adopted daughter who has P:] "Well, you didn't get that from me." -SL
adult daughter with P, over the course of a long weekend visit:] "Why is
your face so red? You should ask the dermatologist about that.
[Daughter:] I did. He said it's because of my psoriasis. [Mother:] Your
face is really red. I'm concerned about how red your face is. You know,
Mrs. So-and-so's face is red and she has rosacea. When you go to the
doctor, ask if you have rosacea. I wonder why your face is so red...."
100-degree day, wearing shorts to a family picnic, some non-related
guest saw my legs and asked:] "Did you lose a fight with a black widow
taking my mammogram, upon seeing my P:] "Is that AIDS?" [Me:] "No, it's
psoriasis." [The tech still stopped what she was doing to go put on
rubber gloves.] -Diane
flaker-me:] "Honestly? Well, if I were a waitress I'd do my best to get
out of waiting on you." -Diane
restaurant take-out cashier to me:] "Oh! What happened to your hands?"
[I didn't respond out loud, but these words formed in my head:] LIFE
after noticing the psoriasis on my arms while I was working at a
computer:] "What is that?" "It's psoriasis, but don't worry, it's
inherited in my case and it's never contagious." [Her retort:] "Oh Gosh!
My mother-in-law has that! I hope my daughter isn't going to get it,
she's SO BEAUTIFUL.." -Andrea D.
knew I had P on my feet, to Flaker Me:] Have you tried wearing clean
socks? -Tamara B.
[Flaker Me to
a Coalition of Co-workers concerned that my hand P would make paperwork
we all touched "contagious." My response to their allegation:] Well, we
could get my fiancÚ to come up here and drop his pants. -Tamara B.
Flaker:] Do you have road rash? -Kay M.
to me:] My sweet crumble cake! -Ursula
[On a holiday
everybody else is leaving the pool when I enter it. Me to myself:] Mm,
luxury: loads of space… -Ursula
pastor to me:] Look on the bright side: now you can always leave traces
of you on God’s lap! -Ursula
[A friend to
me:] Cool, you’ve got the map of Sicily on your arm! -Ursula
[GP to Med
student examining me:] See, that’s psoriasis. It doesn’t hurt at
[Stranger male to me, female and in a bikini on the beach:] Wow! That’s
an old shark bite in the middle of your back! [He’d spied the remnants
of an old psoriasis lesion that had been given too many cortisone shots
years ago. Had he not been such a shark himself, I may have taken the
time to respond.] –Dorcas B.
[Noticed the old friend whom I was helping with her knitting was getting
increasingly uncomfortable. I finally realized she was staring at my
disfigured psoriatic nails and lesion-covered hands. Me:] It’s not
contagious. [My friend sighed:] Okay then. [I Wonder what she would have
done with her knitting piece had I never cleared that up?] –Dorcas
[Random man to me, a woman, at a picnic:] I see you have lime disease.
I’ve had it, too. A red ring just like the one on your leg. See a doctor
as soon as you can. –Heather H.
[Nurses aid to me AFTER I informed her I was a 10 year veteran of
psoriasis:] Well, you should use lotion. Every day. –Heather H.
[Kids saw me smoking outside a store one day. I was sleeveless and my
forearms had lesions on them. Kids:] Mister? Can we have a cigarette?
[Me:] No. You’re too young and they’re very addicting. [Kids, smugly,
pointing to my forearms:] You would know about addictions, wouldn’t you.
[Sister-in-law to me and a friend who, like me, also has P:] I don’t
understand why you guys aren’t taking anti-inflammatory herbs. Psoriasis
is JUST inflammation of the skin. [Same Sister-in-law a little later:]
And you should eat blueberries, they will help. –Jack D.
[When I was a young girl and shy and riding alone on a train, a man who
sat across from me and noticed, without saying anything, my psoriasis,
passed me this note when he got up to leave:] I think you have scabies.
You should see a doctor. –Irene G.
[Derm to 15 year
old girl:] There's no cure. But we could always cut it off! [Then,
with a flourish, the derm pulls a fake axe out from behind his deck]
Flaker, middle of winter in Michigan:] Have you been rolling
around in Poison Ivy? [Flaker's retort:] Yeah, the other day when I went
for a swim in the lake! -Alisha
Am I white with
red spots, or red with white spots? -Lisa W.
sixth-grader to flaker me:] No one is going to marry you looking like
that. -Alicia W.
admiring my light therapy "tan":] Have you been away to an island?
[A co-worker when
I dared to wear 3/4-length sleeves because my arms were so clear:] Wow!
You've got a really bad sunburn. -Alicia W.
just before my emergency C-section:] Is, uh, any of this contagious?
[My X to me, prior
to our divorce:] God must be punishing me with you and all your medical
problems -Alicia W.
me] What is that on your arm? Have you been scratching your bug
bites? -Krishna B.
[Flaker father to
recently diagnosed daughter:] At least now someone will know what it
feels like. -Cheryl H.
[Stranger to me
on the beach made after spying my visible lesions:] Well, are we
still alive? -Merlijn (Holland)
10-year-old classmate of mine way-back-when:] Lice girl! Lice girl! Lice
girl! -Jessica S.
school classmate of mine:] Oh, that's a disease? I thought you
were burning yourself. -Jessica S.
school classmate of mine:] Hey Jess, it looks like you've got some
herpes on your chin there! -Jessica S.
all the enlistment paperwork, killing weeks waiting for a start date,
recruiter says to me:] You've got what? We can't
waive that. I'm afraid I can't let you join. -Jessica S.
whose daughter cured her dandruff by shampooing in lukewarm water says
to me:] You shouldn't wash your hair in hot water. -Anonymous
breakfast:] If you are what you eat, I should stop eating oatmeal.
