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Damini doesn't remember life without psoriasis and flares throughout the years have had a detrimental impact on her confidence and self-esteem. Now she is embracing her skin and educating others about the condition.
My psoriasis journey began during my early childhood, around the age of when I was 6 years old. So I’ve always said I don’t really know what life with ‘normal skin’ is like. Since my diagnosis, I have always had patches on my knees, elbows, around my ears and my forehead. However, throughout my journey I have experienced two severe outbreak episodes in which my psoriasis took over covering 90% of my body. Life with psoriasis, particularly my last episode, has had a major impact on my emotional and mental health, as well as my confidence. Confidence has always been something I struggled with, especially when it came to my skin. It was a struggle during my teenage years and having to go to school with a skin condition was difficult. I got bullied at school and had constant questioning about my skin. And ever since, it’s been a constant battle that I am fighting against even today.
The key step in regaining my confidence, and probably the best thing I have done for my psoriasis, and myself is accepting it and opening up about the condition. It’s made the journey a lot easier and less stressful. I used to spend a lot of time hiding away, covering up and not talking about my condition. I used to cover up my skin with long sleeves in the summer, and neck scarves. I would flinch anytime I would see my reflection in the mirror. I would hate going swimming or even showering, because I’d have to look at my skin and then deal with the lengthy process of applying my skin treatments and products on after. I thought a lot of people would not understand what it was nor understand the extent of how much it was affecting me both physically and mentally. So I assumed the easy way out was to just hide and prevent being in situations or surroundings where I would have to talk about it. Excluding myself socially felt like it was the easier option. But I wanted to embrace my skin and I no longer wanted it to be something I had to hide away from people. I wanted to educate others about my condition to “normalise it” as best as I could.
Since having my last outbreak back in 2015, it has been an upward journey. A journey that has taught me so much, that has enabled me to make some great friends and meet some amazing people along the way. And even though it has taken me a long time, accepting my psoriasis has been the most challenging yet best thing I have done. It still surprises me how openly I can talk about it now, and how easily I can wear a dress in the summer now. Although I do still struggle with my psoriasis from time to time and I still have my moments of insecurities, I have learnt to deal with those insecurities in a much better way now. Psoriasis has hugely shaped my life, it has made me the person I am today, and I now appreciate the smallest and littlest things in life. And I want to continue educating people about my condition.
Damini shares her experiences and tips for living with psoriasis over on her blog.