Psoriasis came into my life at the age of seven and made a big impact on me. As a child I was never invited to other children’s birthday parties and I never had school friends.
I was initially diagnosed with eczema and I tried many different types of cream all without positive results. Five years later I went to see my dermatologist for a routine check-up, but he was ill so I saw another doctor. This dermatologist had a different diagnosis – he told me that I didn’t have eczema, I was suffering from psoriasis, a chronic condition which cannot be cured.
Many people find it difficult to accept that they suffer from a chronic condition, but for me it was more of a relief. I’d initially thought I was doing something wrong and felt I was to blame when the creams didn’t work.
When I was about 25 I started to develop psoriatic arthritis which affected me a lot more than psoriasis. I had to completely restructure my life. It got to the point that I couldn’t cycle anymore, I couldn’t go ice-skating, I couldn’t do my housekeeping the way I used to.
I’ve used several different treatments for both my psoriasis and arthritis, one of them I used for 10 years and which was very effective, but I had to stop due to liver problems. Before I knew it, my joints were playing up and I was completely covered in flakes again.
My rheumatologist suggested I try biologic therapy. I was hesitant at first but two years ago I changed my mind. Within three weeks of starting therapy, I felt much better. I felt that I had my life back.
As I’ve had psoriasis from a young age it’s become as much of a part of me as the colour of my eyes. But people have to know that psoriasis is not just a skin disease, but a disease that affects your whole life.