Elin's Story

Already living with psoriasis, tonsillitis triggered a new flare for Elin, which knocked her confidence and stopped her from going to the gym. In her story, she talks about the impact it had on her mental health and how regaining her love of fitness has helped her!

I have had psoriasis for as long as I can remember. It started out as mild plaque psoriasis and never really impacted my life up until a year ago when my psoriasis got significantly worse and I was diagnosed with guttate psoriasis. It was triggered by a string of throat infections that led to tonsillitis. My life literally changed overnight. It mainly affects my face and torso but I have known it to cover every inch of my body. I’ve undergone light therapy which worked wonders but not long after stopping it, it came back! I’m still trying to find a way to treat it and I’m hoping to go on medication soon. I can go days where it looks clear but days where it is very severe.

As a young female it severely affected my self-confidence and mental health. For a period, it stopped me from wanting to go out, meet new people and exercise/look after my body. I felt as though it made me a lesser person and I constantly thought I had to explain and apologise for the way I looked. As a woman you are taught that appearance is paramount, and when that is taken away from you it can make you feel as though you have nothing to offer. It taught me about what is important in life and what it is that really makes us human.

Fitness is one of my main hobbies and since my big flare-up I felt vulnerable in a gym/fitness environment as its not as easy to hide your condition. However, it was my main source of empowerment and I owe the acceptance of my skin to fitness. CrossFit has been one of the best things I decided to take up during this time. It’s somewhere I can forget about my condition and has such a community feel which has had a positive impact on my mental health. I am also very fortunate that my psoriasis doesn’t affect my mobility as I know for so many people, it does.

One thing that has also really helped me is following and reading about people in similar positions to me - I’m constantly inspired by them. I hope to see more psoriasis awareness within the fitness industry. Psoriasis should never stop you from doing what you love. Some days are harder than others, but I try and remind myself that beauty runs deeper than skin.