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He tells me I'm beautiful

I was diagnosed with psoriasis when I was 17, 8 years ago. I had just started the depo birth control shot. A few days later I developed a dime sized spot on my thigh. I didn't think anything of it, until it grew in size and other spots appeared. I went to the doctor thinking I was having a reaction to the shot.

My doctor told me that the hormones in the injection may have made the gene kick on and flare up causing the spots. I was given a general description of what the disease is, a prescription for a topical steroid, and a "best wishes" from the doctor. Time went on and it got worse.

More of my body was consumed by these red painful itchy patches that seemed to have a life of their own. My skin started tearing away at my social life, my confidence, my everything. I used to be ashamed to talk about it. I've gotten to the point in my life where I accept that I have this. I try to tell new people in my life about it to save my embarrassment later. I've noticed that most people are accepting or don't really care either way. I realize I judge myself more than other people do. Today I'm about 30-40% covered I'd guess. I'm prescribed a super potent corticosteroids in many different forms. Most of the time my skin is so painful. Every move feels like I'm ripping open on bad days.

My skin is so thin from the medications. I bleed so easily because of this. I have to brush my hair with both a regular brush and a fine toothed comb because of the scalp psoriasis. I can't use normal shampoos. I can't use a lot of household cleaners. I feel that I have to wear long sleeves and pants no matter the weather, so no one sees my skin. Also, the suppressed immune system does me no good in the cold and flu season. I catch everything around me.

After 8 years with psoriasis, my joints are starting to hurt. I guess I can now look forward to psoriatic arthritis as well. I will be getting a home uvb light soon and I hope that helps clear my skin. My husband has been there since the first little spot. He tells me I'm beautiful, and even puts my medicine on the spots I can't reach. I can't imagine if I had to go through this without him. We have two daughters that I worry about constantly. Every scratch they make, spot on them, or cut they get I watch like a hawk.

I will be devastated if I passed this horrible disease to them. I would feel so guilty and terrible. So far, I haven't noticed anything. I do know that when it comes time to give them birth control or any other medication I will talk with their doctor about any chances of bringing the condition out like it did to me.

My father was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of 55. It's amazing that it waited 55 years to rear it's ugly head. I guess you never really know. To this day I'm still learning about my disease. It seems like I learn something new all the time. I've found that the best thing to do is share my story. I've learned a lot from other people's stories, I could only hope to do the same.

Submitted by a 25 year old female living outside the UK

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