‘I Finally Posted Photos Of My Psoriasis After Hiding My Condition For 22 Years‘

·2 min read
Photo credit: SATY + PRATHA
Photo credit: SATY + PRATHA

From Women's Health

Where do you go when you feel scared, confused, and lonely after a life-altering diagnosis? For many people, the answer is…online. In WH's 2021 Owning It series, you'll meet nine self-starters who used social media and digital tools to seek solutions and community they couldn’t find elsewhere. Barriers, broken.

It started with little spots on my stomach when I was 14. I was just about to go to high school, and I was mortified. The only pictures that I ever saw of someone with psoriasis were at the dermatologist’s office, so I tried to cover up my psoriasis as much as I could—I wore really long tops and socks and body makeup.

I didn’t open up to friends and family about my psoriasis because I didn’t want to worry them with my problems, and I also thought that they wouldn’t get it because they weren’t going through it. I think a big part of psoriasis that's misunderstood is that it goes so much deeper than skin. Before I created my Instagram account, @psoriasis_thoughts, in 2016, I found that a lot of people were talking about treatment online, but I didn’t see anyone talking about the emotional impact of the condition.

Photo credit: SATY + PRATHA
Photo credit: SATY + PRATHA

I started @psoriasis_thoughts for myself, without telling anybody in my personal life. I didn’t show my face; I just posted words and quotes, some of the thoughts from my diary. In one of my first posts, I wondered about how anyone would love me looking like this. A few people commented on my stuff, saying things like, I get it. Don’t worry, people will love you. These were people I had never met, who had never seen my face. I also saw other people who were living with psoriasis posting skin pics, and I remember I then had this urge to take a picture of myself.

I put up a photo of my face and my hand; it was a very vulnerable thing for me. If you live for 22 years hiding a part of yourself, being embarrassed about a part of yourself, and then all of a sudden just say, Forget it, it's exhilarating, and I'm so grateful I did it.
I began sharing more openly and putting my face out there. I started to build my confidence and feel more empowered in my skin.

Now, four years later, my goal is to be a leading source of support to people living with and newly diagnosed with psoriasis, to remind them that they are not alone.

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

This article appears in the March 2021 issue of Women’s Health. Become a WH Stronger member for a print subscription and more great perks now.


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