My Psoriasis Diagnosis

Last updated: March 2019

I was 21 years young, life was good, possibility and my bright future lay ahead of me. I was working in a top tourist attraction, Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. I had a fabulous boyfriend, a great little home with two kitties, a small garden and life was good. Nothing prepared me for what was about to come. I had no idea of how my life was going to be turned upside down.

Is that ringworm?

On my right arm just above my wrist was a small red spot not very big and almost a perfect circle. I was not sure where it had come from, it was almost as if it had appeared overnight. It was an itch like nothing I had ever felt before. It felt as though the itch went bone deep. It was quite something. Thinking that I may have touched something that I should not have I left it for a few days. Roughly a week later the only thing that had changed was the hue of the color red and the size. It was getting bigger. I took a walk to a local pharmacy and chatted to the pharmacist. He explained that it was certainly ringworm and I should treat it and limit contact with other people. A few weeks later I realized that this was either the most stubborn ringworm I had ever seen or it was not ringworm at all. If it was not ringworm what on earth was it? It had more than doubled in size and it was pretty painful and ever so itchy.

Is it spreading?

There was one spot and then overnight there were two. I was unable to pinpoint where it had come from. By now I was really sold on the ringworm theory and was sure it was spreading. Not sure how this was happening, I recall feeling very confused and worried. All precautions were being taken to be sure this did not spread. Yet here it was making its way across my body. And I found myself asking the same question - is it even ringworm and if it isn’t then I guess it is time to start finding out what it is.

Home research

I jumped onto the internet and started looking up skin ailments, the hunt was on. By now, I had roughly 10 – 20 spots and I will not lie, there was a distinct freak out happening in my mind. In a moment of clarity, I recalled my mom had something similar a few years prior. That is it; my mind told me, it must be stress. It must be the route of this. So I looked into ways to handle stress better...something had to give. Except it didn’t.

Facing reality

It was time, hi ho hi ho and off to the doctor I go. By now I was getting really concerned and I was feeling so unsure of what was going on. The spots had multiplied at a rapid pace and I just was not dealing well with it at all. I headed to the doctor, someone I did not really know and most certainly did not trust yet. I think I had only been there once prior to this. Feeling embarrassed and ashamed, I skulked into the waiting room. Awaiting my fate and by now I had wound myself up pretty good. The doctor was lovely, he was kind and patient with all my questions and insecurities. He explained best he could and told me that he would have to refer me to a dermatologist to confirm a diagnosis. In that hour my world changed irrevocably. If I thought that what I had been through until there was hard, my journey with psoriasis was only starting.

In all honesty, I would not trade that experience for anything, it was one of the most humbling moments of my life

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