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'Coming to terms with how my looks had changed was really tough'

I’ve had mild plaque psoriasis since I was 14, which affected the usual areas such as my scalp, ears, elbows and underarms. It wasn’t until last year, February 2018, after I had contracted Tonsillitis, that I had my first outbreak of guttate psoriasis. The symptoms didn’t appear straight away, probably about 4 weeks after the tonsillitis, so I didn’t initially realise they were linked. The dry patches appeared overnight and rapidly spread, covering my face and body, within 1-2 weeks.

My initial reaction was that of complete devastation. My doctor was unsympathetic and told me I may never be clear of it as psoriasis is incurable. I thought I would look this way forever and coming to terms with how my looks had rapidly changed was really tough. It wasn’t helped by other people’s initial reactions, I was trolled online and even heckled in the street. But with my mum's strength and support, it didn’t take me long to embrace my new look and show the world I could and would cope. Since then I’ve been lucky enough to have light therapy which healed 90% of the flare up, and since then only a few patches have returned so far.

I find stress is a major trigger, along with ill health. Many people say it’s diet, but I don’t find this a trigger. However, I do believe if a flare up occurs it’s important to make the necessary dietary changes to help with the healing process. Psoriasis can be tough to live with and the discomfort can drive you crazy! But I believe the biggest issue people have with psoriasis is their worries about how others will see them. Many people feel embarrassed by how their skin looks. My top tip to anyone struggling with psoriasis isn’t easy, but it's to try to embrace your skin and how it looks. I was only trolled when I felt bad about myself, the minute I took control back and embraced my skin, people were kind and supportive and respected me. Negativity breeds negativity and positivity breeds positivity. Love yourself and others will love you too.

Author credit: Aimee Grace Godden

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