“I was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of 14. It started with a small patch or two on my neck. By the time I was 17, it had become very noticeable, with multiple patches on my arms and calves. The remarks and stares I got affected me. I would get comments like, ‘Why is she so proud of having psoriasis that she is showing it off?’ and ‘Yes, she has a pretty face, but look at her hands and legs.’
Some people even said they couldn’t take the sight of my skin. After university, I became active in sharing my experience as a psoriasis patient via support groups and awareness campaigns. People who suffer from skin conditions do not have to feel inferior to or different from others. It’s not that I’m proud to have psoriasis – I’m proud of the person I am. Psoriasis doesn’t change that.
I am on medication, but I’m unable to control when I get a flare-up. And despite being able to manage the condition with the right skincare, food and clothing, I still go through an emotional roller coaster. It sounds cliched, but during such times, the sayings ‘love yourself’ and ‘do not forget what you stand for’ keep me going.
It is okay to have moments when you can’t love the person you see in the mirror. Embrace the low points, but pick yourself up. It is alright to feel sadness, but don’t wallow in it or in self-pity.”