Talking about my skin is a first for me. For the longest time, I’ve dealt with my insecurities by disregarding them as the direct effect of societal pressure and Eurocentric beauty standards. However, I’ve only recently realized how much one particular dermatological problem bothers me: my Psoriasis.
You might be thinking “What the hell is Psoriasis?” — fret not — I’ve got the answer. To sum it up, Psoriasis is classified as a skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form scales and itchy patches. They can form anywhere, though most commonly on the scalp.
I will spare you the imagery but it’s obvious that this can cause huge discomfort for someone that already feels anxious most of the time.
Growing up, I used to have gray, scaly patches all over my face and around my eyes, as well as the back of my neck, just where my scalp starts. These became even more irritated when I went swimming due to the chlorine – something nobody ever told me. I tried every cream I could find thinking it was just dry skin, alas nothing worked.
Whenever I saw a Dermatologist about this, they always sent me home with the same Cortison containing cream. And this cream did work wonders — although you had to keep applying it for the patches to really stop. Additionally, since my Psoriasis happened to develop around my eyes, this cream was extremely dangerous as Cortison is known to make your skin thinner.
I quickly got told that this skin condition can never be fully cured, but that there were ways of dealing with it. So I had to start doing research on my own to find out how to maintain this condition.
I managed to find out that these patches can come and go, which I had noticed happening to me as well. There were months were I was basically Psoriasis-free and then it would rapidly come back out of nowhere. This is because this auto-immune disease has a direct link to your mental health, as well as your physical well-being. For me personally, when I’m stressed is coincidently also when my Psoriasis gets worse. I also recently learned that it is linked to my depression, something I had no idea about. I’m still figuring out my specific triggers, but I’m learning more about it day by day. It still takes a huge toll on me. But knowing that there are a lot of people with the same skin problem is a relief; I just wished we would talk about it more. One recent example of a well-known Author and Content Creator that shed light on this skin condition is Savannah Brown – it might have been just a quick mentioning of it on her Instagram but it still had an effect. And that’s all it takes really, starting a conversation is enough to destigmatise things like Psoriasis and other skin problems alike.
The biggest thing I’ll take away from this is that I will never be “perfect” in anybody’s eyes. I also know that there is nothing wrong with that. I should be able to feel comfortable in my skin, stretch marks, Psoriasis, acne and every “imperfection” included. I no longer want to focus so much time obsessing over my appearance instead of just living in the moment. I’m still working on that. To make a long story short: don’t let your skin define you. You are so much more than that.