Although Jodie has had psoriasis since she was two, her most severe flare happened in year 13 after she came down with tonsillitis. In her story Jodie recalls the effect psoriasis had on her self confidence.
My diagnosis with psoriasis came when I was just two years old, so I have had it pretty much all my life. It started mainly as just small, red patches across my face and in my scalp, but with certain flare ups it would appear all over. Over the past 16 years my psoriasis has been kept calm by using endless amounts of creams, shampoos and scalp solutions, as well as light therapy when I was in secondary school.
In January 2018 I got tonsillitis for the first time and this was the trigger. Within 3 weeks I was covered, head to toe. There was barely any skin that wasn't covered in bright red patches. I was referred straight away to my local dermatologist, but due to the long wait my parents decided to take me private to get me some kind of solution. The private doctor was very helpful and pushed for me to be referred to a specialist dermatologist due to the severity of my skin. After a few appointments I was put on ciclosporin and am now being monitored every 3 months. This severe flare up happened when I was in year 13 studying for my A Levels. I was in constant discomfort and pain, as well as feeling like I was forever being looked at and commented on. Walking through the dining room at lunch or break all of a sudden became a nightmare.
Working as a receptionist at a trampoline park on the weekends it felt like I was forever trying to dodge people's looks and comments. There were always adults looking me up and down as if I was one big contagious mess! For 3 months I was completely covered and looking back I don't know how I got through each day, my confidence was rock bottom. It wasn't until I was invited on a birthday night out that I knew I wasn't going to let my psoriasis stop me from going.
Since that night I have gained a lot of my confidence and strength back, and I realised that me being embarrassed and upset about it wasn't going to change the fact that I have psoriasis. It's not going to suddenly stop affecting me, I've got it for life. Now moving on it's just about learning to deal and embrace life living with it.