Emily opens up about the battles she had to fight before finding a treatment that worked for her.I first noticed a small patch under my boob in January 2022. I thought it was nothing and ignored it for a while until I started to notice the patches spread around my hips, stomach and scalp. I went to the doctors and finally got diagnosed with guttate psoriasis in May 2022.
I got prescribed numerous steroid creams and was told it wasn’t a permanent thing and it will go away. The steroid creams didn’t agree with my skin at all. It went from tiny dots on my stomach, hips and legs to being 80-90% covered head to toe. I had massive sore patches, scales growing over them and it was in my scalp, ears and face. I didn’t have one clear patch of skin - It was all red and raw.
I got fast tracked to dermatology as I was in so much agony. I couldn’t sleep at night; I’d finally fall asleep at 6am because I’d be itching all night. I’d take antihistamines, sleeping tablets, literally anything to stop the itch and make me fall asleep and nothing worked. I lost so much confidence, my hair started to fall out and I drastically lost weight. I tried the herbal route, I changed my diet, I used probiotics and nothing worked. My mum would spend hours slowly picking the scales out of my scalp. The only time I felt comfortable in my skin was when I was in the bath. I felt extremely uncomfortable in my own body mentally, physically and emotionally. I would cry for hours. I’d refuse to look in the mirror because if I did, I’d burst into tears. I was constantly smothered in oil or creams and felt so disgusting. I’d scratch in my sleep and wake up covered in blood, my bed was always covered in dead skin.
I was so embarrassed and would look at pictures of me before and think I’d never be her again. The whole of summer I stayed in bed depressed, trying to find videos on TikTok of others with psoriasis and couldn’t find anything so I decided to create my own videos of my journey. Overnight it blew up and I had thousands of people supporting me and helping me gain my confidence back. I've made friends along the way and we continue to still support each other.
However, some people weren’t so nice, I had a journalist lie and write a fake story about me that created so much hate. I had people say such awful things about me, they created videos about me, I got told I don’t wash properly, people would comment how I’ve disgusted them, they told me I looked like I had monkey pox and much more horrible things. I had a man pull up next to me when I was walking alone, roll his window down and shout ‘ew’ to me.
It was horrible to deal with but the positive support I got always outweighed the negatives. I was finally seen by the dermatologist and they diagnosed me with chronic plaque psoriasis and told me this is something I’m going to have forever. I was absolutely devastated. I had just finished 7 months of Roaccutane a year prior battling acne and now this.
It stressed me out so much but I was reassured I will be looked after. I was then put on Cyclosporine for 4 months. After 3 weeks my skin cleared up but unfortunately it stopped working and my psoriasis came back. I had to come off the medication and my skin was getting worse and worse until I was nearly covered again. It wasn’t as bad as the first flare up but it was still enough to knock my confidence again. My boyfriend would have to constantly take me to the hospital, massage oil in my scalp, stop me from itching in my sleep and deal with someone so done with everything. I tried light therapy straight away but it wasn’t working and my mental health was deteriorating. I then got put on Methotrexate and I’ve currently been on it since January 2023.
I don’t suffer from any side effects that disrupt my day-to-day life and it’s giving me my confidence back. Since it’s started to get cold and winter is approaching, I have been flaring up a little bit, but to me it’s all manageable. No one in my immediate family has psoriasis and it was a complete shock. It’s something I’ve come to terms with now and even though it’s so new to me and still quite scary I know no matter what, I’m still beautiful no matter how my skin may look and I will always raise awareness for psoriasis.