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Jude refuses to let her psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis define her and runs a blog to help raise awareness of the condition and encourage others to be more self-accepting.
Hello, I’m Jude, I am 26 and I have psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
I first noticed psoriasis patches growing on my forehead when I was 20 years old, starting third year of university and my dissertation. At the time I didn’t know what psoriasis was or that that was what I had. It took a few doctors’ appointments and around six months to get it properly diagnosed and over a year to get proper treatment after the diagnosis.
Having had skin conditions before, such as impetigo, acne, and shingles, I wasn’t too bothered about the psoriasis. It wasn’t until a member of the public made a rude comment about my skin whilst I was working that I became really insecure about my psoriasis. I let it bother me for months and became really depressed and insecure about my skin. Eventually, I came to realise that I could let the comment bother me forever or I could try and move on with my life. I decided to go with the latter. It wasn’t easy and it’s taken me a few years to be comfortable in my skin, but it was definitely the right decision.
Psoriasis has been a positive in my life. It’s opened doors to many opportunities, and I have made many friends through the online community. Many of my good friends were made through the community and I would not have made those connections if it hadn’t been for the condition.
In late 2018, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. I was devastated for a period of time to realise that I had another condition that I would have to learn to live with. However, with a supportive community and lots of friends giving me advice, that devastation was short lived. Many people reminded me, and I have to remind myself constantly, that I am living with and not defined by psoriasis.
At @judeavrilduncan, I like to encourage people to love themselves no matter what. Psoriasis is not your defining feature. It does not say who you are as a person, you’re so much more than your psoriasis. If anyone says otherwise that’s on them for making such a shallow judgement.
Psoriasis is still my biggest insecurity and if like me you ever find yourself saying negative things about you or your psoriasis, here is a little tip. Whenever I used to say something negative about my psoriasis or myself, I would then say something positive. Eventually, you find yourself only saying positive things. Here is to self-love and acceptance in 2019 <3.