I never thought the day would come where my skin would be clear of psoriasis. Although not perfect, a biologic has rid my skin of psoriasis by 80 percent. The treatment requires shots every 3 months, and I’ve been on the drug for about 6 months. I was originally against the use of biologics because of the possible side effects, but after speaking with my doctor about goals for my skin, I decided to go for it.
I never thought I’d be wearing short sleeves or having my stomach out comfortably, without worrying about the stares from other people. It’s a new, liberating feeling. People without psoriasis just don’t understand how good it feels to walk in a clothing store and feel like you now have more shopping options.
Now the following statement may surprise you. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or unsatisfied, but clear skin has honestly created new fears. But why in the world after fighting to be psoriasis-free for over 20 years, would I have fears?
I should be showing off my new skin and conquering all those things I once feared to do. But along with this "new skin," I am also going through a divorce, which actually started right around the time I started the new medicine.
When my husband and I met, I was about 90 percent covered. The only part of my body that really wasn’t affected was my face, as well as the palms of my hands and feet. Dating wasn’t tough for me, but the thought and willingness of being intimate with someone honestly scared me. I always worried about how the guy would view my skin, in addition to if he would be disgusted and not accept it. While I did date, I hardly got too serious with anyone. But everyone I seriously dated was aware of my disease. My ex-husband accepted every part of my psoriasis, the doctor visits, the moodiness, the insecurities, the physical part of it, everything. He was honestly the first person I was comfortable enough with to show it to But now that we are divorcing, dating will again become a part of my life.
When I met my husband, he was fully aware of everything he was getting into with my skin. The next person I meet will only hear of the stories. They will meet the "Alisha" who has normal psoriasis-free skin.
(Image on the left is from 2011; right is from 2015)
The following statements are fears I think about, now having new, clear, psoriasis-free skin:
What if the Medicine Stops Working? I’m fearful of my body being covered in psoriasis again. To go from psoriasis-free skin to where I was a few months ago is scary, but a reality I need to consider. I think about the effect this may have on meeting someone new.
What if I have to Stop the Medicine? I’ve talked to my doctor about the possibility of being pregnant while on this medicine. Although kids are not something I’m worried about now, it is a concern in the near future. While there are some biologics you can be on while pregnant, this drug is not one of those.
Will Side Effects Affect Me? I also worry about having to stop using the medicine due to side effects. So far, I haven’t experienced any drastic effects, but I need more lab work to determine nothing is going on internally.
Although these fears are present, in this case I’m learning to not worry so much about about the future and just enjoy the present! Have you experienced any of these fears?
Alisha Bridges is a freelance health writer on the topics of sexual health, skin care, and psoriasis. She has lived and thrived with psoriasis for over two decades. Alisha is the creator of www.Beingmeinmyownskin.com, a site dedicated to sharing what it’s like to live with psoriasis. She is also a student at Georgia State University pursuing a career as a physician assistant with a concentration in dermatology. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @alishambridges.