Finding Psoriasis Acceptance
Last updated: January 2021
I met a young lady who was recently diagnosed with psoriasis. Living with the condition a couple of years, it all started after giving birth to her baby girl in June. She was 29 years old.
The confusing initial symptoms
One day she started noticing white and reddish patches on her hairline in front of her head. They moved to her chin, nose, and the back of her ears. She thought it was dandruff or some sort of fungal infection.
She began creams and shampoos for a fungal infection. The next day, she woke up and could not stretch her face or yawn. Her face had started cracking and bleeding. Her scalp had become scaly like dandruff that was itchy and painful.
Faced with stigma
She decided to see the doctor who prescribed the creams and shampoos. After a week, she was feeling better and continued on with her normal life. The thick scales showed up again and felt like extreme burning and itchiness. The nights turned out to be unbearable.
Her maternity leave was over and it was time to go back to work. Her colleagues and customers instantly started staring and looking at her in a strange and new way. Colleagues forcefully and rudely inquired why she didn’t wash her hair. She felt ashamed and uncomfortable.
She tried to explain to people that she had a very bad case of dandruff and her medicated shampoos seemed to make her condition worse than before.
The emotional toll
She started getting large pimples which were very painful. These breakouts turned into purplish spots on her body. A dermatologist finally diagnosed her with psoriasis. It wasn’t the word psoriasis that scared her. It was the impact that this disease would be a part of her life, forever. She had to learn how to manage it.
It was a depressing time for her. She started covering her head with scarves when the condition would flare. One day at work after a meeting with her Director, he wanted her to take a photo with the entire staff. Her face and scalp were so bad that she hid in the washroom pretending to be sick.
As her condition worsened, she found herself withdrawing from people. She hated meetings or showing up for any functions. Everyone was looking at her face and scalp when she talked. Her self-esteem was destroyed and she didn't know how to handle this.
The decision to find acceptance
One day she decided she had to accept her condition. She decided to find people like her with psoriasis and found a community that allowed her to realize she was not alone at all. It has been two years since her diagnosis. Each day she learns new things about the disease. She began to learn about her own triggers, realizing eggs and milk products cause her to flare.
She knew she had to become strong. Her child would have to go through similar experiences as her baby was diagnosed with psoriasis a little after their first birthday.
The power of positivity
You can not avoid people forever. Self-love is from within and it's so important to take it one day at a time. Each day my friend wakes up with a positive attitude and attempts to love the skin she’s in. Sharing her story and putting positive people in her life have helped her.
She has come to the reality that psoriasis will always be a part of her. There are days she will be pushed out of her comfort zone. It's important that she and you always know that you do not have to go at this alone.
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