LIVE YOUR LIFE

Find tips, insights, and advice to help with everyday situations

Plaque psoriasis patient Bob

BOB'S STORY

I had plaques on my face, elbows, stomach, thighs... (now) I have significantly less.

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I had been a firefighter for six years before being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. When I started having trouble passing my physical tests, I really began wondering if this condition would force me to change my career. 

I was devastated, but had to start coming to terms with the fact that the condition was winning. The thing is, I only had plaques on a small amount of my body, but my lesions cracked and bled. I also had terrible pain in my hands, shoulders, hips, feet, and knees. When you can’t hold your newborn grandkids, it’s a horrible feeling.

"When you can’t hold your newborn grandkids, it’s a horrible feeling.”
After finding a treatment that worked for him, Bob felt a significant improvement in his symptoms. His fingers, which used to look like sausages, have gone back to normal. He’s even able to continue fighting fires. He no longer has to rely on other firefighters to carry his equipment. He’s also able to hold other important cargo: his grandchildren. “Now I can hold them, play ball with them, and hug them without pain.”

Plaque psoriasis patient Gina

GINA’S STORY

After my skin started to clear, I began swimming again.

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Gina had been trying to cover the plaques on her scalp for as long as she can remember. As she got older, the plaques slowly began to cover her arms and legs. By her teenage years, she was always wearing long sleeves and pants, even in the middle of summer. Gina’s psoriasis also made her give up swimming, something she loved since she was little. Life at home was also difficult. “Even after I told my family that my condition wasn’t contagious, they would put long sheets on chairs because they thought my psoriasis would ruin their furniture,” Gina says. As an adult, Gina became more and more frustrated with her worsening symptoms.

She looked for help from a dermatologist who had her try several types of treatments without success. Finally they found one that worked for her. After about a month, a coworker ran up to her and said, “Gina! Look at your forehead! It’s clearer!” She went to the bathroom and looked into the mirror and saw that her plaques were not nearly as noticeable.

Now, Gina is swimming again and feels comfortable letting her skin show. “The first time I was able to go to the ballpark wearing a tank top was incredible,” she said. “The only time I wore tank tops before was in my house or going to bed.”

 


Plaque psoriasis patient Wayne

WAYNE'S STORY

When I look back, I realize that I had been living with symptoms for about 30 years before finding relief.

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When I look back, I realize that I had been living with symptoms for about 30 years before finding relief. It started with a small rash, then eventually covered 90% of my body. The most affected areas were my hands, knees, elbows, groin, and legs. I didn’t dare wear shorts even on the hottest summer days, because when people saw my plaques, they’d always ask what was wrong, and I didn’t want to talk about it. I tried many treatments over the years and just had failure after failure. 

Then, in 2006, I began to experience joint pain in my hips and knees along with my skin symptoms. That’s when my doctor started me on a new treatment. It was wonderful not to have to sweep the bed of flaked skin every morning! And now, I can wear shorts while tending to my 75 rose bushes without feeling embarrassed! The best part is people don’t make comments anymore, so I’ve definitely gained confidence in being seen in public. In fact, I enjoy being outside and in public as much as possible.


Living with psoriasis can be difficult at times. In this section, you’ll find tips, insights, and advice to help with everyday situations. You can read patient stories and learn from people like you who deal with psoriasis every day. Their struggles, strategies, and successes can help motivate you. You'll also find tips to help you explain your psoriasis to others, including family and coworkers. You can even find advice for dating with psoriasis.

You’ll learn about how weather can affect your psoriasis symptoms and find ways to reduce possible flare-ups, regardless of the season. Also, look for ideas to help manage stress. Because stress can cause symptoms to get worse, it’s important to find ways to relax and get through difficult times.

In this section you will also find information about shampoos, moisturizers, and over-the-counter products that may help you with hair and skin care. Paying attention to your diet and exercise habits is another important way to help you live a healthier life with psoriasis. Here, you can get information about maintaining a balanced diet and staying active.

Finally, you’ll have access to helpful resources, including links to national health organizations, research institutions, and other educational websites.