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Stylized eyes open and close, seeing stars.

Can You See Me Now?

I remember years ago, seeing a sign that said “caution eye protection beyond this point”.

Since being told over 50 years ago that I have psoriasis, I can see that my eyes are not the same at times. Psoriasis has affected my eyesight over the years. There have been days where I have itchy eyes that are red and puffy. It is so important that we get our eyes examined. The same inflammation that is in other parts of our body can show up in our eyes too.

Psoriasis in my eyes

There was a time in my life where I had psoriasis in my eyes. I was put on a new medication that triggered this to happen. Somehow the psoriasis was on the underside of my eyelids and I felt like I had sand in my eyes. The buildup of scaly patches around the eyes would make it difficult to close and open my eyes. The skin was very dry and would crack and bleed and cause pain when I tried to move my eyelids. I would get eye dryness because scales were pulling the eyelid outward. I would get blisters that would pop and sting my eyes. It was uncomfortable for a short while, but would feel better in a few hours. My eyes were very irritated at this point.

My doctor had me use artificial ultraviolet light to help ease the signs and symptoms of psoriasis around the eyes. He also warned me that my psoriasis could get worse and I could get skin cancer because of the delicate skin on my face. This was a chance I had to take. I needed to see.

Learning to take extra care of my eyes

I eventually had to change medications because it would affect my eyes every time I took it.

I knew years ago that I had to take very good care of my eyes. When you have plaque psoriasis on your eyelids and you attempt to put anything on them you have to be very careful not to get the ointment in your eyes. These creams can be very damaging to the eyes. I would also use eye drops to relieve the pressure in my eyes.

I was told by my doctor that psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can lead to infections, because of the autoimmune system. Psoriatic disease puts us at a risk of the immune system attacking the gland in your eye that produces tears.

Making sure my eyes stay healthy

No matter my travels or wherever I find myself, I’m thankful for the friendly reminder of that caution sign to warn me -- eye protection beyond this point. I want to take care of my eyesight and realize that psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis affects the eyes as well as other parts of the body. At the end of the day, no one wants vision loss. I must treat my eyes with love and see to it that they stay healthy.

Now, do you still think psoriasis is just a skin disease?

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