I've had psoriasis roughly since I was 12 years old, although it wasn't until I was 18 that I was officially diagnosed. Having been pushed around from GP to GP for six years, each convinced I had eczema, I was eventually referred to a dermatologist who instantly confirmed that I actually had psoriasis. It started behind my ears, eventually spreading to my scalp, elbows, and chest. I also had a few patches on my face as a teenager, which was particularly difficult to deal with. I refused to go outside without covering it with heavy makeup, and was so embarrassed at how visible it was. I would keep my hair long so that no one could see how bad my ears were.
Nowadays, it's not so bad. The patches on my face have recently started to return, so I'm very persistent with moisturisers to keep them at bay, which seems to be working for now. My elbows and ears flare up every so often, but I'm much better at being vigilant with treatment creams than I was when I was younger. My scalp has remained a constant issue, but I never gave it much thought because it wasn't visible. I've only recently decided to try to take some action to manage it. I always just accepted that my scalp would be uncomfortable and flaky, as I was so used to it and didn't know any different. I guess I'm finally realising that it isn't normal, and I deserve to be able to move my head without discomfort.
In a way, I'm glad that I've had this since I was so young. I don't fully remember a time when I didn't have any psoriasis, so it's something I'm completely used to. I don't even mind the appearance of the patches on my ears and elbows anymore - they're just part of who I am, and who I always have been. However, this does mean that I've had a habit of picking it for nearly half of my life, which is proving difficult to stop after so long.
Submitted by a 24 year old female living in Scotland.
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