Nikki's Story

Nikki opens up about some of the tough experiences she's faced whilst living with psoriasis from the age of 2.

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I was born with the condition, but I had my first major flare up at 2 years old, to the point I was hospitalised for a week, due to events at this time, it resulted in a lot of hatred towards my skin. I went through this flare up from 2 up until I was about 8. At this point I had the right support from my family who have been my rock since. My Mum took me to hospital appointments, dermatologists appointments and did everything she could to make sure I was comfortable growing up.

My skin cleared for a few years and I only had a couple of patches. At the end of 2022 I had the first flare up that I remember,

I was under a lot of stress at the time. It was all over my face and over 90% of my body and my hair was falling out due to it being all over my scalp as well. It was summer and was 30 odd degrees, I wore winter clothes to cover up.

I went to the dermatologists and went for light therapy. During this time I was on and off public transport and I remember a child in front of me staring, I had my hood up and was covering my hands to hide my psoriasis, when I looked up from messaging my Mum, the mother of the child looked at me, came over and stated to the whole bus "Please get off the bus, you're scaring my child!"

I was mortified and got off the bus a couple of stops early. I was almost in tears by the time I saw my Mum. It hurts because I was once a child. I had to look at myself. If that's how their child felt, how do they think I felt?

If psoriasis has taught me anything, it's strength. I've always been ashamed of my skin, I've heard whispers, giggles, I've seen fingers pointed, comments behind hands. Living with psoriasis for this long has taught me who's there for the long run, who's going to run for the hills, but it has also taught me a lot about me as a person, because of psoriasis I've become more empathetic towards others, I've learnt patience is key. It's not easy. But I don't want to hide anymore and I don't want to feel like I have to cover up to fit society.