While PRP is not contagious, it is important to include the phrase “not contagious” early in any first-time explanation of why we look the way we look.
When dealing with a passerby who stares at your red and flaking skin in the cereal aisle at grocery store, you might consider the following strategy:
❉ Make eye contact. Don’t turn away or look down. You may have the opportunity to build awareness of PRP.
❉ Smile. Combined with eye contact and the “Door of Enlightenment” may swing open.
❉ Now say something like: “I have a very rare skin disorder that is NOT contagious. It’s called PRP which stands for pityriasis rubra pilaris.”
Remember — it’s your grocery store too. “Clean up on Aisle 4” doesn’t necessarily mean you unless you are standing in the same place for 30-40 minutes.
Try not to interpret ignorance for meanness. The best remedy for ignorance is awareness. Whether a PRP patient, PRP caregiver or the friend of a PRP patient/caregiver, YOU are the source of enlightenment.