The Big Picture

It's said that photos don't lie, but for people living with a health condition, one image may not tell the whole story.

You're just too tired to go to the gym. Like you can't get out of your bed. You really want to, but some days you're just so fatigued.
Craig Brodsky
Multiple Sclerosis Patient
Photographer: Thomas Van Veen
What I tried to train myself to do is to not let the psoriasis really bother me too much. I did the normal things of covering up and treating the spots that were visible. But for the most part, I just didn't let it bother me.
Huy Ngo
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Austin Cope
My psoriasis was just something I was really embarrassed of. It was everywhere; on my legs, on my torso, on my back, and then even my arms. I wanted to hide it all the time. I would pick my clothes based on it, and it would affect pretty much all my choices.
Amanda Rosa
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Lisa Muller
I hated it because it made me feel like an outsider, it made me feel just gross. It destroyed my self-confidence and it made me super insecure. It was a vicious circle. Weeping eczema appeared all over my hands, and those were the tiny pustules that erupted and dried up my skin and set off psoriasis.
Morgan Cefalu
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Jonathan Washer
It was just a few spots on my shin. I thought, whatever, a couple of rashes here and there. And then it just progressed and started getting worse, and I thought ‘this is not good. In the wintertime, it’s a little worse. It was enough to make me self-conscious about it and make me pull my sleeves down a little bit more.
PJ Blackford
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: DRAKEphoto
My first symptoms were probably when I was about 19. I was doing hair and my hand started breaking out. My hands and my feet were in pain all the time. I knew that I had psoriasis. But I didn't really understand it. I'd go to work and by the time I got home, I was in a lot of pain.
Tina Fraterrigo
Patient
Photographer: Jesse Patterson
There's the material you learn in Karate...in the martial arts...about 'true' confidence...it's a whole other level of confidence and you quickly learn where yours is not. At times, you learn by falling, the very thing you have been trying to avoid. Then, you re-learn it properly so you don't get hurt...equally important, you learn how to stand back up!  And the more you practice, the stronger you get, and the stronger you get, the 'truer' your confidence to live your journey, your way.
Shelly Lowe
Multiple Sclerosis Patient
Photographer: Lizzy Sullivan
They say we don't hurt but we know what we go through. Because there's some people, they say, ‘Oh, psoriasis doesn't hurt. It's just your skin peeling.’ No, it's not just your skin peeling. It's like also an infection in your skin and inside your body.
Adriana Pena Carmona
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Jerrell Trulove
I think the biggest obstacle was just the stares in public…all or most of mine was on the face. I guess I could have worn a ski mask around in public, but that probably would have raised some more eyebrows…also, for awhile it did interfere with my life, so I had to use a cane temporarily. You know, here I am, 25 years old. I don’t know of anybody else my age that’s walking around having to use a cane all the time.
Kyle Burgoyne
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Jesse Patterson
I was 19 at the time, and living in San Diego and very active. I was surfing, hiking, taking my dogs for walks, jogging on the beach, I would work out every day, I would work a lot at the restaurant. And when this arthritis happened, I couldn't do any of that. I could barely get out of bed, and there were days that I did feel very broken and I wished like, ‘Why? Why does it have to be me?’
Melody Kopsch
Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient
Photographer: Peter Amend