Speak Clearly: Perspectives on psoriasis

Life with psoriasis is full of surprises. It’s like a rollercoaster, with constant ups and downs that make life both exhilarating and scary. Both myself and my business partner and friend, Sascha, are familiar with the wild ride that is living with psoriasis, something we’ve reflected on recently.

Sascha: “Do you remember when you were diagnosed with psoriasis?“

Bernd: “I remember feeling uncertain. My skin started slowly changing and plaques were appearing – there was no denying that something was wrong.”

Sascha: “Yes, I remember so many questions running through my head: What could this be? What should I do? Will it go away?”

Bernd: “I think the hardest part for me was the overwhelming feeling of shame – shame in showing my skin. After being diagnosed with psoriasis, it didn't occur to me to talk about my psoraisis and the way it made me feel.”

Sascha: “I had a similar experience – I kept my diagnosis, my emotions, my concerns to myself. And honestly, keeping my skin disease a secret had an impact on my mental health that continued to get more difficult as time went on.”

Bernd: “As my psoriasis got worse, so did the suffering both physically and mentally. I was constantly hiding my skin, finding excuses not do to things and worried about any negative reactions. It was exhausting and significantly impacted my confidence, especially after living with it for so long.”

Sascha: “I remember getting to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore – I couldn’t keep living in fear of being ridiculed for the plaques on my skin. It sounds so easy looking back, but I remember it was quite difficult to work up the courage to tell people about my psoriasis. When I finally opened up to my friends, to my suprise, they asked a lot of thoughtful questions and expressed an interest in understanding what I was going through.”

Bernd: “Once I took that first step – I started to wonder why I didn’t do this from the beginning – and why is no one else sharing their stories? I felt such a sense of relief and positivity. That’s why I saw an urgent need to talk openly about my psoriasis and help others do the same.”

Sascha: “And so our online platform ‘Farbenhaut’ was born! Even on bad days, sharing my journey with skin disease has brought so much positivity into my life. I wanted others to know what it felt like to unload the burden of suffering in silence; we thought maybe we could help others feel less ashamed of their skin disease.”

Bernd: “I think my favorite part about our platform is that since we launched in 2017, we’ve gotten to connect with people who felt empowered to finally share their story and be part of their journey. I think it’s important to have a place where you can be yourself and show your true colors, and being open with your psoriasis and all the ways it impacts you helps with that.”

Sascha: “I’m proud of my journey and that it brought me and Bernd together through our online platform, but I wish I had done it sooner and I didn’t let it affect my mental health so much. If I had one piece of advice, it would be to talk to your doctor immediately about all the ways your psoriasis impacts you, including physically and mentally. Living with psoriasis can be overwhelming.. I was able to relieve that burden, and can confirm that the best place to start is talking to your doctor.”

Sharing your story today can be the first step to reclaiming the power to feel free in your own skin. Not sure where to start? Share your story here.

Get clear with your doctor

You deserve to feel confident in your skin, but how do you have a clear conversation about your psoriasis goals with your doctor? Sometimes speaking up can be the hardest part.

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Your voice makes a difference

Be clear about your goals. The power to speak up, feel confident and demand the best care is within you. Sharing your story could be your next step to feeling free from psoriasis—and possibly inspire others to do the same.

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