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Psoriasis/PsA and my adult child

Although there's a family history of arthritis, I'm the first (known) person in my family to have psoriasis and now PsA. My two older kids (twins) both have clear skin, but my youngest, who'll turn 31 next month, has psoriasis - and his is FAR worse than mine's ever been. All over his chest, his face, scalp, patches on his arms and legs.
I developed (is that the right word?) psoriasis between the two pregnancies and I've wondered if carrying him with active plaques has anything to do with why he has it and the twins don't. But that's here nor there.
He's been working a contract job for the past four years, ignoring his health, and during that time his psoriasis has gotten worse. He doesn't like the creams making his chest hair, scalp or beard oily, and he's now without insurance so we're looking for a dermatologist who will see him (rural area). Hopefully getting him on meds now will help prevent future deterioration.
My question is for guidance in how I talk with him about preparing NOW for the possibility of PsA later, without him thinking this is a foregone conclusion. (I specifically do NOT read the potential side effects on medication unless I start experiencing something because I know my overly creative brain will start thinking I have ALL of the side effects. And he's a lot like me.) Nor do I want him using it as an excuse for not living his life.
I do understand that "only" 4 in 10 with psoriasis will develop PsA on average, but if I had known at his age that this was a possibility, I might have done things differently and taken better care of myself. That said, he's a 31 year old man and therefore immortal.
I've suggested that he start working out in ways that protect his joints rather than just constantly pushing himself to the limits of his endurance. I've suggested he stop eating processed foods, wear shoes with better support. Etc. But I think he sometimes hears me in the same way Charlie Brown heard his teacher. Wah wah wah ...
I don't want him to spend the next couple decades worrying about something that might not even happen, but I AM his mom and worrying is part of my genetic make-up. Thoughts?

  1. I can speak to this personally, as one of my adult sons is now undergoing the process of getting diagnosed for what is likely PsA. He contacted me a few months back to inquire about my disease, and what the symptoms were. He had been suffering from swollen joints, painful joints, enthesitis, and general malaise and fatigue. I won't go on about his situation, because I encouraged him to seek out this site, and I'll let him tell his own story. But, since the likelihood of any of my children developing PsA was, at most, 50%, I made the decision to not place upon them the burden of having to spend years worrying about developing PsA, or worrying about whether or not their own children could develop it. As explained to me by doctors, it's not the disease itself that's inherited, its the DNA that enables one to develop it following the right set of environmental factors that is inherited. Kind of like a grenade that may or may not be a dud, and needs only a kick in the exact spot to make it go off. And worrying about it yourself is something you will not likely be able to avoid, so I will not advise you there. But, let your son enjoy a worry free life for now. If there ever does come a time that he may be developing signs and symptoms of PsA, then there will be plenty of time for you to advise him, and guide him through the initial stages of getting a diagnosis and treatment.

    1. that's exactly the sort of parent-to-parent guidance I needed, and it makes perfect sense. Thank you!
      The mind is a powerful thing and the last thing I want is to plant this notion in his head. But I also worried that not telling him would be irresponsible. I agree with you though - there's no point at all in letting him worry about something that may not even happen.

  2. Hi

    I can speak from experience as the man who ignored most of the advice received in my early 30’s.. “You’ll regret that when you’re older” was my Dad’s favourite and it turns out he was right.

    I’ve had psoriasis since an early age with no traceable conditions anywhere else in the family but my parents did a great job helping with treatments etc. although none of these really worked.

    I hadn’t even heard of PsA until I was diagnosed with it a year or so ago and never would have made the link between a skin condition affecting joints. I first started noticing problems with my joints in my 30’s but it was ten years before it became serious enough for me to go to the doctor. Perhaps having that knowledge in my earlier years would have pushed me for a diagnosis sooner.. but it still wouldn’t have slowed me down.

    Fortunately I’m still young enough to take better care of myself now that I have that information in my forties, and you can trust your judgement as a good parent that you’d offer that support to your son as and when he needs it too.

    Best wishes

    1. Thank you. I didn't listen to anyone when I was in my early 30s either, so I'll just answer questions, offer the occasional comment if appropriate and let him come to me when needed.
      I'm glad you're taking care of yourself better now! It will make a difference in your later years.

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