I collaborated with Celgene Corporation to create this post, but naturally, all opinions and stories are my own.
Traveling can sometimes be as scary as it is exciting. Traveling with chronic diseases including psoriasis
can be even scarier, but I’ve been dealing with it for the past 15 years.
What is psoriasis? It’s an autoimmune disease that appears on the skin as raised, red and itchy patches and it’s actually more serious than people think because it’s not just a skin condition. It’s also more common than people think. In the United States alone there are an estimated 7.5 million people living with psoriasis.
As I wrote many articles on living and traveling with psoriasis in the past, Celgene asked me to team up on their INSIDE PERSPECTIVE campaign and share my story. The campaign aims to raise awareness about psoriasis, which appears on the surface of the skin but actually starts inside the body, and the importance of treating from within.
At first, I thought that I already shared everything I had to share about my psoriasis, but I quickly realized that despite talking about it on my blog, many of my readers didn’t even realize that I had psoriasis. Hence why I’m sharing my story below.
My journey with psoriasis started at the age of 16 when I was diagnosed back in Poland. Doctors tried various topical creams on me, but unfortunately, none of them worked well. As time has gone on and I’ve continued to learn more about the condition, I’ve worked with dermatologists to find the best treatment for me.
But no matter how you deal with the condition, psoriasis isn’t easy to get used to while traveling. There are months when my skin is pretty normal, but I often have flares when I’m on the road. When you travel and change the climate or water things can get way worse. It might sound silly because it’s “just” my skin, but those who suffer from the same disease can relate and agree with me.
A flare is probably the worst thing that can happen before going to the beach. In the beginning, I used to hide my spots by wearing gloves, dark or patterned tights and didn’t want to go to any public pools or hang out in bikinis.
People used to tell me that I needed to adjust my expectations and life to my psoriasis. My wardrobe was adjusted to my psoriasis, my routines depended on having a flare or not, and even my hobbies were affected as I didn’t want to show my bare skin in the class.
I was hoping that my psoriasis was going to go away at some point, but it never did. It was itchy, painful and annoying. However, as the years passed I started researching what can I do to improve my condition and learned to embrace my body in other ways. Treating my skin might make my skincare routines longer than it’d take the average people, but it doesn’t mean it has to dictate my life.
I stopped hiding my spots and began to research what works for me and what does not. Simply because a certain diet or going to sleep early works for someone else with psoriasis, it doesn’t mean that it would for me.
To learn more about the campaign and get an inside perspective of how psoriasis
can impact the everyday lives of those living with it, visit www.PsOPerspective.com.