In his story, Curtis discusses the valuable support of his friends and family in coping with his psoriasis, how exercising has helped him to rediscover his confidence, and finding comfort in shared experiences.
I was first diagnosed with psoriasis when I was 10 years old. It started as a small patch behind my ear but quickly spread throughout my scalp and eventually on to my torso and limbs. Growing up with psoriasis at such a young age really affected my self-esteem and body confidence, simple activities like swimming, going to the beach or even changing for PE at school were difficult and I found myself trying to cover up my skin whenever possible.
Treatment for me included a variety of moisturising creams and topical steroid creams. I was delighted to see the cream, Dovobet, virtually clear up my skin in a matter of weeks, but the effect was only temporary. My psoriasis is very seasonal, during winter months my skin flares up to the point where it can cover half my body but during summer when I can get a lot of sunlight, only a few patches remain.
Now at 19 I try to limit my use of steroid creams as it can get expensive, and I find them to only work for a brief amount of time. I am still learning to live with my body and the effects psoriasis has mentally and I am lucky to have support of friends and family. Recently, exercise has helped me regain my confidence as I am able to see positive changes in my body, however hidden beneath my skin. It is human curiosity for someone to stare or ask questions about my skin, and I feel so grateful to be surrounded by so many understanding people.
Reading other people’s stories has helped me feel more “normal” and I thank everybody who has shared a small part of their life with the Psoriasis Association.