I was first diagnosed when I was 18. Psoriasis appeared over night literally! I went to bed after a night out absolutely fine and woke up in the morning covered in small scaly spots and patches all over my body, with no idea of what it was (never heard of psoriasis) my first GP thought it was chicken pox or scabies. Then I changed GP and she diagnosed it straight away.
It was embarrassing and I felt uneasy about how it looked to others even with my boyfriend. I used various creams some were coal tar and stunk! I then went for light therapy and it eventually disappeared except for patches on my elbows and knees. I spent years with these patches and every now and again I would think about it and get down about there appearance and the itching would drive me mad but I kept on top of it and tried to not think about it. I then had a couple of pregnancies and the first 2 were ok no reaction other than it went down loads during the pregnancy. However I was gaining new patches of various sizes were I got cuts or bites basically any wound to my skin would result in a psoriasis patch. I plodded along as normal applying my ointments and trying not to worry. I also changed relationship and was really worried about how my new boyfriend would react and view me. He was aware of psoriasis so that helped and he wasn't scared off.
After our second child was born I had a big flare up and again became covered in patches, this time I was really down and fed up which I just couldn't shake, I went to the GP and was frustrated when they wouldn't do anything other than the ointments so I kept going back and asking about light treatment, I was told at one point they didn't think I had enough to warrant the light therapy, this made me really depressed as I had it on every part of my body in small patches with only a few large patches. I eventually again asked for light therapy or to be referred at least to the dermatologist and the GP reluctantly agreed.
I felt better when I did see the dermatologist and straight away she sent me to light therapy, I felt a lot better as was actually doing something about it and was positive about the treatment as it had worked before. I am unfortunately still going after 5 months of UVB and my psoriasis has responded and is a lot flatter and less scaly I have just started PUVA treatment so hoping that will get rid of it again. I have ups and downs regularly with my moods, if I think about it too much I feel very down and start worrying what my now husband thinks of it (especially when I have to ask him for help with putting ointments on my back in the places I can't reach) and how other people see me and what they think especially when I go swimming with my kids or in the summer walking around with short and t-shirts.
However if I make a conscious decision not to worry what other people think I can keep a handle on my emotions but it is still there at the back of my mind. My kids ask me sometimes what's that on your hand mummy but I tell them it's just a poorly and they want to make it better, they do sit looking and touching it though and I just let them. At work its similar as I work with teenagers and every now and then they notice and ask what's that? I then again explain its psoriasis and similar to eczema and they accept it and don't say anything again. Which is a relief! I know it's hard on me and but sometimes I forget about the impact it has on my family having to put up with my moods when I'm down etc but they all support me and I would be lost without my husbands support.
Psoriasis is hard to deal with and GPs definitely need to be brought up to speed with when to refer to a dermatologist as I had to wait for nearly a year and then argue with the GP to get a referral. Which did nothing to help me and my depression/ moods and made me feel rotten and like nowhere to turn or to get help. This site has helped by giving me advice and realise there are things being done to find help and cures. At the minute I'm ok and trying not to let things weigh me down and get me down, I have a don't care attitude towards my psoriasis and trying not to worry!
Submitted by a 34 year old female living in England