Sis, Let’s Talk Psoriasis

I’m going to keep it real and say that the winter months have hit not only my skin, but my confidence pretty hard. The moisture and warmth of summer has been stripped from the air, leaving my skin irritated and my thoughts about my appearance at an all time low.

I have not had a psoriasis or eczema outbreak since I was in the third grade. I had red splotches all over my face under an inch of vaseline and I undoubtedly felt as though that was the first thing anyone saw when they looked at me. This was my time caring about what other people thought of my appearance. This was the turning point in my life in which what other people thought of my appearance became of devastating importance to me.

Fast forward to fall semester of my freshman year and my psoriasis was the worst it has ever been. I am often able to conceal it with my tried and true Maybelline Fit Me concealer and NYX BB cream but sometimes, when I wake up and look in the mirror and see the large red rash cascading down my neck and across my eyelids, I shrink back into that third grade version of myself.

It is very plausible that most people do not even notice my psoriasis when they look at me; yet most of the time, all I can think about is the people that do. I also know that there are other people, including some that are very close to me, that are plagued with skin issues far worse than mine. Despite my knowledge that the only opinion that matters about the way I look is my own, it’s important to recognize that it is okay to not always be feeling yourself. It is okay to worry about what other people think; we are human and it’s completely normal to feel that way. However, comparison is a killer.

I am guilty of it. I will see a girl with clear skin on a day when I have a bad outbreak and wonder what I could have done differently, what I could do to look like her (despite my knowledge of good ole’ genetics). In that moment, I allow myself an inkling of pity and that ever so toxic comparison.

I know I have a lot more going for me than just my outward appearance; I have great friends and family, I have access to an education, I have a place to sleep at night and food to eat, I even have access to medications to calm the very ailment where my insecurity stems from. However, I still allow myself to feel how I feel.

If I can stress one thing in the process of sharing this insecurity of mine is that it is okay to feel how you need to feel. The worst thing you can do is to leave an insecurity unacknowledged. That allows it to become some hardened and distant part of yourself, opposed to a recognized vulnerability that makes you who you are.

Furthermore, having psoriasis is part of me. I am flawed. There is strength in acknowledging that not everything about yourself is supposed to be beautiful and that outward beauty is actually very miniscule in the grand scheme of things. Acceptance of who you are is far more valuable than what society and those around you deem to be attractive. Although you may not always feel this way, it really is what’s on the inside that counts

So I implore you, don’t allow yourself to stay in a rut! Yes, we get bloated, we get tired, and we do indeed have skin issues. If you can relate to anything I have described above, allow me to offer you some friendly advice. Starting now! Read a book! Go out with a friend! Buy yourself dinner! Treat yourself.

For all my dry skin, psoriasis people out there, slap some hydrocortisone cream on, dust yourself off, and realize life is too short and full of opportunities to spend time dwelling on the uncontrollable. You are beautiful and you have far more value within you than outwardly, collegiette.