Whilst Gráinne's guttate psoriasis impacts her mental health when she is flaring, she refuses to let the condition stop her from doing what she wants. Here she explains why she feels it is so important to embrace your skin.
I'm Gráinne. I have guttate psoriasis. When I first discovered I had psoriasis, I was five years old and had just recovered from chickenpox, but I still felt like they were on my scalp. With a history of psoriasis in the family, it was easy for my mum and her sister to identify that it was psoriasis. This was easily controlled by putting olive oil in my hair overnight.
I wasn't until secondary school that it flared up over my whole body - but I controlled it with the steroid cream 'Dovobet'. Since then I've had six severe flare ups. When it starts, there are a few spots, and all of a sudden it spreads wildly over my whole body - and is always triggered by emotional imbalances or stress. The only thing that can help it is light therapy and Dovobet. Since third year, I've had 4 courses of light therapy. Within the past two years I've had three flare ups like this.
I am now 19, and my most recent flare up is my worst to-date. To have two flare ups within the one year is extremely upsetting and caused my mood to plummet, but I have never let it stop me from doing anything - I've had it long enough to not only accept it, but embrace it - and self-approval is so important. It is extremely difficult to live with - it's a physical and mental struggle every day - but it's imperative especially at this age not to let it interfere with what you want to do in life.