[Coming out of the
bathroom with a dab of Noxema on my ear, two friends say:] "What's that
white stuff on your ear?" The other, "Oh she's always got white stuff on
her ears." -Ginger
at the Playground to me:] I watched A Current Affair last
night and that's exactly what an Ice addict's skin looks like.
[My 8 year old
daughter to me:] Mommy, don't get rid of it. You have little
hearts all over your body! -Vanessa M.
[Husband to me:]
You are interesting to touch. Your skin is smooth, then textured.
[Grandmother to me
as a P-kid:] If you don't stop scratching people will think you
have lice. -Vanessa M.
co-worker:] Tell your wife she will get lymphoma from that Enbrel.
They always do. -DC
surgeon:] Your P-arthritis is too bad in that knee. Only a
complete knee replacement will help. Meanwhile, do you want a
cortisone shot? -DC
[Derm Dr. to my
flaker father in the 1950s:] I want you to go into the shower with
a nail brush and scrub these lesions away. -Annmarie B.
[Loving husband to
flaker wife:] Don't fret darling! Consider it your glitter! -Annmarie B.
volunteer to me while I was an inpatient with massive P flare and
consequent infection:] Oh how lucky you are! People pay
thousands to get their skin peeled and yours does it for free! -Lena
[Dr. to 14 year
old flaker with lesions in hair, on face and elsewhere:] Let's
scrape your scalp for ringworm. -MsSweet
[Aunt to 25 year
old niece with P-arthritis:] You're too young to have arthritis! -MsSweet
[Derm to flaker-me:]
So you're going to get married? Just get pregnant; that'll cure
you for sure! -Mona
[5th Grader to
flaker-teacher-me:] Oh! You've got popcorn in your hair!
[My boyfriend to
flaker-me:] Do you mind if I smell your shampoo? I'm sick
and need to throw up. That should do the trick. -Katharine O.
flaker-male member of congregation:] Boy, I really feel sorry for
your wife. She must have a hard time in the bedroom. -Dean
[Stepmom to young
flaker-son:] I think if you washed behind your ears better it would
just go away. -Dean
[Pest control guy to
me in front of co-workers at office:] I think you're drawing the
ants because of all this white stuff around your desk. Maybe you
shouldn't eat at your desk anymore. -Dean
"Here, let me help.
You have cracker crumbs in your hair!" -Caryn
[Son to flaker-mom:]
Mom! You look like you're morphing into something else! -Stephanie H.
Dr. when my P first erupted:] Gosh! I've never seen anything
like this before! -Samantha
[Manicurist to me:]
Oh look at all the ridges on your nails. Maybe you shouldn't wear
acrylics so often! -Samantha
[Family Dr to
17-year old patient:] Psoriasis? That's nothing to worry
about. My wife just had a hysterectomy! -Anon
[After my episiotomy
during delivery of my baby, the cut Koebnerized and became a lesion.
Months later, return visit to gynecologist, who lifts sheet, jumps back
and shrieks:] Good God what's that? -Anon
comments on her son (my husband's) psoriasis:] It's like living with
a snail. You leave a trail behind you! -Nikki G.
You know what you should do that will sort that out? [Me:] No,
what? [Hairdresser:] Wash your hair with baby shampoo and then rub
in some olive oil. It'll clear up in no time! -Ben
that? [Me:] Psoriasis. [Daughter:] Sore arses? [Me, in
presence of wife:] Yeah, that too! -Ben
flaker-wife (me):] I don't mind helping with the chores, but don't expect
me to dust. [Me:] Why not? [Husband:] Because you cause most
of it. -Janette L.
[Eight year old
neice watching me change:] Auntie Janette, what's wrong with your
legs? [Me:] It's my genes, Katie. [Neice:] Then
why don't you wear a different pair? -Janette L.
looking over male-me on my 3rd week of Goeckerman regimen:] MMMM, MMMM,
MMMM. Aren't you looking Goooooooood! -Ed S.
[Mum to me while I'm
hospitalized for intensive phototherapy:] Oh look at your lovely
tan! I wish I could have a course like this! -Claire
[Friend to me:]
In your case, psoriasis is psexy! -J/K
flaker-wife when she announces they'll be without the kids tonight:]
Ok honey, but don't expect me to hug you or anything. You gross me
out. -Cheryl C.
[Day after someone
in the office notices her bleeding arm lesion, this announcement is made:]
There will be a mandatory safety meeting on the hazards of "blood-borne
pathogens." -Guinn B.
[Aunts advice about
P in her nethers:] You need only wear cotton underwear. It's
the heat that's causing it. [She thinks to herself:] What about my elbows,
me:] You're from Louisiana. There's a lot of inbreeding there.
Maybe that explains your psoriasis and your brother's autism. -Amy
me:] Oh! If I had that I'd never leave the house! -Shanna
says to me:] God gave it to you because you're the prettiest. -Shanna
[My husband to
me:] Honey, would you mind scratching yourself in only one part of
the house? Or maybe outside? -Shanna
physician says to me on first visit:] This is called
psoriasis. It can be caused by using birth control. -Shanna
[Customer to me
while I ring up his bag of chips:] Are you sure you should be
touching my bag of chips like that? Are you contagious?
