How To Tell Your Partner About Your Skin Condition

I have a skin condition called Hidradenitis Suppurativa (HS). It impacts my life daily and can cause painful, swollen nodules on my skin. One of the most common questions people diagnosed with HS ask is: How do I tell my boyfriend / girlfriend / crush / etc. about this? In hopes of helping anyone newly diagnosed with HS, I’d like to share how I tackled this difficult conversation with my partner.

I started presenting symptoms of HS when I was 18 years old. At the time, I was single. Two years later, however, at 20, I started dating the man who would become my husband. I decided early on to be honest about my health with him.

Personally, I think it makes sense to be straightforward rather than wait to tackle this tough subject down the road.

About one month into our relationship, I decided to break the news. I did so at home because I didn’t want to have the discussion in a public setting, which might prove awkward. With a few printouts from a reputable website in hand to corroborate my explanation of HS and the accompanying symptoms, I started out by emphasizing that my skin condition is not at all contagious. Since so many people are worried about that factor, it’s worth dispelling that fear as soon as possible.

Then I told my boyfriend that I did not know what the future of this disease would look like for me—that I did not know how long I would have it, or how it would impact my future, exactly. I handed him the research I’d printed out and encouraged him to research HS on his own, too. Then I pointed out some of my scars and some of the boils I had at the time so he could visualize what I was coping with.

His immediate reaction? He wanted to know if he could accompany me to my next doctor’s appointment. That’s when I knew I had made the right decision.

Anyone who loves and respects you will do everything they can to support you through whatever health related struggles you’re facing.

If you reveal anything personal to your boyfriend or girlfriend and they make you feel worse about yourself for it, my advice is to find someone more loving.

One thing that I often hear people say is that they are afraid of what the outcome will be if they tell their partner about their HS. I want to reassure you that if you’re dating someone who truly loves you, they will most likely be sympathetic and kind.

Living with a chronic illness alone can have a negative impact on your mental health, so you owe it to yourself to find a significant other who wants to be there for you through good times and bad. You also owe it to yourself to be honest and to tell your partner exactly what you’re going through.

Yes, HS is a lot to digest. Yes, HS will inevitably impact your relationship. But you are still the same person with or without HS, and you deserve a partner who understands that.Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Click Here For More Stories Of Navigating Hidradenitis Suppurativa

About the author

Katie Laurentius