Living with psoriasis can be an emotional roller coaster. This condition affects not only the physical appearance of your skin but also your self-esteem and overall well-being. Every day, you wake up and face the reality of patches, scales, and redness, which can make you feel self-conscious and embarrassed.
The emotional toll of psoriasis is often underestimated. It’s not just about dealing with the physical symptoms — it’s about the constant battle with your own thoughts and emotions. There are days when you feel like hiding away from the world, avoiding social situations and intimate relationships, for fear of judgment or rejection. It can feel isolating and lonely, as if you’re the only one going through this struggle.
I used to hide away when my psoriasis was at its worst. I was afraid of what people, particularly children, would say or how they would view my psoriasis. I looked like I’d been burned (my description).
I think that what has felt soul destroying is how I’ve been told for so many years that I’m “too young” to have surgery. I don’t want a life of actively doing marathons or playing beach volleyball again — I want to enjoy my grandchildren and be able to get on the floor and roll around and just walk with them when we go somewhere.
I’ve been on countless medications, finally taking biologics as well as methotrexate. For me, they’re helping. They don’t get rid of my condition — they don’t get rid of the pain and stiffness — but these medications help. I know they don’t work for everyone, but at this point in time, I’m able to say they’re helping me.
I try to stay away from shampoos and conditioners that contain parabens, although that’s a lot easier to do these days. I found hemp cream helps a little. Using tar shampoo would often leave my head an oily mess, and I’d scratch my scalp and neck just as much, if not more. I rest if I can on days that are really bad, and I generally try to keep healthy by eating well and exercising when I’m able. Walking doesn’t hurt, and being outside in the fresh air helps.
I’ve been dealing with psoriasis since I turned 21 — I’m now 52. I won’t say to anyone that it’s been easy and that it’s going to get better. It’s been hard at times, and having both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis can often suck. But don’t let it define who you are. You make those choices for yourself.
Just take your time. Look for what helps you, and try different approaches. Don’t be afraid to ask health care professionals for different medications if the ones they’re giving you don’t work. It’s your body and your right.
On MyPsoriasisTeam, members discuss psoriasis from a specific point of view. Would you like to share your personal story to help others living with psoriasis? You can learn more about this paid writing opportunity from MyPsoriasisTeam here.
Members’ articles don’t reflect the opinions of MyPsoriasisTeam staff, medical experts, partners, advertisers, or sponsors. Content on MyPsoriasisTeam isn’t intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.