Let's Talk Healthy Skin: What Does That Even Mean?
Psoriasis is a chronic condition that is caused by an autoimmune response. It has nothing to do with the health of our skin, just the health of our bodies and our immune system. Psoriasis is not contagious nor caused by a lack of basic hygiene - in fact, these stigmas are hurtful and can cause significant emotional trauma.
November is National Healthy Skin Month. What does healthy skin even mean when you live with a visible skin condition like psoriasis? Throughout this month and within our "Let's Talk Healthy Skin" article series, we intend to find out.
Our own advocates who contribute to PlaquePsoriasis.com have taken their time to share their own experiences when it comes to defining healthy skin. Living with a visible condition like psoriasis can have a deep impact on mental health. Managing rude stares, misrepresentation, and stigma, we've asked Jack and Reena to share their own true definition of healthy skin and how that plays into their lives with psoriasis.
Jack Gevertz: Having healthy skin means for me dealing with both the physical and mental effects of this condition. It does not, for me, mean psoriasis has gone away or is in remission.
I can get treatment to help reduce or get rid of the patches, but learning that this is a lifelong struggle will be what will help me get up each morning. I enjoy the days when the disease doesn’t affect me, but I realize that the patches may not be gone forever.
So, I try and not to take my biologic for granted. How long will it last? I don’t know. That’s why I try to just enjoy each day and not think too far ahead into the future. So yes, the idea of healthy skin is certainly about managing the emotional toll of psoriasis in a mentally healthy way - before worrying about remission or plaque management.
Reena Ruparelia: Healthy skin to me, is simply put, skin that I love and feel proud to wear. When my skin feels it's healthiest is when my mind feels it healthiest.
It can be easy to forget to moisturize or skip a topical treatment, but when I prioritize my skincare and self-care and find myself in a consistent groove, that's when I feel my skin and body is healthy. I keep a regimen of taking care of the inside of my body with diet, mindfulness, and exercise in balance with taking care of the outside of my body - with oils, lotions and helpful treatments.
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Does your psoriasis skin feel out of control? How are you managing?