“I First Got Psoriasis In My Early Twenties”

I was serving a customer who asked
what was wrong with my forehead I said it was just a skin thing, I tried to
brush it off and her response was ‘I thought you had to be
pretty to work here’ Anyone who has a visible difference is so
much more than their visible difference You know, that’s not what defines
them it’s not who they are as a person Hi I’m Jude, I’m 26
and I’m from Gourock I first got psoriasis in my early 20s. I was in 4th year of university doing
my dissertation when I noticed the patches started to grow on my face Psoriasis is an autoimmune
disease that appears on the skin Your skin renews itself every 3 to
4 weeks, however when you have psoriasis it renews itself every 4 to 7 days
which causes the patches of red, irritable skin to appear It can be brought on by things such
as stress, throat infections Some people might be going through a
really stressful time, it’ll flare up and once the stress is over, it’ll
flare down and they’ll never have it again Other people have it for life It was actually through my own
research that I realised that psoriasis wasn’t just a skin thing
because they are always treating the skin aspect of it you just
assume that it is a skin condition but it’s not So one of the major side effects
of psoriasis is chronic fatigue But more worryingly is anxiety
and depression are much higher in people with psoriasis and there’s also
conditions like psoriatic arthritis which is when the psoriasis attacks the joints and
makes you feel very, very stiff 1 in 10 people that have psoriasis will
develop psoriatic arthritis It’s horrible, it really affects your self
confidence and it’s a major insecurity of mine Doctors do seem to like to focus on how the
skin looks and that aspect of it and I have found that trying
to talk to doctors about a holistic approach is kinda shrugged off I think that when you have
an autoimmune disease like psoriasis, you really need to put the holistic
and the medication side hand in hand and use both to
be able to live a really full life I wasn’t too bothered about
the psoriasis diagnosis at first The psoriasis patch was quite
small, maybe about the size of a 20p piece on my head I did become bothered by it though after,
one day when I was working in a high street retailer, I was serving a customer who went: ‘I thought you had
to be pretty to work here’ I was devastated and a little bit
broken, and very insecure and then I found the online community and
it really made me realise that like anyone who has a visible difference is so
much more than their visible difference You know, that’s not what defines them
it’s not who they are as a person It’s been really encouraging to just know
that there are other people out there There’s a wonderful community out there who
knows exactly what you’re going through Who knows what it’s like to wake up at 3am
with an itch that burns. That knows what it’s like when you can’t get the medication. That knows
how frustrating it can be And we’re all there to love and support you Psoriasis is such an insecure condition, you
can feel so isolated I still get messages on
Instagram from people saying ‘I love what you’re doing’,
‘I wish I had that confidence’ so there’s still such a long way to go Why is self acceptance and self love such a
radical, brave thing to be doing in 2019? You are not defined by any feature of you or
about how you look visibly You know, what defines you is who you are
as a person and I think that if anyone walks away and says, you know,
‘the person with psoriasis’ That’s on them Like if you have an issue with the way that
someone looks, that’s on you that’s not on the other person

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