[Customer next in line chimes in to first customer:] Are you sure
he should touch your money? He might catch Stupidity from you. [Me
to self:] Yeah! -Dave P.
[Derm to Flaker
in the middle of a very cold Winter:] You need to get some
sun. Why don't you put on a skimpy bathing suit and sit out in
your yard on the weekend? -Kristin S.
school teacher to elementary school student with severe psoriasis - and
in front of the whole class:] Do you frost your ears? I
frost my hair and it looks just like your ears! -Charles C.
[Nurse at derm's
office:] Gawd, that must itch! [Me:] Constantly.
[Nurse:] Have you tried putting anything on it? -Kristal B.
[New derm to
naked me at a UVB treatment:] Hmmm. Interesting. Can I
bring my intern in to take a look? -Abbi S.
[Aunt to Adult
Niece with P:] You've got that because you're depressed. You
may even have bipolar. If you get the right antidepressants that
will all go away. -Cathy L.
noticing lesions on my knuckles:] What's got you so upset you're
beating up walls? -Glenn Q
[Boss to flaker
with pustules on his hands:] Um, can you get a note from your
doctor that says those aren't contagious? -Lin D.
skin off feet in front of husband:] Are you sure this doesn't
bother you? [Husband:] No, baby. I used to cut my corns in
front of people all the time. -Lin D.
hypoglycemia and arthritis to flaker who's taking up smoking,
again:] You know, sin brings affliction. -Lin D.
"pitch-in" about flaker with pustules on hands:] What
dish did she bring? -Lin D.
daughter, who's picking at a lesion:] Don't touch it and it will
go away. -Marisa Z.
flaker-patient:] You have eczema. Use this steroidal cream
for 2 months and it will clear up. [Same derm, 2 months
later:] Well, I guess you have psoriasis. My advice?
You need to just chill out." -Kevin A.
[Aunt to me the
first time I wore shorts outside in 5 years:] Hope to see you and
your, ah, Psoriasis next Easter!" -Michealalan
pale-skinned daughter about facial P:] But you look so much
healthier now! You have that rosy-cheeked glow! -Juliann
overheard this from other girls at school:] That girl has herpes on her
elbows. -Brittany B.
seeing emailed photo of my legs:] OH MY GOD! That's absolutely
awful! Is it always that bad? Does it hurt? I had no
idea! [Email from Boss later that same day:] I showed the Director of
the Department your photo. We agreed you should take off as much
time as you need. -Karen A.
What causes psoriasis? [Me:] Unknown, but stress triggers
it. [Co-worker:] Time to find a new line of work, honey.
seeing my rarely exposed arm:] Wow, you really ARE stressed out.
[Me to Friend at
Christmas time:] I use the red and green Saran Wrap to get me in the
holiday spirit. -Karen A.
[Teenage Son to
Flaker Mom after he discovers a little lesion on himself:] How
come I inherit all your BAD things? -Karen A.
calling to make amends:] Well, I DID put up with your psoriasis for all
of those years! -Lorna C.
shopkeeper to American flaker:] Wow! America is so developed, yet
you cannot find a cure there! [American flaker to himself:] Your
medicine in China has a 2000 year headstart. Where's YOUR cure for
psoriasis? -Jada R.
[Derm to flaker
in 1998:] In five years we'll have a cure. [Same derm to same
flaker in late 2003:] In five years we'll have a cure. -David G.
[Mom to adult
daughter who has scalp P:] You never had anything like that when
you were little. I took very good care of you. -Barb T.
construction site upon seeing my arm:] LOOK OUT! He got that
LUMBAYGO!!! -Dustin P.
grader on school bus:] What is all this white crap? -Dustin P.
[Me to female
flaker while making out:] I think I got a piece of you in my eye.
[Me to a
non-flaker girlfriend:] I've got a marker. Wanna get naked
and play connect-the-dots? -Dustin P.
[Friend to my
girlfriend about our possible offspring:] You and Dustin will have
beautiful children. Tall with nice butts. And really dry
skin.... -Dustin P.
before my band went on stage:] No no no. You look just
fine. You ARE gonna wear long sleeves and a hat. Right?
on day I wore short sleeves to choir practice:] Have you been
biting yourself? -Adam B.
[Dad to flaker
daughter:] You're not taking the vitamins I gave you, are you. -VM
[Dad to Mom
about flaker daughter:] Fran! Look what she's doing to
[Dad to Mom AND
flaker daughter:] Mother, get the Vicks Vapor Rub. [To daughter:]
You're going to have to eat it. -VM
to flaker on his first visit:] Psoriasis never starts in your
twenties. You probably have AIDS. -Richard W.
to me after 1+ years of not-too-successful treatment:] Well, hey!,
it's not like you have cancer! -Eugene C.
group to Flaker:] Maybe you should just take it easy. We can cook,
you can do dishes. It's no problem if you flake then. You can just
do the dishes again. -Kitty
40 minute wait in line:] What is-s-s-s that?
[Me:] Leprosy. But don't worry. I'm being
treated. [I was checked out in under two minutes.] -Kathleen S.
