Stress during the pandemic impacted teacher Jenny's skin. In her story she talks about recognising her triggers, how she stays positive and taking part in PsoProtectMe.
I have had psoriasis since I was two years old. As a
performer I struggled enormously and relied on kind wardrobe and make-up teams
to help me cover up. I now teach drama in a secondary school.
I have tried everything from steroids to UVB but with no
lasting success. In 2018 I read two books: Healing Psoriasis by Dr
John Pagano; and Radiant by Hanna Sillitoe. I began Hanna’s regime in
September 2018. The diet is about building up a diverse gut health and
cutting out inflammatory foods (alcohol, caffeine, gluten, meat, dairy and
nightshades) relaxing, exercising and lowering stress. I focused on what
I could eat, rather than what I couldn’t.
Six months later there were significant changes, by April
2019 I was able to go swimming and by July 2019 my skin was clear, bar one or
two spots. I wore a bikini, swam and wore shorts, t-shirts and skirts in
Then 2020 and lockdown. My son, my daughter, her boyfriend,
and my mum moved in. Suddenly we were all working from home as well as
trying to find personal space for ourselves. I knew that this was going
to be a huge challenge for me with regard to stress and my diet, which
definitely went awry, as I had to eat ‘wrong’ foods often because items were
out of stock in the shops.
To stay positive my daughter and I took up Couch to 5k –
which I am continuing. I practiced my clarinet, my singing and
tried not to get too stressed by school work, which was full on.
My skin flared up on my legs and my back by April, but by
July it calmed down a lot and I was able to wear shorts again, although I still
have it on my back. Something I have learnt in lockdown is to
recognise triggers. When my step-daughter contracted Covid-19, my face
immediately broke out in psoriasis. As she recovered, so did my face.
Soon, I will be back at school teaching 250 children
weekly. I have joined the PsoProtectMe study to find out how Covid-19
affects psoriasis sufferers for the benefit of both me and my family. I
know that I need to continue to work hard on my diet, my stress levels and my
exercise, but I am very proud of what I have achieved so far and at how far I
If you'd like to help support vital research into COVID-19 and psoriasis please take the PsoProtectMe survey. The survey is for everyone with psoriasis to complete, irrespective of whether you have had symptoms of COVID-19 or not.
Read more real-life stories from people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.