Dramatic Stories: I got teased for having psoriasis
Kids in the playground used to call Jana “nit girl” when they saw scalp psoriasis flakes falling from her head.
Meet Jana, she’s been dealing with psoriasis from head-to-toe since she was eight. Kids in the playground used to call her “nit girl” when they saw scalp psoriasis flakes falling from her head (how mean). We’ve been soothing her itchy skin for some time now, and as she’s an active member in our Facebook group, we thought we’d share her experience with you.
Tell us a little more about you. Where do you live, what do you do for work, what do you love to do on weekends.
I’m an early childhood educator based in Sydney. I work in the 0-2 room and absolutely adore taking care of children, watching them grow up, witnessing their milestones and being able to provide a safe and love filled environment for them to grow up in. On weekends I love to go into the city, visit museums, watch musicals, have brunch with friends, cook and watch TikTok.
Has your health journey moulded you into who you are today?
Definitely. Especially after being teased, I’ve learnt how to be kinder to others and not judge them based on their skin.
Do you think having dramatic skin has made you a better person?
Psoriasis has taught me so much, especially to be nice to everyone as you have no idea what people are going through. I’ve definitely learnt how to be compassionate and more empathetic.
Tell us about your experience in being diagnosed with your skin and health conditions.
My first plaque popped up on my thigh when I was eight and I had no idea what it was. I went to two different doctors, before a children’s dermatologist officially diagnosed it as psoriasis. It’s been a real rollercoaster since then as I’ve have to find balance and comfort knowing there is no real cure for it.
I tried SO many different tar based creams, shampoos and conditioners, as well wrapping my skin in glad wrap (which did NOT help, it made it worse!). When my psoriasis was at my worst my dermatologist suggested UV /UVB treatment at Westmead Hospital. It was an interesting experience! You sit in a bed with undies and thongs with a pillow case and wielding mask over your face. I started getting a great tan, my psoriasis faded, but then it came back ten times worth than before. I did UV treatment from the age of 14 to 20, then ended up on an immunosuppressants ‘Cyclosporin’ on and off from 21-32. When I wasn’t using Cyclosporin, I was given Enstilar, which is spray foam you put directly on your psoriasis patches.