Psoriasis - My Story

This will not be a photo blog because when my psoriasis was really bad I avoided photos.

At the age of 13 my psoriasis appeared. It was a rash which slowly started to cover me. I was a young girl trying to understand growing up and my skin decided to be covered in a rash. I'd never heard of psoriasis before and I could never remember how to spell it. I just remember being extremely frightened. Psoriasis is treated with light treatment and creams and I disliked both.

I remember having to shower and change before going to school because the doctors had given me a new moisturiser and it had made my skin so greasy that when I put a shirt on my shirt turned see-through. I remember crying in the shower because I didn't understand why this was happening to me and I remember how it felt having to explain to the office why I was late. They were not impressed with my reason and thought I was lying. I had to convince grown adults to call my mum to prove that I was telling the truth. I remember how embarrassed I was.

Psoriasis took away all my confidence as a child. It stripped me of my pride and it caused great anxiety. I was paranoid whenever I heard people laughing near me, I hated wearing my blazer and would often get in trouble for "forgetting" it because when I wore black the psoriasis falling from my scalp showed up more. I avoided swimming because I couldn't bare the thought of having that much skin on show and I would get changed in the toilets for P.E. The school slowly became more understanding but only when I started missing school time for treatment at the hospital. Apparently before then it can't have been that serious.

Hospital treatment did two things to me, it took my confidence and it rebuilt it. To start with I was petrified of standing naked in these machines which essentially resembled vertical sunbeds. I cried the first time I used it and the next and probably the next as well. Then something amazing happened, my psoriasis started clearing up. I could swim again, I could wear skirts in the summer and I finally was back to being me. This was about a year after it all began. Not only has light treatment given me confidence in that sense but it has given me confidence in myself because now I am not embarrassed about my psoriasis, if I can stand naked in front of a complete stranger then what else could stop me?

My psoriasis then lay dormant for a few years until I started at university. In the first year I had a massive flare up and I began light treatment all over again. My friends were amazed that this flaky blanket I wore didn't stop me from enjoying nights out but this time I was more determined than ever to not let it defeat me. It took so much for me to reduce my anxiety and get over my paranoia that I was not letting a bit of skin do that to me again. I still suffer with both and with mild depression thrown in there but I continue regardless and the voice which says "DO IT" screams louder now than anything else.

Nowadays it effects the skin around my nose, my torso and my arms the most but that will change.

So what does it feel like? Sometimes it itches beyond belief, other times it is like sunburn but right now I feel nothing.

I always feel as though psoriasis is something people don't really discuss because talking about skin conditions is "gross" and almost taboo but I don't care. The world can know what is on my skin, I won't hide it anymore. We are all born with imperfections and if we let them take over our lives then they win.

- A Twenty Something

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