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Mark: How to Speak Up and Find Your Derm

I'm Mark. I live in Fort Worth, Texas. I teach horticulture. I tell people I've got the best of both worlds. I get to watch the plants grow and I get to watch the students grow. People would say, "Oh do you have poison ivy?," ‘cause your being a horticulturist, they'd say, “Oh is that poison ivy?” And I'd have to explain to them, no it's psoriasis, and you know, trying to explain what psoriasis is cause nobody really knew what it was. But you would have these big blotches, of scaly skin, that'd be real hard, crusty white. It would crack open, bleed.

There were some days I'd go home from work and I'd take my shirt off and there'd be big blotches of blood on the back of my shirt. No telling how long that had been there. I hadn't found a dermatologist that I liked.

That's my biggest complaint is a doctor that won't sit down and talk to a patient. Ya know, just like an assembly line. Get you in, look at the chart, ok, then bye. Well, I found that if, if you find a good dermatologist, he will take the time to explain things to you, answer your questions. Of course you have to ask the questions, you have to talk to him. And I think part of it is you have to, like say being informed so that you can ask intelligent questions, you can understand when they're giving you answers. I don't think people should be quiet about their psoriasis. I never have been quiet, you know, I've tried to educate people, uh, try to tell them you know when they ask about it. I try to inform them about it. You shouldn't be quiet about it, you should inform people, that this is what I'm going through. The psoriasis center that I found was actually a godsend because you know they specialize in psoriasis. You learned about psoriasis. You get to meet other people that had psoriasis. So it was very educating, you know, you know, I learned probably the most about psoriasis there.

That's why I think anybody that has psoriasis or, you know has had psoriasis for a long time, or just found out they have it, should educate themselves and then find a good dermatologist and talk to ‘em and find out what treatments are available. You can't let it stop your life. You got to live a life, you know, you got to enjoy it, so you try to do the best you can with what you have to work with. I'm really, really enjoying life.