Monday, 21 January 2013

Living with psoriasis

Hello! First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR. This is my first blog post of 2013, I can honestly say i've missed you all the last few months. Im not even going to make excuses this time. Yes, I have been busy, but truth be told, i've just been plain arse lazy! And i've fallen way out of love with my laptop (anyone else got a cranky dell insipiron?).  To ease myself back in I thought I'd write a post that didn't require me to take any photos or make a great effort. I wanted to write a personal post. Something that told you guys a bit more about me, and a post I could really connect with and enjoy writing.
Since I was about 7, I have suffered with a skin condition called 'psoriasis'. Half of you will have heard of it, half of you wont. It's extremely similar to exzema. Around 1% of the population have it in some form or other, and thats a lot of people. Through my childhood and teenage years psoriasis took over my life. It was the bain of everything I did. It is only now, as a stable 21 year old who's hormones are no longer racing about, that I have really accepted what it is and what I have.
Now you may be reading this thinking 'you have a skin condition how can that affect you?', well the effects are more than skin deep. I have small speckles of psoriasis that look a lot like chicken pox, that often cover me from head to toe. When I was at school, getting changed for PE was the most horrific experience and something I spent everyday dreading. Swimming? Well that was even worse. I had the lobourious task of finding high fronted and backed swimsuits that wouldnt show up my patches. I was often asked by kids what the spots were. I was sometimes called scaley and scabby by my friends. People sometimes pressumed I had chicken pox and so kept there difference from me. Don't get me wrong, this never amounted to serious bullying. But it was small remarks that really got to me. As a child with a strong insecurity, small comments could make you feel as low as possible.
I became a master at hiding my skin and body. I learnt how to get changed without fully removing my top, I bought reserved clothing, I kept my blazer on even in the summer.  I never told anyone apart from my best friends what I had. I never talked about it or explained it to anyone.
This leads me up to why i'm writing this post. I put myself through hell as a child because I was never honest or comfortable with my biggest insecurity, my biggest flaw. And I write this in hope that someone who has just developed psoriasis, or has had it for a while or knows someone with the condition will have typed it into google and this post will pop-up.
In recent years I have become confident enough with my psoriasis to explain to other people what it is and why it looks the way it does. Fair enough, it's nowhere near as bad as it used to be. But I wish I had developed this confidence earlier before I let it rule and ruin my life.
Psoriasis is only a skin condition, it is not contageous, it does not affect your health and it should not prevent you doing ANYTHING. I now think of myself lucky to have psoriasis, as there are many worse conditions out there. Psoriasis does not affect who you are or what you do with your life. It is something that should be overcome.
Psoriasis is bought on by many different things, e.g. Stress, smoking, alcohol, dehydration. Mine was bought about as a result of several cuts I had after a bike accident. Then the stress of puberty, boys, hormones and life in general made it get worse and worse. I never new how to look after my psoriasis as I never had the courage to explore the science behind it, or to go to the doctors.
So here is my advice to anyone suffering with psoriasis:
  1. Don't let it get you down: it's not worth the trouble. You are the same as everyone else inside and small skin imperfections should not stop you doing anything.
  2. Explain psoriasis to people: the best way to deal with this is being honest and confident about yourself. I know this is easier than it sounds. But people will only make remarks if they are uneducated and unfamiliar with what psoriasis is. Do not be afraid to tell people and explain to them so that they understand.
  3. Don't be afraid to be honest: go to the doctors and pester and pester them until they give you something  that works. There are many medications aimed at helping psoriasis. None will cure it but they will ease the problem. Each one is different, and for some people they will work wonders and for others they will make it worse. Keep trying different things until you find something that works because I guarantee you there is something.
  4. Live a healthy life: if psoriasis gets you down enough you will be prepared to make some life changes in order to limit the effects. I have ready studies that showed little evidence of psoriasis in previous centuries, before the effects of preservatives and pollution. A relative of mine controls her psoriasis through a strict diet where she eats only natural foods, this has totally cleared up her psoriasis. This, however is the extreme. I like to try and eat healthy for the most part, eating mainly natural foods. I also only drink on nights out, I don't smoke and I try to drink plenty of water to keep my skin hydrated. Moisturise your skin, and expose it to sunlight. I know it is a taboo to 'tan' and 'sunbathe', but this really does help psoriasis and it is up to you if you chose to or not.
  5. Keep on top of yourself: bath and shower regularly and put effort into moisturising yourself frequently, I know this is a bit of a chore. But keeping your skin clear and moisturised will ease any itching and irritation.
I really hope someone somewhere has read this post and gained something from it. If you are suffering with psoriasis, please know that you can help yourself and you shouldn't be ashamed of it. Don't ever let it take over your life like I did. If you need to talk to someone or contact me in general, please email
Thanks for reading and I will be back with a beauty post soon!!

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