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.

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
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
Psoriasis isn't on the health agenda as it should be so it doesn't get awareness like other conditions. Living with psoriasis often means for me, that I can't go to work because I haven't slept or I've reached the end of my tether with it. In these situations you can often feel guilty to take these actions but actually in reality this is fine because this is what it means to live with a chronic condition.
Holly Dillon
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Lewis Khan
I never wanted to go to a water park because I had to be in a bathing suit, stand in line, and be close to people, so people could really see it. I think I remember as a kid being upset like, ‘I don't understand. Why do I have this? Why don't other kids have this?’
Kirsten Jones
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Thomas Van Veen
So we were together for like nine years but it was getting very, I guess, emotionally abusive because he would say things to keep me there, he would say things like, ‘You know, no one's gonna love you like I do with all that stuff on your skin.’ He would kind of...I really was brainwashed to believe that with psoriasis no one...I can't date anybody else. No one's gonna wanna marry me, it's so unsightly and gross. And it was, it really was, it looked like a burn victim, I was that covered, I was like 80 percent. It was crazy. So I stayed because I was scared that I would never be a mom or be a wife, and live this life that I had imagined.
Aimee Perez
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Lisha Riabinina
It stopped me from wanting attention. I definitely shied away from having attention… it's sort of weird for me because I like to perform, I was in the hip-hop step team in college, I'm in a fraternity where we did shows all of the time. And so, it was hard for me to be a part of that because I was like, ‘OK, well, I have to keep this covered. I can't do this, I can't do that.’ So, if we couldn't come to some resolution, I just had to back out of it.
Reginald Gooden
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Stan Kaady
I didn't work for two-and-a-half years, and I basically had to learn how to do everything again because it weakened my body and my walking, so I had a cane for a while. And literally, in like a couple of days, I went from like being healthy and walking and fine to I couldn't walk. The pain was just extreme. It would take me 10 minutes just to walk to the bathroom.
Jessica Howard
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Lizzy Sullivan