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After stopping work due to being considered vulnerable to Covid-19 Jessica's skin began to flare. Here she shares her pandemic experience and why she is beginning to feel more confident in her skin.
My psoriasis journey started on my scalp about 12 years ago. It was misdiagnosed as dermatitis until it started to spread elsewhere. Since then I have had lots of different types of psoriasis from scalp, nail, plaque and guttate. Trying different topicals, light therapy, oral systemics & biologic injections.
I lost me, and I would give anything to have clear skin, but then I successfully started biologics.
After years of immunosuppressive treatment & light therapy I was diagnosed with Melanoma which led to me no longer being able to take biologics. I had the risks explained to me but you never think you will be that one.
Towards the end of last year I restarted Apremilast after a previous failed course & not responding to treatment, but having very limited options due to the Melanoma I thought I would give it another try. At the start of treatment my skin was still clear from the previous biologic.
Then the pandemic happened. I had to stop working on the frontline for the NHS as I am classed as vulnerable. My psoriasis started to make an appearance once again, coincidence? I also started to experience joint pain again but my referral to Rheumatology has been delayed because of the pandemic. Lockdown has been testing, seeing my skin slowly flare back up. With the extra time I became a bit obsessive with skin care routines but it has given me time to take care of my psoriasis & try to love the skin that I am in. I have started going out with my legs uncovered however some days I still don't feel confident enough, but this is something I would have never done before during a flare.
Now the world is trying to go back to some kind of normal and I return to work which has been equally as challenging, knowing my vulnerable title does not suddenly disappear. This is the reason why I decided to take part in the PsoProtectMe survey to help with research about covid-19 and psoriasis, regardless of whether you have had the virus or not. The research can help find out if we are at added risk by being on certain medications, and the implications it may have. Something of great interest to me after being 'that one' who experiences the reality of the risks outlined at the start of treatment.
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.