[Mom to me
during an all-too-brief remission:] Thank God it's finally
gone. It always looked SO-O-O horrible. -Denise M.
me:] Just stop scratching and it will go away. -Lee Ann
granddaughter with scalp P:] If you'd just cut off that long hair
so air could get to it, it would clear right up. -Betty
daughter to Mom who has P:] If you knew this was inheritable, why
did you have kids? -Kevin P.
four kids to parent with P:] So, if the odds are 50/50, does that
mean two of us will get it? -Scott T.
upon my first visit:] Wow. You have psoriasis in all your
fingernail beds. Can I take pictures? -Kay M.
that?" "Psoriasis." "Sore
asses?" "Well, that too." -LJ
after watching news from Afghanistan:] Hmmmm. I wonder where
I could get a burka? -Margaret
[Four year old
son at a breakfast meeting with new acquaintances:] Mom? Why
is there a jar of your psoriasis on the table? [It was a jar of
[Me to my
co-workers:] I could make a better living, meet lots of
interesting people, and travel extensively if I became a circus
[Stranger at a
gas station:] Wow! What's that all over your legs? [Me:]
Psoriasis. [Stranger:] Really? I thought psoriasis affected
the skin. [Me: speechless] -Mat L.
flaker girlfriend after a strep-induced flare:] Is that going to
happen to you every time you get sick? -Bren
[6 year old son
to flaker mother:] Don't worry, Mom. I still love you even
if you're not pretty anymore. -Bren
flaker computer user:] You should put the tower up high so your
flakes don't get in it and gum-up the works. -Bren
[Said to flaker
during job interview:] Too bad you can't wear gloves and type at
the same time. That would make this job perfect for you! -Bren
[Mother to adult
flaker daughter:] You do shake out the sheets before you put them
in the washer, don't you? -Bren
divorced flaker daughter:] It's hard enough to find a man when you
already have children. Now this. This is going to
make it really hard. -Bren
looks bad. You should shower and scrub all over with Denorex! -Jav
confused about the difference between "psoriasis" and
"cirrhosis":] At least it's not on your liver.
Like how long
are you going to have that anyway? It can't be for life! -Susan
We need to take
you to Saint Annes. A lot of people have been healed there. -Susan
over-medicating. That's probably the cause. -Susan
Parent:] This is just plain disgusting. Cover it up! -Susan
Parent:] I hope this isn't hereditary. -Susan
things bother you and this will go away. -Susan
Rinsing your hair with Listerine should get rid of that really bad
Please don't scratch your head when we get to this restaurant.
It's not McDonald's, you know. We don't want to gross people out.
[Aunt after I'd
been living with her for 5 months:] Has the house seemed dustier
over the last 5 months or so? -Kathleen
[Friend to me
after my light treatment:] It smells like a burnt wiener around
[Derm to me upon
first visit:] This condition is triggered by stress, smoking and
drinking. [Me to myself:] Wow. That's pretty much my
Did you know you are bleeding? [My response:] Generally,
yes. Can you be more specific? -Chad
rosary addressing me in a restaurant:] MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR SOUL
AND MAY THE DEVIL BE BANISHED FROM YOU! -Crystal-Lynn
employee:] Did you burn the back of your legs? [I did not
respond. Same employee, some weeks later:] I see the burns
on your legs are healing nicely. [Again, I did not respond.
Can't wait to hear what he'll say in another few weeks!] -Gene
Is that that sporadicus stuff? -Brandon
Your grandfather used to just cut that stuff off him. -Brandon
[To friend after
I've explained there's no cure:] That sucks. So, it's like
AIDS, huh? -Brandon
[Derm wants me
to get more sunlight. I mention how difficult it is to get sun
exposure on the backs of my elbows. His retort:] Have you
tried walking east at sunset? -Jean
when I complain about my lesions itching:] Nonsense!
Psoriasis doesn't itch! -Jean
Do you have fleas? -U. (Germany)
my back for the first time after we've been poolside for a few hours:]
Oh! You must have missed a spot on your back with the suntan
lotion. You're getting red blotches! -Bob S.
Aren't you tired
of that? I'd be trying EVERYTHING. -Ami G.
hospitalized flaker:] Oh well, we all have our problems. I
get an itchy burn. -Mary A.
patient:] Damned guttate psoriasis. Takes so long to apply
treatment to. It'd be a lot easier for us if you had ordinary
interviewing flaker for job as receptionist:] We'd like to offer
you this job but only if you're willing to wear long sleeves every
day. I'm in the business of making people look beautiful.
stopping flaker in flea market:] I know what will clear that up:
Crab medicine. -K.W.
[Flaker aunt to
flaker neice:] Pig Pen from the Charlie Brown comic strips should
be our mascot. -K.W.
Nurse:] You have impetigo, which is very contagious and you
shouldn't be around newborns. [Nurse:] No, it's psoriasis and I've had
it since 1984. [Doctor:] Are you sure? -Rob D.
minister to flaker:] You know, some people believe that disease
and infirmity are caused by sin. -Rob D.
at office:] What's this crap in your keyboard? Don't eat biscuits
over your keyboard!. -Jill L.
[Wife, caught by
me wiping my flakes off a patio seat before she sits down:] Well,
dear ... I wouldn't want to sit on you! -Paul D.
store, pointing to my legs:] Tell me those aren't tattoos. -Amy
to me:] Don't you EVER use moisturizer? -Amy
[Aunt during my
first remission:] For awhile there we really thought there was no
hope for you. -Amy
psychotherapist after 3 years of consultation:] Go see a
[Doctor to me,
in my 12 year-old psoriatic daughter's presence:] Allyson
shouldn't have kids. Psoriasis is genetic and it would be unkind
to her children. -Moma
sit still in one place so her flakes don't get all over. -Moma
Allyson would be
a really beautiful child, wouldn't she? -Moma
to me:] Let a dog lick that. That'll clear it up. -Jessica
Does that rash
you have need to be dried up? -Jessica J.
