The majority of my life has been with psoriasis, so I don’t really know what life is like to have ‘normal’ skin. My parents noticed patches on my elbows and behind my ears when I was 6 years old. They took me to see my GP, who referred me to see a dermatologist. It was confirmed that I had psoriasis. Over the years, I have literally tried everything, including creams and ointments, phototherapy, home remedies, herbal treatments, supplements and various different diets. But, for me, they’re always just a short-term fix. I have learnt that psoriasis will always be with me, so it’s best to just accept it and learn to love it.
Growing up, I’ve never had the confidence to wear dresses and skirts, or anything that shows too much of my back. I always kept my feelings to myself; I never spoke to anyone about my psoriasis. I thought no one would ever understand what I was going through. I would dodge the question and avoid having a conversation about it if anyone asked. I used to hate hot days and summer months because I knew I couldn’t hide behind my long sleeves and trousers. I used to avoid going swimming. There was always a psychological element, but I never addressed that until I was much older.
I’ve had two major flare-ups so far during my time with psoriasis. However, in 2015 my skin went through its worst. I went through a stressful period of time during my final year at University, and it was over night that my body was covered in red patches, from head to toe. My face was severely affected, which was something I had never, to that extent, experienced before. This led to a huge impact on my social and psychological behaviour. I opened up to my family about how my psoriasis was making me feel. And honestly, opening up to them was the best thing I did. As soon as I let it all go, I felt a million times better. I felt like that dark cloud over my head was slowly fading away. It gave me the push I needed to stop hiding and accept my psoriasis.
I’ve come a long way from where I was back in 2015. I have worked hard on gaining back the lost confidence. I even challenged myself to wearing dresses last summer, which was a big step for me. And I can proudly say I successfully accomplished that challenge. I now embrace my skin and my scars. I still have those days where I hate my skin and those insecurities crawl back. But I’ve learnt ways to help me deal with those insecurities in a much better way. I keep reminding myself that psoriasis shouldn’t control me.
Even though psoriasis has given me a hard time, I do thank psoriasis for the person it’s made me today. It’s enabled me to adopt a positive mind-set and outlook, and I now definitely appreciate the smallest of things in life. Self - accepting my psoriasis was the kick - start in gaining my confidence back. And that’s when I created ‘Surviving with Psoriasis’ – my blog. I wanted to create a platform where I could share my experience, helping others going through a similar journey to mine, and to raise awareness of the condition. My blogs touch on all aspects of living with psoriasis, sharing many of my top tips! I hope you all join me on my journey!