant prejudices about people with skin conditions or who have ever bullied or insulted someone about their skin and will also help people to realise the suffering endured by many people with skin conditions.
The comments will of course remain anonymous, but these are some of the comments people have requested permission to be published on our magazine site about articles and interviews we have written about people with skin conditions as well as comments sufferers of skin conditions have told us in interviews.[quote]“I think people with psoriasis should be banned from public swimming baths and spas. I was in the pool the other day when a lady with psoriasis got in and it made me feel so sick I had to get out.”[/quote]
[quote]“I went out with a woman with psoriasis once and although I tried to accept her skin I just couldn’t. Even though at home I could get used to it, the thing I hated most was when we went out and I saw the way my friends looked at her skin. I felt ashamed to be with her.”[/quote]
[quote]“I find people with eczema revolting. I don’t respect them and I’d never employ them as they just seem to me like nervous wrecks who can’t control themselves.”[/quote]
[quote]“I make a point of never ever dating a woman who has cold sores. I know they are not contagious all the time but there is just something about women with them that makes me feel like they are unclean.”[/quote]
Watch this video interview with psoriasis sufferer Leigh
[quote]“I’m an actress and because I have acne I only ever get roles as prostitutes and low-class women. The producers always tell me my skin makes me look really rough.”[/quote]
[quote]“My own sister refused to sit next to me at Christmas when I went home as she said my psoriasis might be contagious and made her feel sick.”[/quote]
“[quote]At school everyone called me Scab, even some of the teachers, because I had psoriasis. I was told by a girl once who was having a birthday party and all our class was invited except me that I’d never be invited to anyone’s party as they were all afraid of catching my scabs and that I put people off their food. ”[/quote] [quote]“I was at a girl’s boarding school and all my nicknames were to do with my skin as I had really bad eczema. Girls would put pepper or sand in my bed and then laugh at me when I woke up bleeding from itching all night. There was gang of girls who would come into the class with small bits of paper or salt all over their school jumpers and in their hair to emulate the flakes of skin I’d often have on my clothes due to my eczema and the whole class would erupt in fits of laughter. There were times when I felt like killing myself.”[/quote]
[quote]A guy at work once told me that it was good that I was such a miserable cow because if I smiled I might shower everyone with puss due to my acne.[/quote] [quote]I have been told several times that I should really try and give up the booze. It’s a common joke people make about my rosacea. I have had flyers left on my desk for Alcoholics Anonymous and Facebook posts for self-help groups for alcoholics left on my Facebook. Everyone knows I don’t even drink.[/quote] [quote]The cabin manager was asked by one lady passenger if she could not be served by me as I had scabby hands and she was worried it was contagious. The worst thing of all was the cabin manager told me not to serve the lady instead of explaining to her that I had psoriasis and that is was not contagious. Another time a guy who was part of a group of men on a stag do told me that they had been looking forward to groping the hot air hostess and that they were all really disappointed to get me and no one wanted to grope me. I gave up being an air hostess eventually as I just could not take the comments any more.[/quote] [quote]More than once I have got to the point of getting undressed with a guy and he has made an excuse and left as soon as he saw me naked and saw my psoriasis. I look in the mirror and feel I am revolting. I have been on antidepressants half my adult life due to my skin.[/quote]
[quote]I once had a romantic encounter with a guy who, when we finally went to bed together made out at the time that he felt we should not have sex so early on in our relationship even though we had been on seven dates and had just got undressed and into bed together. I thought at the time that he was being sensitive and sweet. He asked me however to give him oral sex and then he never contacted me again. I found out afterwards that he had told everyone we knew that I had an STD because he had seen a small patch of psoriasis I have on my bum that I have had since I was a kid. He didn’t even ask me what it was at the time, he just made an assumption and then told everyone about it. I was completely mortified when I found out. It took me two years to pluck up the courage to even go on another date with a man after that.[/quote] [quote]I didn’t loose my virginity until I was 29 years old as I was too embarrassed to let anyone see my psoriasis. It was only when I met a doctor who totally understood my skin condition that I felt the confidence to eventually get naked with another person.[/quote] [quote]Eczema is a skin condition that is a punishment from God. I have never met a devout person with eczema.[/quote] [quote]I was told by a priest at my Catholic school that my psoriasis was a punishment from God for me being such an evil boy.[/quote]
[quote]My mother always used to tell me that I had eczema, which was all over my body and caused me a great deal of agony throughout my childhood, because I was being punished for being so naughty and that if I was a better behaved boy my skin would get better. I still sometimes feel to this day aged almost 40 that when I get an eczema break out that it’s because I am being a bad person.[/quote] [quote]I was on a dating site and when women contacted me to meet up I’d always tell them I had psoriasis. About 80% never contacted me again. One woman came back and said she’d tolerate the psoriasis if I was rich. Women feel they can talk to you like that when you have psoriasis, as if you are some kind of second class citizen who they feel justified in humiliating, it’s very cruel.[/quote]
We welcome your views and comments on this.