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Adapting, at 18, in Sydney
from Katherine T.

I just wanted to say thank you for your web site. I  am an  18 year-old Australian girl and I have suffered psoriasis for over three years. At first it was just my elbows but it has now progressed to cover more than 50% of my body. During the summer time it is okay and sometimes clears up almost completely thanks to the beach and my courage. But during the winter (which I am about to enter) it is itchy, red and sore.

Your website is great and it’s amazing to know how many people out there have P. My close friends know and accept it. My boyfriend just ignores it which is sometimes uncomfortable (even after four years!) but I do get questioned and have had to deal with people who are so obviously afraid about what they don't know and make horrible comments.

Sometimes it gets me down and I have cried and asked "why me?" too many times, but I am growing to accept it and look at the positive side. I don’t judge people by their looks alone and know now that beauty is skin deep — although I still do wish it would go away!

Unfortunately, I have found there is limited research in Australia, especially in Sydney, which is why your site has been such a great help for me. Thank you. -Katherine T.


Ed’s Response:  Welcome, Katherine.  Eighteen is a tough time to be a flaker.  I didn’t have to go through it, so you’re already becoming a wiser, more seasoned flaker than I’ll ever be.  The words in your email lead me to believe you are not going to have a problem adapting and surviving — even though you may not have to worry about your P for much longer (because of new therapies).

When I say “not going to have a problem” I don’t mean you won’t ride the emotional roller-coaster like the rest of us.  You’ve already been on the ride for three years.  While you’re flaking visibly you will always be accumulating comments that ought to be on the “Don’t Say This” list at FlakeHQ.  No, what I mean is you’ll accept this in ways that won’t shatter your self-esteem and probably learn to feel pity for those who struggle to adapt to you.

I wish I could send a little of our summer to you via the web, but I can’t.  The good news is, your Winter won’t last long. 

Be good and stay in touch.  -Ed

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