Why Should You Be Ashamed of Your Skin?
Last updated: December 2022
I am only a couple of months shy of having psoriasis for 60 years. That's the majority of my life. One thing I find myself reflecting on - is actually quite sad. It's that the majority of my years managing life with psoriasis were filled with insecurity and shame.
You see, I was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of 5. I was not allowed to attend school on my very first day because they thought I was contagious.
My skin is the shell that brought me into this world
It was more than just the elementary school - relief and clearance didn't come until much later in my life. The manifestation of shame, embarrassment, and insecurities lasted throughout my high school years as well. Most teenagers are already quite insecure about their skin and body - I was not different.
One beautiful breezy summer day at the age of 14, I found myself wanting to wear something other than my reliable long sleeves. At the same time, I felt a rage come over me, I was consumed with disdain for my skin and my condition.
I realized this disease stopped me from living. The idea of showing my skin seemed great on paper, but to a 14-year-old? There's no way it was going to happen. I loathed the idea of showing my skin.
My skin is the shell that brought me into this world. Whether you accept it or not, your skin is the only companion that is going to stay with you for your entire life. So why do I hate it so much? Why not appreciate it for doing its best to protect you from UV rays, bacteria, germs, and many other harmful things?
Of course, these are not things that teenagers think about.
The journey of falling in love with my skin
The journey of falling in love with my skin was a long one. It has taken me many years and lots of counseling. I am still walking the path and I have walked quite far down this path to get to where I am today. I can proudly say that I am not ashamed or scared to show my skin anymore.
I didn’t have anyone back in the day to encourage me and put me on an optimistic path. If you are someone like me, here are two tips that will help you in this journey.
Choose your tribe
It took me years to learn that I had to associate myself with body-positive people. Oftentimes, people have acted like psoriasis is contagious and won’t come near me.
Every time someone acted this way around me, I wanted to hide my skin under a thick layer of clothing and just hide. The first step is to not associate with people like them.
It is possible to not know what psoriasis is. However, it is not okay to act this way. If a friend or family acts this way, educate them. And if they don’t stop, don’t associate with them anymore. I have probably had family and friends treat me worst than a stranger.
Find your tribe
My best advice is to join a psoriasis community. Meeting more people with psoriasis led me to believe that I was not the only one who was suffering. There are other people like me - and they are all so brave and beautiful.
I didn’t feel alone anymore. The more I got to know people like me, the more my confidence grew. I started to realize there is nothing wrong with my skin. Having psoriasis doesn’t have to cage you. Start telling yourself that your skin is beautiful.
Remind yourself every day that those little marks on your body are testaments of how far you have come. Learning more about psoriasis will help you stay educated and educate others. The more you will know, the faster your misconceptions about your skin will start to go away.
Trust me on this one. I have walked this path for almost 60 years.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?