My blog is going to be on dating.
When I first met my husband I was 80% covered in psoriasis. I was having one of the worst flares of my life. I was always praying that I would meet someone who would not judge me by my skin, but see the inside first. Of course, in the real world, people are judged by outer appearance: I had been told in the past that my skin looks like alligator skin.
That really put a damper on whatever spirit and any confidence that I had left. I would always cover up from head to toe and try to hide my true feelings. It could be 100 degrees outside and I would have on long pants and long shirts. I would go out at night so people wouldn’t notice my skin. If I had to wear panty hose, it would be three or four pair at a time to cover up. I even wore panty hose to the beach on one occasion; that was not pretty at all. I can still feel the sand inside of the panty hose.
Seventeen years ago when I met my husband he had never heard of psoriasis. I told him my psoriasis never went away and that I had these patches of scales all over me. He didn’t run. I knew then that I had met my knight in shining armor.
We both learned together how to be very knowledgeable about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. We went to four dermatologists in one week to find the best one to treat my very angry disease. I also learned all I could about psoriasis.
Even as an adult, I still had people who would stare and make rude remarks. I was so shy and almost in a shell that I never said anything back. But as I got stronger and had a partner, my husband, who wanted to learn as much about psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis as as I did, I was able to speak up.
I was now able to respond to people who stared and made hurtful remarks. I learned that educating others about the disease can reduce the stigma. When people know what it is and that you’re not contagious, they not afraid to touch you or be around you.
Then one day with my husbands help, I decided that I wasn’t going to cover up anymore. It was a very scary day, but I haven’t looked back since. When I stopped hiding, I believe my stress level went down, which probably help my condition since stress makes it worse.
Now every time someone stares or says something to me, I’m able to give an intelligent response as to why I look the way I do. People have been stigmatized since the beginning of time. This is why I started my own non-profit to give support and to educate, so that can others with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can gain knowledge and enjoy their lives. Join my organization www.psoriasisnetwork.org to stop the stigma.