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Jojo: Tips for Explaining Psoriasis

My name is JoJo and I'm 36. When I first was diagnosed with psoriasis…I had a couple of little patches on my joints... My first really big flare-up I started getting it on other places other than the joints. I started getting it on my torso. The, the symptoms for me were like a tightness in the skin. A flaring, like a burning sensation. In like in my feet there was kinda like a cracking sensation. Some of it was like bruising. Areas got scaly… had it on the scalp. Luckily I never really had it on the face but I would have it on the, on the neck, and the back of the ears, it just really was kinda real reddish kinda patches. So I started getting a little bit insecure with my body. I love riding my bike. I love being outdoors. I enjoy being around people. There were times when I just didn't want to be outdoors, I didn't want to, I did not want to be around people. I walk dogs for a living and I have a pet sitting dog walking business so I really wasn't around people. I was around animals all the time. It's kind of one of those diseases where you feel like you really feel like you're alone. You really feel like I'm the only one that has this. I seldom had a real conversation about it. And then it got to the point where maybe I would say I had psoriasis but I would just drop the conversation very, very quickly.

It was weighing on my shoulders all the time. I mean the minute I got up I did so many things, I had so many routines revolving around my skin, and my psoriasis. I used to have a card game with a bunch of guys, friends of ours we used to play cards every like Friday night. I had a little bit of a flare-up on my hands and there was a guy that said right in front of everyone, “What's that?” And I just kind of shut down. I went to the dermatologist and we came up with a plan. A treatment for me. I have a great rapport with my dermatologist. I even send him e-mails. For me, I believe that, you know, if you have a good dermatologist, and you know when you have a good dermatologist, that dermatologist will go out of their way to help you. If I had a friend that was diagnosed with psoriasis I would make sure that they knew my story and they knew the things that I put myself through because I just wanted to get better. If I had to give someone advice about relationship with a dermatologist is that really, really, do your research and find out if this doctor is involved with psoriasis. You can call up, you can actually visit, or you can call up your doctor or your prospective doctor and ask them, you know, “Do you work with psoriasis patients?” I'm just a normal guy, with psoriasis.