6 Things I Wish I Knew Before My First Psoriasis Flare

Ohhhh, how my life with psoriasis would be different if I had known these 6 things before my first flare!

I wish I would have known...

Chicken pox would be my trigger

Who knew chicken pox would be my trigger. I got the chicken pox virus in the early 90's. At that time there was a vaccine, but it was new and hadn't been out long. My grandmother elected not to have me get the vaccine because she was scared of the side effects, and chicken pox was common and not really considered a big deal. I wish I would have known about psoriasis triggers and I wish I could have received the chicken pox vaccine.

I wish I would have known...

About the National Psoriasis Foundation sooner

Due to encountering my disease very early in life, I literally grew up with psoriasis. The National Psoriasis Foundation was founded in 1967, exactly 20 years before I was born. There was one time in high school I googled the term "psoriasis" and the NPF popped up. I went on the site briefly, got a bit overwhelmed, and quickly exited and went on to the next site. It wasn't until 12 years later I would run into them again. I wish I would have known about the National Psoriasis Foundation sooner because they have lots of tools and resources that would have been useful to me growing up with the disease.

I wish I would have known...

That people around me were suffering from psoriasis too

I went through grade school and college feeling like I was the only one dealing with this disease. I always felt alone, like no one around me knew what I was dealing with. Well, it wouldn't be until years later that I learned I was in fact not suffering alone. Since I have revealed my struggles with my disease, several people I went to school with have revealed that they too have psoriasis. The ironic part is because we all hid, we didn't realize there were people around us who would understand our struggles.

I wish I would have known...

My self-esteem would be affected

At 7, when I was diagnosed, the pressures of beauty weren't as significant as they were as I grew older. Once I reached middle school psoriasis negatively affected my self-esteem. I always felt less than, unattractive and often times my classmates agreed with my inner sentiments. Perhaps if I would have known how psoriasis would have affected my self-esteem I would have practiced self-love techniques much earlier.

I wish I would have known...

My treatments would fail

I wasted so much time using medicines, over-the-counter treatments, and natural remedies that did not work. I feel as though I have put myself at risk for a lot of side effects and problems down the line with treatments that didn't even give me benefits.

I wish I would have known...

About online support groups

As I mentioned earlier, often times people with psoriasis feel as though they are suffering alone, but this is not the case. There are 125 million people in the world living with psoriasis and at least 130,000 of them can be found in online support groups for those living with psoriasis. Online communities changed my life and were one of the reasons why I was able to get into advocacy.

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