[Wife to me
while running the dust buster over her side of the bed and assuming I'm
waiting for the device to run over my side:] What's the point,
dear? -Simon M.
[Wife to me
while I'm undressing for bed:] Looks like the bed mites are going
to have a smorgasbord tonight. -Kevin
Flaker-daughter:] Well, at least you can cover your problem up and
no one will notice. -LAB
[Sauna owner to
Flaker:] I can set it to boil and sterilize all that
badness right out of you. -Craig G.
to a third party:] She wears shorts and and a t-shirt so people
will feel sorry for her. -Barbara K.
What's that on your face, poison ivy? [Me:] No, it's
psoriasis. [Stranger:] Hm. You should just tell people
it's poison ivy. -Tom V.
[Husband to wife
with itchy scalp-P:] Should we get you one of those cones like
dogs wear? -Linda
[Six year old
tells his mother about flaker:] Look, she's shedding like one of
those snakes we saw at the zoo! -H.
making in-home visit to invalid sister, says to me:] Who's been
hitting you? How'd you get those bruises? -Beverly K.
[Hairdresser to customer with scalp
P:] I have the same thing you do but I use baby shampoo and that
keeps it away. -Ada D.
[Scalp P raging;
at party with blacklights, hostess says:] Wow!
You have the most glowing shoulders! -Sarah T.
[Boyfriend to me
when I got up from dark sofa:] "Uhmm. There's so much
of you here now!" -Johnny-from-Portugal
Is that poison ivy? [Me:] PERMANENT poison ivy. -Jan R.
girlfriend to Flaker:] I love the touch of a man with beautiful,
soft, flawless skin. -Swoods
[Husband to wife
after trying A&D
ointment for the first time:] You smell like the baby's butt.
[Elderly lady to
Flaker:] That's psoriasis? You must be mistaken. Several
people in my building have psoriasis. I've seen their skin.
It doesn't look like that! -Ria
passenger upon seeing one of my P lesions ... in October, 2001:]
Have you had that checked for anthrax? -Rob T.
[A derm said this to a Flaker patient:]
My father had psoriasis. I know exactly how it feels.
Psoriatics get self-pitying and lazy and they stop using their
medications. That's why they don't get well. You need to
work a lot harder at this. -Guinn B.
[Dental assistant to Flaker:]
Whew! Are the mosquitoes biting that bad where you live? -Lisa
[One 4-year old to another 4-year old
in the bathroom after a Flaker's bathed:] Oh oh, someone's in
trouble. Who got crumbs all over the floor? -Kathy N.
Non-Sufferer:] I just wouldn't put up with that. -Alice
conclusion after extensive on-line research:] Your fingernails
turn into talons, your skin grows scales, with PA you get hunched over
and walk strange. You're turning into reptiles. It all adds
up. -Connie S.
Is that scabies?
My aunt has
that, but you have it much worse. -Diane
You must be very
customers about me (a waiter) whom they were afraid would become
theirs:] Let's wait for another table. That bloke has that
disease those street people had in Kenya. -Gary J.
[Dr. to teenage
flaker:] Have you been sitting on dirty toilet seats? -Clara V.
seeing me leave the shower after a game of squash:] Quick, have
you got a pencil? -Paul M.
rubbing suntan lotion on my back:] Jesus Paul, It's like reading
braille. -Paul M.
mother of P-kid:] What have you done to that child?! -Laura B.
[Customer at the
beginning of a contract negotiation:] First, what the hell is
wrong with your head? -Darrell H.
relative upon seeing my nail P:] Did you dig yourself out of a
grave or something? -Darrell H.
suggestion:] You should open a steak house restaurant and call it 'Steak
and Flake.' -Darrell H.
mantra while she applies topicals to my back:] Go away go away go
away.... -Darrell H.
[A classmate to
my 7-year-old son:] I thought Frosty melted when it got warm.
[Lady with eyes
on stalks says:] Ooooooh! You must be SOOOO self-conscious! -PJ
chiropractor:] Oh my god look! You have a dirty rash!
[Reply:] Oh really? I didn't know. -Belleangie
aunt to just-diagnosed nephew:] You'll see that P is the only
loyal friend you'll have. It will NEVER leave you alone. -Enzo
C. - Italy
wife:] That tar lotion is really a husband repellant, isn't it?
[Stranger at bar to PA sufferer with
cane and leg brace, after I told him I had psoriatic arthritis:] Attic arthritis? I'd be bloody sorry, too! -Michelle M.
You can ride in this car as long as you
don't get flakes everywhere. -Anonymous
[After I cleared my husband
said:] Your back felt like dried oatmeal. [I suppose it
would have been worse if he'd said it before I cleared.] -Amy
[Girlfriend:] You know, we'd save
money if these tasted like cornflakes. -Anonymous
[From a co-bather in a community
shower:] Did one of these here farmers shoot you in the arse for trespassing?
[Mother, who never liked my boyfriend
until we broke up:] Maybe you better make up. How many men
would want to marry you in that condition? -JBL
[Don't say this when a near stranger
explains to you s/he has P:] Isn't it supposed to be something
psychological? -Lars J.
[Second grade pregnant teacher to me
about my flaker-daughter in her class:] I won't be giving
Stephanie any hugs this year because my doctor can't tell me for sure
psoriasis isn't contagious. -Lynda C.
