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A young woman with visible psoriasis looks sadly into the mirror as her reflection smiles back at her

Your Self-Esteem As A Teen and Being Diagnosis With Psoriasis

I have had severe psoriatic disease for 60 years, so I believe I have a lot of knowledge to share. The first thing I want to share is for you to make sure you get the right diagnosis. It’s so heartbreaking when you are being treated for years with eczema but turns out to be psoriasis.

Realizing my skin was different

I was told I had psoriasis since day one. They treated me with creams, lotions, lard, soap, light, and so many things that I have forgotten most of them. But let’s get to the meat of this article. First off, I didn’t even notice I was that much different from any other kid until I hit puberty.

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This is when my eyes opened and I realized my skin was totally different from others. Trying to look good and be all cute and stuff. I remember to this day the first time as a teenager that I wore shorts and a t-shirt to an outing. WOW, I drew so much attention to myself that I didn’t feel normal. It was 25 years later before I ever wore shorts and a t-shirt in public again.

Your teenage years are when you want positive feedback from others, especially boys. But they looked at me with a distasteful look. You can best believe that my self-esteem hit rock bottom. To be honest, this carried well into my adult life.

It felt like everyone was just looking at my flakes

So many opportunities I have wanted to take got passed by because of psoriasis. I realized early on that I was a total introvert and was never sure of myself. When anyone looked at me, I believe they were judging me, or if you laugh, I thought it was about me.

Even when I was asked to speak at work and all eyes were drawn to me, I just knew they weren’t listening to me, but rather looking at the flakes on my skin. I usually got very nervous, and every word or thought skips my mind leaving me feeling like an idiot and missing out on another promotion.

My advice is to get a good dermatologist. You will need a treatment plan to keep your psoriasis at bay. Or at least for me, it did. Do your research, and read books about what really is psoriasis. Learn what and what not to do. I would suggest learning your triggers. There could be many.

Finding a psoriasis community

I am 65 now, so I don’t care that much about the stares anymore. People are people and we can’t help that they stare. My wonderful husband, 2 grown sons, 6 grandkids and I’m going to be a great grandma in 3 months. This is all I need in my life right now.

For me, I had to join a support group decades ago. They can have such a positive effect on us. We soon realized that we are not alone, and you will learn how to cope with this. I’m going to end this by saying that I have done things, been to places, and met people that most people will only dream about in the name of psoriasis.

This or That

Do you consider yourself a psoriasis awareness advocate?

I'm having a bad flare and my skin is at the worst it’s been in 20 years. I am on my way out now with my cute skirt, cute sandals, and my tank top, because I got it like that. Remember, we are all in this together.

Stay positive, find your voice, learn all you can, and you will gradually restore your self-esteem and love yourself. I am going to say that I can be grateful for where I am now and wouldn’t change a thing. You are not alone.

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