By Ariana Watson
Sensitive skin runs in the family, so my parents never thought much about it and figured it would eventually go away. It did sometimes, but every few months it would resurface in the same spot.
It wasn’t until middle school that my rash worsened. The rash on the back of my leg disappeared, reappearing on my hand in full force. The rash took up the back of my entire left hand. It was sensitive, cracked, bled, and was incredibly painful.
I was prescribed a steroid cream and told to lower my stress levels. My dermatologist explained to me that psoriasis is an autoimmune disease and though I could heal the rashes on my skin, the condition would always be underlying and permanent.
It felt a bit depressing to have a medical professional tell me that what was ailing me could never fully be cured. I felt like I was never going to get better. It was also a different time, where the internet was alive, but not nearly as accessible as it is today. I wasn’t told back then that diet, sunshine and exercise could be so beneficial to healing my skin, and I didn’t have the resources then to discover that on my own.
Luckily, the steroid cream I was prescribed worked wonders, and within a few months the rash had completely disappeared.
Every now and then throughout high school and college I would get a small flair up, but I could always apply the prescribed cream and the rash would settle.
I was under insurmountable stress, which caused my most recent psoriasis flare up to be the most intense and dramatic. No longer located on just a small patch on my hand, it covered my entire body.
I researched skin care solutions to treat psoriasis and how to prevent it from getting worse. I looked up success stories of people who suffer from psoriasis and for patterns in how it was caused and cured. I looked up lifestyle habits, diets, lotions, and anything I could think of.
I can’t help that I was born with this disease. Autoimmune diseases are considered to be incurable. My psoriasis can lay dormant for years and choose to come back whenever it wants. I have no way of knowing if or when that will happen. But what I do have control over are the actions I can take to lower my stress levels for mind, body and skin.