[My sister to me in reference to my
3-year-old P-kid:] She looks like she's been burned all over with
cigarettes. Be sure and keep her in her jacket if you take her out
in public. -Lynda C.
[Son's 8 year-old friend:]
Hey! You have spaghetti sauce on your back! -Sean C.
[My mother to me after my weekly
visit:] I never have to call you to find you. I can just
follow the trail. -Anneke
[Friend studying my pile of
flakes:] Hmmm. Do you think if we just added water we'd grow
a clone of you? -Anonymous
[Common inquiry to an American flaker
in Switzerland:] But have you been to see a Swiss doctor? -Terry
[Someone's answer to the question
"What causes it?":] Old age. -Helen K.
[Derm:] Sorry, honey. You
have a millionaire's disease! -Anonymous
[Colleague from therapeutic counselling:]
Have you started self-harming with a cigar? -Bev
[Friend in reference to my
corticosteroid scalp lotion:] Gee you're so lucky to use this
stuff. It makes your hair so soft and shiny! - Kirk V.
[Roommate in drug rehab:] Honey,
they ought to just set you out on the porch. That [P!] would scare
me away from stuff! -Anonymous
[Civil servant interviewing me, after
studying my psoriasis for a moment:] Hmmm. Well, you're in drug
rehab. I guess that explains this [my P!]. -Anonymous
[Overheard two women talking about my P
in the launderette:] See her? That's the side effect from
date-rape drugs they don't tell you about! -Anonymous
[From woman in supermarket:] Have
you got measles? -Vicki P.
It's not as bad as I thought. You
just look like you've got bad zits. -Vicki P.
So, I guess a beach holiday is out this
year? -Vicki P.
[From daughter:] Mommy, what
shall I tell my friends is wrong with you? -Vicki P.
[Doctor to patient earning minimum
wage:] Skin problems are often caused by diet. I'd suggest you try
eating only organic foods. -Eve
[Friend referencing my boyfriend who
has acne and eczema]: I told you this would happen if you slept
with Stewart! -Eve
[Skin specialist to me:] Did you
ever think of joining a convent? That way you could hide
everything but your face. -Wendy R.
[Dad to Daughter:] Think about shaving your head.
It would be much easier to treat this stuff. -Tania M.
[From Stranger:] Aren't people like you required to stay on
an island or live in a colony or something? -Mild in Montreal
[From husband:] That alligator skin really turns me on.
[From derm:] You have to be consistent if you want it to go away.
[From nurse at family Dr's office:] My sister had that and I thank
God everyday it was her and not me. Ughhhhh. -Dina S.
[From x-boyfriend:] You could never work under cover, leaving
a trail the way you do. -TaraLyn
Did someone dump a bowl of Frosted Flakes on your head?
Can that be burned off? -Sharon
Can that be cut off? -Sharon
[From Derm after 6th Prescription fails to work:] Don't
disappear from my office, I'm very interested in your case. -Philos
[Friend's young daughter saw my flaking hand and asked if I had a
"boo-boo." My friend answered her daughter:] That is what happens
when you don't take a bath every night. -Katie L.
[From co-worker:] How can you bear to be that itchy? If
I am itchy, I scratch and scratch. I'd die if I had psoriasis. -Sally B.
Your derm has a license plate that reads SKNHLR. Why
don't you get one that says SKNDZZ? -Dave
[From husband, who's acknowledge a million times my P is
incurable:] You really need to get it cleared up. -Veronica L.
I bet battery acid would burn that s**t off! -Barbara K.
[From boyfriend, 1 month into relationship:] Your skin
doesn't bother me at all, you're beautiful! [Same boyfriend, 6 months into relationship:]
Gawd! Isn't there something you can do about this?! -Elle
[Girlfriend after hearing my reluctance to date, because
of my P, someone we both knew:] I don't think he'd mind. I think there's something really
wrong with him, too. -Elle
[From Derm(!):] The tar ointment is a really good
contraceptive too, isn't it? -Danny
[Flaker-dad to complaining daughter:] But sweetheart, I
like to leave a piece of me wherever I go. -Richard Z
[Derm to flaker:] If you are worried about your children
inheriting this, don't have any. -K.K.
[GP to 16 year-old patient with P on elbows:] Do you
rest your elbows on your desk at school a lot? -K.K.
[Husband to wife a few weeks after first visit to derm:]
Well? I thought you were going to get rid of it! -K.K.
[Girl in gym locker room:] Oh, thank goodness you're
getting dressed. I was afraid you might want to use the sauna while I'm in there. -Joyce
[Husband to me:] What are you complaining about? This
could be cancer. At least there's a cure for psoriasis! -Anonymous
[Janitor, as he vacuums my office while I'm working
late:] What in the world do you do in here all day? -Cathleen S.
[Computer tech cleaning my keyboard at work:] You're
going to ruin this keyboard with this flaky stuff. -Cathleen S.
[Boyfriend in car, sneezing and wheezing after rolling
down windows:] I think I'm allergic to you! -Cathleen S.
[Derm upon my asking about a particular P treatment:]
What is it you hope to accomplish with this treatment? [Me:] It would be nice if I shed
less than my dog. -Anonymous
[Acquaintances at a party:] Oh my God ... what's on your
stomach? That is sooooo disgusting!
It's not that bad. No one will see it. I mean, look at
this big pimple on my nose. Now, THAT'S BAD.
