Hand Psoriasis and My Mental Health

One of the most difficult times in my psoriasis journey was when my hands were completely covered with plaque psoriasis.

Watching psoriasis consume my body was tough enough. I can still remember looking at myself in the mirror and really hating what I was seeing. However, I think it was my hands that brought the most questions which mentally scarred me more than I realized.

My hands, again.

It has only been recently that a lot of these scars and feelings have started to come back to me in waves. What has brought it up in my mind again? That's easy to answer. I have been experiencing a flare that has my hands breaking out again in plaque psoriasis.

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Back when my hands were badly broken out with plaque psoriasis it seemed almost a daily dialogue of stares, jeers and sneers when I was in public. When someone was brave enough to ask what was wrong with my hands, my heart would sink because I knew what was coming.

Looks of disgust and rude comments

"What is wrong with your hands?" "Did you get chemical burned?" The utter look of disgust when I would tell them I had psoriasis. As if a chemical burn would have been any better to have happened. What they felt always showed on their face.

The looks of disgust and being grossed out were sometimes more than I could bear. If they only knew that I felt disgusted and grossed out enough without even having to see their facial expressions then maybe it would have garnered more sympathy from them.

One terrible experience

As if the sneers and looks were the worst, I can tell you they were not. I vividly remember having to go to a store and hand the clerk my money. The person would take her thumb and next finger as if to pinch with and use them to grab the money. As if her skin touching mine would make the psoriasis jump straight from my hand to hers.

I can shut my eyes and still see it as vivid as if it was yesterday. I cannot even describe to you the hurt that made me feel. If I think back on it that was the absolute worst of the worst for me. I had never asked to have psoriasis. Being treated like that made the mental blow it had on me pure torture. As long as I live I do not think I will ever forget it.

Finding clearance and acceptance

One of the happier times is when my first biologic cleared my hands. It meant not having to worry about people seeing my hands or worst yet, grab anything from them. I can happily say that it has been years of them being clear. Free from psoriasis.

Even when other areas of my body still have psoriasis, my hands do not. Yes, there have been flares. No, I have never been clear completely of psoriasis. Mentally I have grown in my journey to accepting this is the cards I have been dealt. However, with this current flare, I feel my mental health starting to go backward. I cannot stand the idea of having my hands broke out again with psoriasis.

The mental impact

If the worst is to happen again, I will do things differently than the first time. No one worries about why you might be wearing gloves today. The second thing I will do is to be more outspoken if someone says something about my hands being broken out. I did not do that the first time.

My mental health is not worth letting someone ever make me feel bad again. If you are struggling with psoriasis mentally please talk to someone. I wish I had done that before also.

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