Age : 29
Age diagnosed: 27
Location: Brooklyn . NY
What 3 words would you use to describe your journey with psoriasis: Depression, Acceptance, Healing.
What makes you flare and how do you manage it when it happens: Mainly stress but also eating poorly are triggers for me. When I begin to see spots, I just check myself as far as my mental health and diet, and try to get back on track. Then I just pay super close attention to my body and make sure I’m applying my creams and washing myself with the soaps and shampoos I should be using (I typically lean towards products that contain tar or products made for infants as they have little to no chemicals in them and are gentle on my skin)
What advice would you give to girls who are dating with psoriasis: Yikes. I sympathize so much with anyone dating with psoriasis. It’s tough enough to just be out in the dating world but to add this layer of discomfort in one’s own skin – it’s a whole new level of discomfort. My advice is to lay it out as soon as you can. Be upfront and tell the person you are dating that you have this skin condition, it’s not contagious, show them what it looks like and ask them if they have any questions. I know this is easier said than done but clearing the air will make A) the date go much smoother B) make you less nervous and self conscious and more importantly C) rid you of potential jerks; if they can’t accept you for who you are inside and out then they don’t deserve any more of your time.
State 3 ways psoriasis has changed your life. 1) It has changed the way I look at other people. If I’m curious I just ask, I don’t stare or judge. 2) I wrote the National Psoriasis Foundation and became involved with a lot of events. I encourage anyone with psoriasis to do the same. I feel a part of something bigger. We are a family! 3) It made me brave. I was always the type of person who was nervous before interviews or dates. The whispers and looks I endured during flares were tough but I chose not to crumble under other people’s judgments. It was just a lack of knowledge on their part and I don’t blame them. So I stepped up and spoke up. It instilled a certain degree of courage in me and I appreciate that.
How are you conquering psoriasis and not suffering from it: OWN IT! This is YOUR skin and it’s yours for the rest of your life. I know it feels hopeless at times but talk to someone about it, vent, cry if you want, then move on. I had a very hard time accepting the fact that this was something I would have for the rest of my life but once I did, I found support (you can always reach out to the National Psoriasis Foundation for any information and/or support) and it made all the difference. Now I look at my spots the same way I look at my tattoos… they are a part of me and I love them. I’m a cheetah!
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