This post is sponsored by Celgene.
Most of you head to Front Roe to read my fashion and beauty tips, travel guides or about life as a new mum – but one thing you may not know about me is that for more than a decade, I have been living with psoriasis.
For those who may not be familiar, there are an estimated 7.5 million people in the United States living with psoriasis—an autoimmune disease that appears on the surface of the skin as red, itchy patches but actually starts inside the body.
I’ve decided to share my story by teaming up with Celgene on the INSIDE PERSPECTIVE campaign, which raises awareness about psoriasis and the importance of tackling treatment from within. I really want to explain how I learned to feel confident in my own skin while living with this condition so that I can inspire my readers to do the same. It took a while, but once I stopped looking at the disease for only what it appears as on the outside, I became a stronger person both inside and out – and finally felt my very best!
As part of the INSIDE PERSPECTIVE campaign, I had the opportunity to swap worlds for a day with an amazing young woman named Alycia. We got the chance to walk in each other’s shoes for a day and gained an inside perspective on each other’s lives with psoriasis. Together, we shared our insights and the importance of embracing who we are both inside and out.
Check out a sneak peak of our video here:
So how did this all start for me? Whilst working at a fashion magazine in London at the age of 25, I was pretty stressed out (understatement), not sleeping much, and working very long hours. I was diagnosed with psoriasis. This was extremely tough as it is already difficult feeling confident in an industry where outward appearances play a big role, let alone with such a condition. There were times when my symptoms were so bad that I couldn’t hide them and I would end up canceling my plans entirely, which I did one New Year’s Eve (I ended up staying in with my mum and dad, but still had a good time!). I even kept it hidden from Mackenzie when we first started dating.
I noticed when I would get stressed, I would develop red patches on my legs and stomach. I found myself planning my wardrobe to hide the plaques rather than wearing what I really wanted. In addition to hiding my physical symptoms, the emotional symptoms took a toll. It would make me feel sad, frustrated, and sometimes angry. No one wants to feel uncomfortable in their own skin and that was becoming a frequent issue for me – while having to put on a brave face for my career. It wasn’t until I worked with my dermatologist that I learned focusing on how the condition manifests on the outside isn’t enough.
Slowly, I learned more about the condition and stopped letting it dictate my life and my confidence – and instead, embraced who I was beyond my psoriasis. I focused on ways to manage my stress such as starting yoga and being strict with my bed times (I still need a ton of sleep and go to bed as early as possible!), and did a lot of research into diet too. I confided (and still confide all the time) in my mum, who is a fantastic listener. I took a deep breath (metaphorically and literally) and tried to find perspective – looking at the positive in my life. I continued to work towards my goals and built a successful career– and I want to inspire others to do the same!
To learn more about my story visit www.PsOPerspective.com.