A Psoriasis Flare (or Remission) Can Be Hard to Explain

When people don't understand the waxing and waning of a psoriasis flare, it can be very difficult to explain. If you are in a flare or not it does not mean that the disease itself is gone forever. I have learned in my 27 years of having the disease that it is simply a part of the way the disease presents in my case.

When my psoriasis is in a flare, it is usually red, angry, itchy, scaly and painful. Other people in my family can see that it is making me uncomfortable. Often I squirm trying to make myself comfortable or I might lightly rub an area that is itching. There are many times where my family will see me cleaning an are of skin that is bleeding. Many questions usually follow these moments like: "Mom are you okay?" or "Having a hard time today?" One question I hear often is "When will it be over?"

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When I am having a good day, my skin is more of a natural pale white with no pink or redness. I have very little scales when this occurs and little swelling if any. One of the first questions I will hear is," Wow why are you so pale?" One relative even rejoiced, exclaiming, "I'm so happy  you are all done with that horrible stuff!" Another simply wanted to know "what are you going to do now that you are all better?"

Not everyone knows what psoriasis is

Sometimes, it is difficult to remember that not everyone knows or understands what psoriasis is. Most people have not seen psoriasis on such a larger scale when they meet me in a flare. Yet those who know how badly I have had the disease are surprised to see it less. All in all, no one understands that it is NOT OVER. I try to smile lightly. Getting upset about it does not solve anything for either of us. Tension and awkward moments are not what I want my life to be about.

Instead, I try to see it as a time to teach more about the disease.  I explain that Psoriasis is a disease that causes my skin to shed faster than theirs. Most people shed their skin every 28 days naturally. My disease speeds up the process to 4 to 5 times faster. For years I was a subjected to constant flares of all of the types of psoriasis with only a day or so between of remission.

My psoriasis isn't gone, but it's tolerable

With the help of biologic medications, I have finally found lasting remission. Going into remission for me means that my medication helps my skin to regenerate slower. My skin is less scaly not as angry and looks mostly like other peoples. Remissions can last a few days to my current which is 3 years and holding. My remissions have had various degrees of clearance. Currently I am less than 5% covered for the first time in my 27 years of having it.

Discussing the next fact is always hard. First, I explain that psoriasis naturally can come and go. Next, the hard concept is that just because I am better today doesn't mean that it won't come back at any time. Right now it is check or somewhat control. Unfortunately, there is not a cure. Yes, this means that it is not over. When I have this talk with those around me it is hard to explain that thought I look okay on the outside for now it does not mean that I am not experiencing pain or discomfort.

Learning to talk things through with others has taken me time to figure out but I also am thrilled that I can help others understand it better.

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