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Coping with psoriasis at work

For lots of people, having psoriasis doesn't interfere with their job, but, for others, it can affect their daily work functions in various ways.

Research undertaken by the National Psoriasis Association found that up to 10% of people with psoriasis have turned down a job or promotion because of their skin disease. 

For those suffering from psoriatic arthritis, which is associated with experiencing aches and pains, the situation can often be worse. Around 35% of psoriatic arthritis sufferers believe that their condition has affected their work productivity, according to one study.

The good news is that with the right support, psoriasis treatment and adjustments, your condition isn't necessarily a barrier to enjoying a fulfilling and productive career.

Stress can trigger flare-ups of this skin disease, so the key factor is to try to reduce stressful situations in the workplace as much as possible. Talk to your boss and colleagues about your condition, if this helps so that you can create a supportive environment and dispel any myths about the disease. Remember to take regular breaks and don't allow troublesome work worries to build up.

If you feel that this skin disease is affecting your work in a particular way, discuss helpful solutions with your boss, and make adjustments, if possible. If you suffer from psoriasis on the hands, for example, and you use your hands for specific tasks, you may find wearing gloves or using an ergonomic writing tool beneficial. Your employer may also give you the options to work more flexible hours, or even from home, during painful flare-ups, which still enables you to complete your tasks.

For psoriatic arthritis sufferers, there are a wide variety of ergonomic solutions to ease aches and pains, so finding the right product, be it a supportive chair, cushion or a wrist pad, is crucial. If you find that your energy levels flag quickly as the day goes on, try to tackle the most important tasks early on, and prioritise the less important or more menial tasks for later on in the day.

Although your employer can help you in many ways to manage psoriasis symptoms at work, you should also try to help yourself as much as possible. Make sure you keep on top of your psoriasis treatment, attend medical appointments, follow a healthy diet and get adequate sleep, which can all set you up for a productive working day ahead.


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