Even before I developed psoriasis I always had super sensitive, temperamental skin. I’m talking shower gel, make-up, washing powder even the bloody weather causes me issues.
I spent my 18th birthday with a striking resemblance to Mr Blobby… That’s a story for another day.
My skin is so pale it may as well be transparent, I also have deep red lips, the snow white rhyme is an accurate description of my appearance. Remember the rhyme? “Skin as white as snow, lips as red as a rose”. Yeah, that one. I can assure you it doesn’t look anywhere near as a good as they led you to believe. Although if I’m honest, that could just be the unfortunate shape of my face.
When I first developed psoriasis I had a bit of an advantage. Purely because, quite a few members of my family also suffer. On the other hand my knowledge on the condition also had a negative side. I may of already knew what it was, meaning I didn’t have the fear of the unknown but, I was also terrified because of my previous experience with the condition.
When I said other members of my family also suffer I meant they REALLY suffer. As in head to toe, I don’t think there is a psoriasis free patch anywhere.
One of the hardest things to overcome after a psoriasis diagnosis is the fact that it’s a very visible condition.
Mentally, it’s incredibly difficult to come to terms with. My self confidence took a huge nosedive when those patches of ouch started to develop on my already high maintenance skin.
I’m going to hit you with a hard truth now, get it over and done with quick, like ripping off a band aid. There is currently no know cure for this condition.
There are ways to get the condition into remission but completely curing it? Unfortunately that’s not possible right now.
Some believe that psoriasis going into remission is a myth but fortunately my own psoriasis is currently in remission so I will insert a photograph below.
As you can see, it isn’t a myth, although it is confusing. When psoriasis is in remission it doesn’t completely vanish. The red blotch (so to speak) tends to stay visible. It’s the dry flakiness and the irritation it causes that goes into remission.
So What is psoriasis exactly?
Psoriasis is a skin disease. It causes really itchy red patches on your skin. It’s crusty, scaly and sore looking. Sounds sexy huh? It’s pretty common to get it on your knees elbows and your scalp but essentially it come appear anywhere on your body.
It’s not sexist or ageist it picks on anyone at any time of their life, equality and all that.
It’s a chronic condition and some get it worse than others. Like I said earlier I have a relation whose life is dramatically affected by psoriasis, to the point where they require regular treatment at a London hospital. That fact always puts my issue’s with the condition into perspective for me.
It’s not contagious but I do know there have been and probably always will be incidents where sufferers of psoriasis have been avoided and even abused due to the visible signs of the illness. Mostly due to the wrong assumption that they are carrying some kind of catch-able disease.
Feel free to play a joke on these people. Claiming to have a dose of the recently revived plague tends to be my favourite. Just for the record as far as I’m aware the plague has not returned.
Other peoples sheer ignorance of the condition does make it more difficult to come to terms with. Let’s be honest, the only thing worse than a fool is an uneducated fool.
Raising awareness of the condition is so important. It’s to become common knowledge so that people don’t have to go through the pain of being rejected and ridiculed by others.
To sum it up though, it’s pretty normal to find yourself struggling to come to terms with a psoriasis diagnosis.
Tips for coping with psoriasis
I am going to share with you a few of the strategies that helped me to mentally come to terms with becoming a sufferer of this condition.
- First and foremost, don’t hide it. When you are self conscious about something you can become really focused on keeping it hidden. Not only does it draw more attention to what you are trying to hide, it will also make the problem escalate in your mind. Stress can aggravate psoriasis and actually cause it to get worse and spread, causing your self esteem to go on a downward spiral. Being open and honest about the condition will raise awareness and give others the chance to be more understanding and supportive.
- Actively talk to others. If you don’t personally know anyone who suffers with psoriasis you can find yourself feeling alienated and alone. Finding others who also have the condition helps you to stay grounded and remember it’s not that uncommon. I can really help to know others have had the same experiences as you. Talking about how you feel and getting those emotions off of your chest can really help. Look for specific forums and Facebook groups. If you are already joined to a forum, whether its health related or not, start a thread. Not only will you feel comfortable around the regulars, they will also know you and want to help you. You may even find others who are suffering in silence.
- Get sexy. Bit of an unusual recommendation but it really does work. You look good you feel good. Getting all dressed up, maybe get some nice photograph’s, whatever it takes to make you feel sexy. Your self confidence has a huge impact on how you cope with your psoriasis. When you are happy and confident with the way you look it’s much easier to overlook what you see as your ‘flaws’.
- Distraction. When something causes us to feel negative emotions such as pain or stress it’s very easy to let those feelings consume you. They slowly start to pop into your head when you least expect it until your entire life is spent obsessing. Its important to find something to do to give your mind a break. Watch a film with a gripping story line that will have you hooked. Or maybe do something artistic like painting. When I really get stuck into a piece of art, hours can go by without me even realising.
Everything I am suggesting to you are all techniques I have personally used. Each one has only made the list because it has genuinely helped me.
A psoriasis diagnosis isn’t easy to accept and even harder to come to terms with. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find you are struggling with it.
Hopefully you will start to come to terms with the illness sooner rather than later. But struggling is nothing to be ashamed of. even I still have days where I have a little crumble over it.
Never be afraid to reach out to your doctor. They are there to help you, feeling down can always escalate into something serious if you let it. So always reach out for help when it is needed.
I often update my articles so if you have any other tips that have helped you please do let me know in the comments so I can add it in.