Sidony's Story

Sidony has lived with psoriasis since she was a teenager and has recently been diagnosed with alopecia. In her story, she talks about how she's no longer ashamed of her conditions.

As a young child I had always suffered with eczema but then when I hit my teens psoriasis decided it was going to take over. At first it was only a tiny, itchy patch on the top of my head, that then spread to the majority of the back of my scalp. You couldn't see it under all my hair but the kids at school would tease me for having nits whenever they saw me scratching. At that point I already wasn't a confident child, but going through my teens with psoriasis made my self-confidence shatter.

After a while I became ashamed and wouldn't let anyone look at it, so my skin got worse and the plaques got thicker. The longer I left it and scratched it, the more flakes would come away and end up matted into my long hair. Washing and brushing my hair became extremely painful due to the open wounds.

By the age of 15 I started with psoriasis around my private area, again at first it was only small but also spread. It was uncomfortable to wear underwear or tight trousers. I finally agreed to get treatment and the doctors referred me to a skin specialist. The treatments they were giving me never actually seemed to work. I can remember my shampoo smelling like wet dog and my cream being thick like tar. Every time I applied the medication, I would be in tears after, due to the burning sensation, so I decided to stop using them and let it get bad again. The specialist would just tell me I wasn't using it properly or they just didn't know why it wasn't getting any better. A question I kept asking was, "would it be better if I cut any hair short or off, would it help the skin to heal?" Not one doctor or specialist agreed and advised me not to, so I listened and left my hair alone.

At 20, I noticed another tiny spot start on my chest, which over the next year spread to the under-breast area. Since then I have had psoriasis begin in both ears, my bellybutton, stomach, hands and nails.

Now aged 24, in March of this year (2022) I was diagnosed with alopecia, causing my hair to actually fall out, leaving bald areas on my head. Due to this I decided it was time to finally shave it all off and just see how my skin coped. Despite what the 'professionals' had said, I can honestly say this was the best thing I've ever done. The psoriasis is still on my scalp but it is no longer as itchy and the plaques are so much easier to manage. I am also waiting to be tested for psoriatic arthritis after early signs. It took me a while to feel confident enough to show my patches but now there is nothing more I love to do. I have psoriasis and I'm not ashamed to say it!

Photo Collection 'In Your Own Skin'

Photographer @laurenclitheroefoto