Psoriasis was just a part of my life. It was always tapping me on my shoulder but I didn’t acknowledge it, I was pushing it away. I wasn’t aware that it was affecting my self-esteem, but it affected my everyday decisions – the places I’d go, the clothing I’d wear…
Reena, 36, lives with psoriasis
After spending years hiding her psoriasis from others, Reena learned that vulnerability and openness are two of the greatest healers.
And then I had a really bad flare that came out of nowhere. I couldn’t leave the house, it was really debilitating. So I stopped all of my medications and took disability leave to take care of myself and my skin. Something had to change.
I started to make time to be at home, eat properly, drink more water, keep a routine and use a good cream in between flare-ups. I usually apply twice a day and it takes an hour each time, but I really like doing it! I make it a ritual. I burn incense, I put on music – I make it a beautiful experience. I use it as an opportunity to connect with myself. But maintaining good skin is about taking care of your insides too. And that includes your thoughts, the way you spend your time, the way you talk to yourself. I started talking about my psoriasis with other people and sharing on Instagram – just putting up thoughts I was having.
Real beauty is every person in their own unique way. I feel beautiful now, and when I look at photos of myself in the past, I still feel beautiful then.
My advice for others with psoriasis is just to be vulnerable and open. When I started sharing and talking about it, that’s when I really started healing. It’s wonderful because I don’t feel alone. I’m not hiding, and I’m so proud of that.
More needs to be done to share the universal experiences of beauty. We need to normalize what it means to be a woman, whether that’s skin conditions or anything else. There’s movement now – maybe not through mainstream media, but through social media – I see a lot of accounts dedicated to people discussing who they are. It’s empowering – that’s what people want to see. I’m sure there’s somebody who felt the way that I felt when I was 15, so it makes me feel good to know that they can see people who look like them.
Real beauty is every person in their own unique way. I feel beautiful now, and when I look at photos of myself in the past, I know I was beautiful then.