My Psoriasis Nightmare

Since I have been diagnosed with psoriasis, I have come to expect stares, disgusted looks, and terrible comments. I have been dealing with this for decades now, but it has got easier.

In the past, I avoided dating because I was afraid of being judged. I have had psoriasis for 60 years now and each month and each year has its own set of challenges. Some months are better than others - I'm normal, like my skin is fine, while at other times my skin is on fire.

Finding a partner

Psoriasis primarily affects my scalp, legs, backside behind my ears, and within my ears. It mostly affects my left ear, which feels like an empty drum when I talk or walk. Because my scalp and behind my ears are the most impacted, I always keep lotions and special shampoo on hand, not to mention lovely scarves to cover my head and prevent stares and rude questions.

Dating was the most difficult time of my life because I had low self-esteem. I ignored most guys my age and just couldn’t face the embarrassment. Lucky for me, I was able to find a partner and we became engaged. There were times I think he too initially struggled to grasp my situation fully. The first month with him was also one of the worst. Most of this time I was 80% covered in psoriasis and very low self-esteem. He kept saying he loved me, no matter what. I thought I was used to the terrible comments people would make and that the many looks and questions did not bother me, that was until the wedding planning process began.

My wedding day should have been the happiest day

The day came for my first introduction to his side of the family and what I refer to as refer to as "bad months," similar to "bad hair days." My wedding day was the worst and my skin had erupted all over. I had to find scarves to wear to keep the flaking off on my clothes and the horrible stares at bay. Oh, and I was so itchy from head to toe and very uncomfortable. To me, I believe most of this was caused by the stress of planning for this special day.

I had to wear a wig to hide my horrible scaly scalp, but that wasn't the problem. The makeup artist and hairstylist were the ones that made me feel so horrible. While they were away from me, they gave me dirty stares and made sly comments. They were claiming that if they had known how they were going to dress someone like me, they wouldn't have come. I didn't hear them say this but was told later by a guest.

Psoriasis has taught me to be strong

Instead of being my happiest day, it was the opposite; my thick skin had deserted me, and I felt like I was back in the days when I was attempting to embrace my situation and psoriasis. I isolated myself in the restroom, cried for a few minutes, and reminded myself that life must continue on despite rude words and glances.

Psoriasis has taught me to be strong and deaf, as well as how to forgive and forget. Whatever people say and do has the potential to cause people to commit suicide. Expect stares, disgusted looks, and even worse comments if you have psoriasis; do not take them seriously, but accept yourself and focus on what you love most and your dreams. Your life must go on nonetheless.

I was able to renew my wedding vows 26 years later and it turned out to be the best day of my life, and I picked the right man that loves everything about me.

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