When I first met my husband I was 80% covered in psoriasis. I was having one of the worst flares of my life. I was always praying that I would meet someone they would not judge me by my skin, but see the inside first. Of course in the real world that is not true.
People are judge by outer appearance. I had been told in the past that my skin look like alligator skin. That really put a damper on my spirit and any confidence that I had left. I would always cover up from head to toe and try to hide my true feelings. It could be 100 degrees outside and I would have on long pants and long shirts. I would go out at night so people wouldn’t notice my skin.
If I had to wear panty hose, it would be 3 or 4 pair at a time to cover up. I even wore panty hose to the beach on one occasion; that was not pretty at all. I can still feel the sand inside of the panty hose, But that date 25 years ago, turn out to be my knight in shining armor. He had never heard of psoriasis so I had the job of telling him about my psoriasis that never went away and that I had these patches of scales all over me.
We both learned together how to be very knowledgeable about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. We went to 4 dermatologist in one week to find the best one to treat my very angry disease. I learned all I could about psoriasis. Even at a older age I still had people who would stare and make rude remarks. I was so shy and almost in a shell that I never said anything back. But as I got stronger and now husband wanted to learn as much about p/pa as I did.
The more I learned, the more I was able to respond to people that stare and made remarks. Educating others about the disease can reduce the stigma. When people know what it is and that your not contagious, they will not be afraid to touch you or be around you.
One day I just decided with my husbands help that I wasn’t going to cover up anymore. It was a very scary day, but I haven’t looked back since. When I stop hiding, I believe my stress level went down, which probably help my condition since stress makes it worst. Every time someone would stare or say something to me, I was able to give an intelligent response as to why I looked like I did.
I started a support group to help others learn about p/pa and what works for others. People have been stigmatized since the beginning of time. This is why I started my own non-profit to give support, educate and for others to gain knowledge and enjoy their life. Join my organization www.powerbeyondsoriasis.com to stop the stigma.