My Journey with Psoriasis
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
Where do I start? Psoriasis has been a part of my life since I was 17 years old, when in complete self denial, I hoped the small red patches were just a rash that would go away. I soon discovered they didn't. In fact they got worse. In probably the most judgmental phase of my life, I felt as though I was treading quick sand, pretending everything was okay to my teenage peers but knowing at any second, I feared sinking into the realisation that I didn't look like the teenager I wanted to be. I visited the doctor who prescribed a steroid cream. Advising me to use a minimal amount, I did the exact opposite. I lathered my skin thinking it might be like a magic eraser. It worked for a short time. However, as soon as I stopped using the creams, the psoriasis came back with vengeance.
A few months after being diagnosed, we took a family trip to India. The weather and water conditions flared up my skin more than ever and we ended up visiting a chemist. At that time in India, you could buy steroid creams over the counter in large quantities. I felt like Christmas had come. We ordered as much as the pharmacist could get, and I continued my daily ritual of layer upon layer of steroids. Of course, using this medication came with its own side effects. My body retained water like a cactus and I soon became bloated and overweight. Of course, part of this weight gain was also some comfort eating, but at the time, I blindly blamed it on the medication.
My psoriasis spread from my back to my arms, legs and particularly my scalp. There were many nights where I would cry myself to sleep, hoping that I would be rid of this horrible ugly disease. I longed to be like my friends who could wear shorts, go swimming and wear black tops. All the things I was now too embarrassed to do, in case someone saw my red spots or the dandruff on my shoulders. Going to Indian community events became my worst nightmare. Aunts and grandmothers would point out my patches and ask me what they were. They would comment how bad I looked and that it would be difficult to find someone to marry me with such condition, and of course how bad they felt for me!
Needless to say, mentally I felt hopeless. I was comfort eating, addicted to my steroid medication, feeling ugly and just in a desperate depressive state. I developed a way of hiding the hatred for my body by always ensuring I wore make up and putting a happy face. Naively my theory was that if my face looked okay, then no one would notice my red elbows or patches around my hairline.
The doctor offered no real help. Into my early twenties, various other treatments were suggested: Stronger steroids, UV treatments and Immune Suppressant drugs that were all offered and tried. Weekly blood tests ensued and with each new treatment, my optimism sank like the Titanic as the psoriasis raged on. By my mid-twenties, I was at the end of my tether and decided enough was enough. I needed to take control of my skin, my mental health and most importantly my life.
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Next Blog: How I Conquered My Psoriasis
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Monica is a Professional Hair and Makeup Artist based in Leicester, East Midlands. She is a mother to daughters & loves all things skin and makeup related! Whilst she helps everyone feel their best, she especially enjoys working with clients over the age of 40, suffering with skin issues such as Psoriasis or thinning hair as she suffers with all of these herself! Her goal is to create looks that show her client's natural beauty and not mask them. Services range from bridal makeup to event makeup and occasion hair styling. For more details, please contact her via the contact form by clicking on www.monicaproartist.com.