My sister stopped smoking and it went away. -Shelley O.
[Derm, upon my 100th visit:] Okay. What do you want to
prescribe yourself this time? -Noah L.
[Brother sneaks up on me at parties and shakes his hands
in my hair while saying:] Look people, it's snowing! -Ellen
[Child asks me:] What's wrong with your legs? [I
answer:] I'm allergic to children. -Sarah N.
[Co-worker when I dared to wear a low-cut blouse:] Is
that whisker burn? -Rhonda
[Dr. to Nurse:] I'm vacationing in Europe this summer.
Schedule him for 12 more appointments. I'll need the money. -Sally T.
[Said to me by a devout Christian:] You know, you are a
really beautiful looking lass. God's given you this (P) to stop you from becoming
arrogant. -Susan L.
[Said to me by a customer at the chemist's shop where I
work:] You should cover that up. People might think you have AIDS. - Susan L.
My skin does that too if I don't put lots of lotion on.
I'm called SPOTTYMAN, but not because of my P lesions
... because of the polkadotted showercaps my wife buys for my overnight scalp occlusion!
[Said to me on a Saturday night in the Percy Arms,
Newcastle on Tyne (censored):] "J----- C---mate, what's that sh*t on your shirt? You
look f*****g manky!" ['Manky,' by the way, not being a complimentary term.]
[Hair stylist says:] You know you could get rid of that
if you washed your hair every day? -Michael M.
Did you get attacked by red ants? -Jodi
[3rd Grade Bully says:] Look at your hair! We're going
to call you corn flakes! -Michael K.
[After telling my sister my lesions were migrating from
my legs upward, she said:] Maybe it's making it's way up and will just fly away altogether
someday! -Alison S.
[Girlfriend upon learning of my vacation plans:] You
won't just be a beach whale, you'll be a SCABBY beach whale! -Jackie
[From an awed bar waitress:] Were you in a motorcycle
accident? -Kyric M.
[From girlfriend's mom:] Have you been painting?
[On fishing expedition, friend inquires of my P:] Is
that poison ivy? [I tell him it's psoriasis; he retorts:] Oh! Cool! -Nick S.
[Checkout clerk at grocery store, noticing lesions on my
neck:] Did someone try to hang you and miss? -Tracey
Good God, girl! Have you got leprosy? -Armstrong
[An acquaintance, after hearing I have psoriasis:] Yes,
but why do you put chalk all over it? -Rachelle
[Video store clerk:] Is that a burn, or do you have some
sort of disease? -Rachelle
Hey, you have a chip in your hair ... let me get that
for you ... Ewwwww! -Rachelle
Your ears are dirty, Daddy. You should use a wash cloth.
That's what I use!
[Bride says to psoriatic bridesmaid:] You'll love your
dress! It has a thigh high slit and a low cut back. It's very sexy and I think you'll wear
[Four year old to psoriatic classmate:] Why do you have
so many boo-boos?
Your wife is a nurse! Can't she do something? -Kevin P.
[Marine Corp recruiter:] Enlisting you would be against
Whatever you've got, it's drying up now! -anonymous
[From derm lighting a cigarette:] You should watch what
you eat. -Tokyo
[From a boyfriend who developed exzema:] Did I get this
from you? - Zaral M.
Are those chicken pox?
Is that ringworm? -Danielle Z.
My daddy is like a snow man when he takes his shirt off.
Hmmm. Dandruff all over your body? -Steve S.
[First thing my wife ever said to me:]
all over your skin? -Steve
[Instruction to a 4-yr-old P-girl:] You've got cracker
crumbs in your hair everywhere, you should sit up when you eat! -Amy P.
[Father to grown son upon first sight of son's P:]
That's unacceptable. -Kim
[Husband to wife:] Your skin wasn't this bad when we got
Have you been eating potato chips in bed again? -Sara
that's big salt on your food! -G.
Is that a rug burn? -Ruth
Looks like Jungle Rot to me. -Gene
[Derm's astute observation:] Boy! You really
in trouble. -Diana
[Said by friend with flawless skin:] It's
Your system is lacking something. -Ami
[Hair Stylist:] Is it okay to touch it? -Anonymous
Derm:] I don't want to cure you,
there's no money to be made. -Noel
You leave crumbs at the table, even when you don't eat.
[Overheard one boy say to another about my psoriatic
girlfriend at a dance:] Don't slow dance with her. You'll never get her off of you.
You look miserable in that heat. Do you want to borrow a
Why do you always wear stockings? -Brook
You got the part in the play! The costume lady wants you
in a tank top and shorts. -Brook
It really looks much worse to you. I barely even notice
Well, look on the bright side. If some jerk starts
hitting on you, just show him your skin. -Brook
[From someone who's only seen me dressed from wrist to
ankles:] You are the most beautiful woman I've ever seen! -Brook
[Said by a prideful internist:] The first time I saw
you, you looked like God's wrath. -Anonymous
You know, women used to wear net stockings that looked
like that. -Shawn
Must you flake everywhere? Isn't there a bag or
something you could carry around? -Shawn
[Husband to wife] Do you want to play connect-the-dots?
