A woman views a virtual gallery showing the different ways that psoriasis can appear.

Plaque, Inverse, Guttate, Oh my!

As if it wasn’t bad enough having the worst flare-up of my psoriasis in my adult life, I experienced not one, not two, but three different types of psoriasis on my one body.

When my plaques began appearing way larger than I would remember, it kind of looked like large areas of ringworm. Having lunch one day with a friend, she saw them on my arms for the first time. She immediately thought I had ringworm, and began telling me products to get rid of it. “Whoa, whoa, whoa there I do not have ringworm, that’s just my psoriasis”. I then began sharing with her about my condition.

Education is key

Explaining to folks what psoriasis has become a regular occurrence within my days. I described to my friend how the parts she could physically see weren’t even the worst. What she couldn’t see beneath the clothes that covered the rest of my body was psoriasis everywhere.

She didn't see my guttate psoriasis that mirrored a rash like chickenpox all over my entire stomach and back. She couldn’t see under my breasts, underarms, or in my groin area where my inverse psoriasis was having an entire field day.

We left lunch with her having a better understanding of what I was going through, and I felt good about sharing. Now if only my body could just chill out.

Definitely seen, but I want to be heard

That same week I had my first annual mammogram. It was this same week, I also turned 40. Lucky me! Not only was I experiencing the first insane flare-up of my life but my first official mammogram. I ended up regretting not rescheduling the appointment that day.

After explaining to the tech that I have psoriasis, specifically inverse under my breast, she was not as gentle as I would have wanted her to be. Positioning my breast within the machine, the rough lift for the placement completely split the skin under my breast. A painful ouch is an understatement. I left the appointment in tears, and the tech was apologetic.

It took several days, Neosporin, and choosing to lounge around my home without the worry of putting on a bra until the split was healed. Since then, I have gone back for my annual mammogram and had true anxiety thinking of the last experience. This time however the tech heard me and was extremely gentle. Managing my psoriasis has truly been interesting, to say the least, and when it's multiple types, it can feel like a triple whammy.

Triple threat exchanged for triple thought

Having a flare with all three types of psoriasis, I’ve learned to have patience with my body. The triple threat of plaque, inverse, and guttate pushed me deep into triple thought. Thoughts that led to managing, educating, and really still loving all of me.

I've also learned how to not get easily offended or annoyed when people ask questions about what they see. There are many who truly do not know what psoriasis is. Don’t get me wrong, some reactions can be difficult, but we keep pushing and pressing on.

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