Anne - Guttate psoriasis

Anne, now 55, was first diagnosed with guttate psoriasis at 3 years old and was keen to share her story for Psoriasis Awareness Week 2020.

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I'm 55 years old and have lived my life with psoriasis in one form or another. At 3 years old I was diagnosed with guttate psoriasis and this has stayed with me. Some periods have been really bad and others I’ve been clear, although even on biological drugs I still get outbreaks.

School days were hard, I hated PE because I didn’t want to get undressed in front of the other girls and I had very little self-confidence, I would now strike up a conversation with someone who stares at my skin but back then I felt ashamed. Being a teenager and young lady were particularly hard, I could never wear the pretty tops and dresses that my friends wore in the summer and even though I’m not a fan of winter I was more comfortable in my skin because I could cover it up.

Over the years I tried every topical cream available, had ultra violet treatment at the hospital and spent several weeks at a time as a dermatology in-patient. I’m now on a biological treatment so my psoriasis is much better, but how I would love to have a nice, fragranced bubble bath and not have to coat my skin in thick, heavy moisturiser. I think people who don’t live with this auto immune condition think ‘it’s just a few spots’ – but it’s so much more than that. It affects you physically and mentally, self-esteem is low, choice of clothes is tiresome and a quick shower is not in the vocabulary of someone with guttate psoriasis.

There have been times in my life where I have been unable to put a pin on my body to show an area that wasn’t covered in guttate psoriasis, every sore throat would result in another breakout, any stressful situation and I could visibly watch the spots appear.

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My biggest regret of my younger years is that I was never brave enough to show my skin and this has stayed with me. There are so many social media help groups now and I would urge anyone who has recently been diagnosed to join one of these groups, it helps to realise you are not alone and there is help out there, above all else be brave, show your skin and together we can stop the stigma that goes with guttate psoriasis.

Read more real-life stories from people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.