One of the things I’ve found with Psoriasis is my paranoia levels have risen and was especially high when my skin was at its worse. This was during my first bout of Psoriasis, it was particularly bad on my face, covering most of it. I stayed fairly covered up but couldn’t hide my face. So of course whenever anyone spoke to me or looked at me I thought they must think I was hideous.
I remember I had particular issues with the skin around my hair line and eyebrows as this seemed the hardest to relieve. I could feel at times that skin would just drop off and the irritation of a constant itchy scalp is something I wish on no one. So as well as the look of me, I fidgeted a lot, scratched, picked, found it hard to get comfy.
The thing is, at this time I worked in a bar. I spent every day face to face with customers. Who wants to see a bit of skin fall off someone’s face as they’re pouring your beer and handing you your gin & tonic? Quite frankly I wouldn’t. Which I guess is most of the problem. What I hadn’t realised before is that I was fairly intolerant of people’s appearance. Certainly in the hospitality industry. I expect people to be presentable if they are serving me food or drink.
So now I’m never quite sure if it was my own view on appearance that caused my paranoia of thinking I was being looked at, or whether people really were staring at me. I never thought to actually ask anyone what they thought when they looked at me. Thinking back, I received more comments that I was always wearing a long sleeved shirt during a very hot month. I say more, I can’t actually remember anyone ever commenting on my face whilst working there.
It was only after a course of light treatment that anyone said anything. This came about due to my hours being slightly irregular and having time off as the first few sessions made me feel a bit ill, especially in the heat of the pub as I tried to work after. Someone asked why I kept going to the hospital and that they had noticed my face wasn’t as red as it used to be. That was it. None of the regulars ever noticed I had a problem, so was it all in my head?
I have tried to ignore these thoughts, but I still struggle to wear shorts in public. I remember doing a secret Santa at work one year after I had gone back to office work and all the presents were on the table for you to pick yours. I suddenly realised my arms were bad and would be stretching over a table crowded with 20 or 30 people round it. I ran back to my office and put a cardigan on to cover them. Then there was when I joined the gym, I had no psoriasis, or very little, at the time but then had an attack. I was convinced people were looking at me. I tried wearing tracksuit bottoms but that just made things worse as I got too hot. So the membership was cancelled.
Maybe I’m vain, maybe I’m too sensitive. I do know I have only had 2 comments about my skin that I can remember. One a bit insensitive commenting that my skin looked horrible and the other was a “poor thing” kind of comment. I’m not sure which was worse. I don’t want sympathy for this condition, I just want a cure.
The silly thing is though that none of this matters. Whether scabby, peeling or clear it should be irrelevant. I met a girl while I had this condition, she’s only known me with psoriasis. She fell in love with me and my scabby skin. That woman became my Wife