Skin conditions can vary in seriousness. Still, they can be difficult to deal with, irrespective of where individual cases fall on the spectrum of severity.
The pandemic caused stress levels to surge, which subsequently caused skin problems for many people. There are other reasons and illnesses causing inflammation. Unfortunately, suffering from such woes is becoming increasingly common.
Therefore, it’s quite likely that you or someone you know will suffer from a skin condition. In the latter case, you must adopt a supportive role and help your friend overcome the challenges before them. But how can you do this?
Here’s how to help your friend if they suffer from a skin condition.
Those who suffer from a skin condition can bottle up their true feelings about their experiences. They may feel a strong sense of shame or remorse. You must hear them out on anything they wish to express.
Withhold advice to begin with and listen to all of their concerns. Otherwise, it might appear that you’re judging their position or jumping to conclusions. Remain focused on everything they’re saying and showcase that by maintaining eye contact. Ask insightful questions that can invite them to speak further and communicate your level of interest and support.
Not everybody perceives their skin condition the same way as others do. Moreover, coping mechanisms can also vary. You must be a strong listener first to determine how you should behave and what further measures you should take.
Being a good listener will also discourage you from interrupting or downplaying their concerns. Doing either of those things can jeopardize your friendship and cripple the likelihood of your support is welcome. Allow your friend to steer the conversation. Otherwise, you might appear dismissive, irrespective of your good intentions.
Learn more about the Condition
Generic advice can be useful, but it can also have its limitations. Skin conditions can vary, and some have more acute challenges than others.
Therefore, if you research the specific nature of the relevant condition, you can deepen your understanding of what your friend is going through. Your conversations may be richer and more productive, and you’ll highlight the extent to which you care if you’ve done independent research in your own time.
There are many reliable resources out there to help you with this. For example, you can learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of psoriasis with the Patient. You can find out about the subsequent problems it causes, such as joint problems and cardiovascular disease, and gain a more accurate insight into its prognosis. In the end, you don’t need to be a doctor to understand what’s going on with your friend.
Encourage Positive Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle choices can influence the health of one’s skin in many cases. If there’s some wiggle room for improvement, you should gently encourage your friend to make some changes.
Certain foods can help alleviate some of the pain or itchiness skin conditions can cause. Broccoli, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and walnuts are just some of the foods that might do some good. Drinking plenty of water and getting lots of sunshine may also help in some situations, depending on the nature of the condition. Even if the skin isn’t improved directly, these endeavors can still be mood-boosting.
Many people can feel isolated with skin conditions, but as a response, they will also attempt to tackle conventional perceptions of beauty and celebrate who they are. Try to remind your friend of these facts and imbue their life with similar energy. There’s a lot to be gained from being positive and proactive.
If pandemic stress is partly responsible for your friend’s skin challenges, then it can be important to get them out of the house on that basis too. They should revel in the outdoors and engage in a wide variety of activities instead of subjecting themselves to lockdown conditions once more.
Think of those around them
Skin conditions can affect more than just the person suffering from them. Unfortunately, they can also have some degree of influence over those in their network.
For example, their loved ones may need to drive them to and from appointments with their doctor. If pain and discomfort are too much, friends and family may need to step in to tend to household chores and run errands.
Perspective around the magnitude of what they’re dealing with is crucial here. While you may be attempting to help your friend with a skin condition, their problems may extend beyond the condition itself. They may feel guilt for asking so much of those around them. Therefore, it may be necessary to provide support in those moments, too, so that those who care for them more regularly can have a rest as well.
No doubt there will be forums online filled with concerned users who have loved ones with skin conditions. They will likely exchange advice or air grievances together. Consider using all of this information to inform how you help the people who’re already supporting your friend.
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