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Like many of the estimated 7.5 million people in the United States living with the autoimmune disease — which appears on the skin as raised, itchy patches — Roe kept her psoriasis hidden when she was diagnosed in her mid-20s. “I felt like I couldn’t really open up about it because there was and still is a stigma because it doesn’t look very nice,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “At the time, I didn’t feel as confident as I maybe appeared.”
However, since becoming a mom, Roe admits that her views have changed about a lot of things, and she’s become more vocal about issues that bothered her in the past, including psoriasis. “I never talked about it publicly, and I thought the Inside Perspective campaign would be a good opportunity to do so and bring awareness to women and men with psoriasis and offer support and educate others,” she says of her partnership with the pharmaceutical company Celgene and the psoriasis medication Otezla. “Psoriasis isn’t just a surface issue; it actually starts underneath the skin, and I look at that metaphorically because it can really damage your self-esteem.”
Roe says her eruptions of psoriasis affect her stomach, legs, and scalp. “I can’t wear my hair up when it flares up, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but I think when that choice is made for you it’s quite frustrating,” she says.
She hopes that speaking out about psoriasis and helping to raise awareness through the campaign will help others struggling with the skin condition. “I just want to share my story,” she says, “because when you make something not a taboo anymore, that stigma goes away.”
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