God is really going to bless you. Remember Job. -Shawn
[A derm actually said this] Boy, that must be hell on
your sex life. -Shawn
Gee! You must go through a lot of vacuum bags! -Shawn
[Strange lady on the bus says] That's horrible! How can
you go out in public? If I had THAT, I'd kill myself. -Lorrie
[Super cool and evidently blind friend says] Oh don't be
silly, you can hardly notice anything. Let's go to the pool! -Eva
[Same super cool friend says] Wear this super-mini-top
and don't worry. It'll be dark in the nightclub. -Eva
[Fraternity brother says] That must suck. We should call
you 'Scabs.' -Ronald
I heard you should go in the ocean ... with oatmeal on.
[Derm to psoriatic who has tried it all (me!)] Here's a
list of topical steroids. Pick one and I'll write you a prescription. -Ronald
[Traumatic first trip to derm (patient age: 16)] Yeap
it's psoriasis there's no cure it will be with you for the rest of your life and it could
get worse. -Ronald [said in one breath?]
Banana peels on your elbows. Really, really good.
Who did you hit to do
that to your hands?
Is that what AIDS looks like?
Do you wash your hands a lot? It'll dry out your skin,
you know. -O'Day
[Mother-in-law to grandchildren] See kids, this is what
happens if you don't eat your vegies! -Steve
You're lucky you don't have it on your face. -Esther
Well, are you doing something for it? -Esther
[Husband to wife] Would you
please stop peeling
all over the place! -Finlet
[Boyfriend to me] You didn't have it when I met you.
When is it going to go away? -Hayes
[Friend who gets a spot from sunbathing] Oh my gosh! I
hope it's not that stuff you have! -Boyd
[Former boyfriend:] Damn! You still have that stuff?
[Same former boyfriend:] Isn't there something you can
do to it? -Christina W.
[Father to daughter:] Well, if you can't keep your ears
clean, I will. You've got crud growing back there. -Christina W.
[Clinic doctor to psoriatic:] I'm putting you on
tranquilizers because psoriasis is caused by stress. [Later, parents to psoriatic:] You
did WHAT with those tranquilizers? Do you know what we PAID for them? -David N.
[Doctor to psoriatic who's, maybe, 1% effected:] Here's
what you have... [doc shows photo of someone who LOOKS 90% effected...] It's called
psoriasis. -Julie S.
[Tall, punk-ish female friend, looking down at my
just-buzzed haircut:] Ya know, you should put little blue and green spots in there, too!
That would be so cool! -Erik Hallberg
Ewwwwww! Gross! -Hugh
Don't shed your skin on my carpets, I just had them
God DAMN son! My God that looks
Stay away from me. I don't want to get it. -Hugh
My [insert favorite relative] had that once and they
used [insert favorite remedy] and it never did clear up. -Hugh
You're scratching that same place a lot. Does it itch?
[Daily milestone:] The 10th time in any single day a
customer at the McDonald's where I work asks if I have poison ivy. -Ripley Ridenour
[Friend to one's brother:] What's your sister got all
over her legs? -Joanne Popovich
[Little brother to mom:] Why's Jo got so many mosquito
bites on her? -Joanne Popovich
[Dermatologist:] Well what do you want NOW?! You don't
want Cortizone, you don't want creams, you don't want ointments, you don't want PUVA, you
don't want UVA. WHAT DO YOU WANT?! -Joanne Popovich
[Father to daughter:] We should send you to Africa and
bury you in a hole and let the bugs eat it off. I've heard that that's what they do. They
only eat the bad skin. -Joanne Popovich
[Non-derm doc to patient:] I want you to see a shrink.
You know that psoriasis is caused by holding in tensions. -Carol Harding
You look like a snake. -Mike Gibson
My friend had that. He took [fill in the blank] and it
just disappeared! -Buion Feasa
Dad! Stop scratching! You'll only make it worse! -Rob
(Optimistic Derm:) We'll get rid of this by the end of
the year! -Rob Dros
Oh! My goodness how did you ever burn yourself like
that? -A. June Phillips
Aren't you hot in those clothes? It's summer you know...
(Translation: Haven't you ever heard of t-shirts & shorts?) -Lissa R.
(Empathic friend believing in nature's healing powers):
"Did you try peeing on your hands?" -Serghei Dascalu, Ukraine
Quite frankly, if we hired you with that skin condition,
OSHA inspectors would be asking questions all the time. -Anonymous
Lord, Malcolm! You're terrifying the customers!
I was being hugged by my husband's cousin. As his nose
got close to my
hair he asked "Have you been standing around a campfire?" -Anonymous
That's caused by stress, isn't it. (Statement, not
question.) -Ira-Jane Wilton
Stop scratching! -Ira-Jane Wilton
Those things have pus in them, they must be contagious.
I don't see the problem since they're only on your feet
and hands. -Delane
Lady, I can't let you try on these shoes.
Do you have what my sister has? Some form of rabies? -D.
(On Halloween:) That alien skin costume is wonderful!
Wow! You look like h**l!
Shoot, now I have to vacuum again.
(Heard from a derm #1:) No, you don't have to take off
any more clothes. I get the picture. -Anonymous
(Heard from a derm #2:) Your insurance does have a
prescription plan, doesn't it? -Anonymous
I know of a very good dandruff shampoo you should try.
-Sufferer in Connecticut
What did you get into, poison ivy?
What are you allergic to? -Irene Finn
Is that mange? -Anonymous
What's happened? I thought that cleared up!
Have you been taking your medicine like you're supposed
You are what you eat.
Don't be so thin-skinned about it.
Losing weight might help.
Gaining weight might help.
This cured Ethyl May.
I'm causing it, aren't I?
If your dermatologist isn't helping, maybe you should
see a shrink.
A change will do you some good.