A plaque covered woman sitting on the floor isolated in a house shadow. her shirt has a house print on it

Quarantined with Psoriasis: My Experience

About two and a half months ago, I started quarantining with my husband and daughter due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Like most families, we stocked up on essentials and began social distancing from our family and friends. We limited our outings to only emergencies or for food.

At the beginning of the quarantine, my psoriasis was maintained pretty well. I had a few patches here and there but it was manageable. After about a month of being quarantined, I began to feel isolated. I started missing my family and close friends and I just missed social interaction.

How my psoriasis reacted to quarantine

I told myself to relax and I started finding new ways to manage this new feeling of isolation. I started going on walks in the neighborhood and going to the park with my husband. But just when I thought I had everything under control, my psoriasis was triggered and my biggest breakout of the year began.

Right now I am 95% covered. The only parts of my body that aren't covered are my face, hands, and feet. When I think back to what might have triggered this breakout, I can't help but conclude that it was stress. Being quarantined definitely added a new level of stress in my life. 

The stress of being unsure about the future of COVID-19 really affected me. The news induced so much fear of the unknown as well. The stress of not being able to see my family as my parents and grandparents also really affected me. Of course, we talked on the phone every day, but seeing their smiling faces is what I missed the most.

Management of psoriasis while in quarantine

Being quarantined brought about so many emotions. It also triggered my anxiety. Thinking back, I never imagined life being confined to my home. Even though I had some very fun times here at home like playing board games and watching movies, I don't think I would ever want to repeat this experience.

Right now I am finding ways to cope with the mental effects of COVID-19 as well as my psoriasis breakout. My dermatologist’s office is currently closed but I have scheduled a virtual appointment with my provider to discuss treatment options.

I have been experimenting with other ways to relax and reduce stress. I have been practicing deep breathing and I plan to try yoga and resume meditation techniques. I think the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all so very much. I know for me, I have learned new triggers of my psoriasis and I have been reminded of how important it is to take time for yourself to decompress.

This quarantine shall too, pass

Like all of my breakouts, I know this one will pass. From being quarantined, I  learned three things about my psoriasis. The first thing is my mental state has a lot to do with the condition of my skin. When I start to feel anxious or worried, I am likely to have a breakout. This is why stress-relieving activities like yoga and deep breathing are super important.

I also learned the importance of taking time for my skin. As a new mom, I am extremely busy, but my skin also needs to be nurtured too. Warm baths and a little extra time applying my moisturizer will definitely be very nurturing for my skin.

Lastly, I learned how important it is to have a close confidant. As much as I would love to not talk about my skin, I learned keeping my feelings inside is unhealthy and stressful. I am learning how to be more open with my husband about my psoriasis and how it affects me.

With psoriasis comes so many uncertainties as being quarantined does well, but I think focusing on coping strategies that work for you is a great way to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

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