Advice on Managing Your Skin from a Psoriasis Advocate
As this month is Psoriasis Awareness Month, we thought it only fitting to offer some advice and support to those of you who have recently been diagnosed with the skin condition, or if you’re simply looking for a new way to help manage your symptoms.
We recently got in touch with Jude, a psoriasis advocate from Glasgow who has been living with psoriasis for 8 years, and psoriatic arthritis for 3 years. With just under 5,000 followers on Instagram, Jude is known for her honesty and openness about her journey with psoriasis. She offers advice on products she uses, her skincare routine and helps others to really understand how she’s navigated her own journey.
Image credit: Judith Duncan @judeavrilduncan
With that in mind, we caught up with Jude and asked her a little more about her story.
Being diagnosed with psoriasis
We asked Jude how she felt when she was diagnosed with psoriasis, compared to how she feels now after 8 years. We hope this can offer some support to those who might have recently received their own diagnosis.
“I wasn’t bothered about the condition at first, even though it was on my face. However, in the run-up to Christmas 2013, just after I was diagnosed, I had a member of the public approached me as I was working on the High Street counter and told that she thought ‘people had to be pretty to work here’. I was devastated by this comment and it deeply affected my confidence.
I became very insecure about my psoriasis, and I was fearful that everyone was looking at it and judging me for it. It became a very lonely place for me to be; I felt no one understood what I was going through. I was heavily depressed and filled with anxiety. I eventually decided that I wasn’t going to let this comment get me down anymore. It didn’t happen overnight but eventually I decided that if anyone had an issue with my skin and how I look, that is a reflection on them and not me.
I never wanted to be known by or defined by my psoriasis. This is a condition that I have and I’m living with but I am certainly not defined by. Psoriasis has also been a positive in my life. Through having the condition, I learnt to accept and love myself more than I previously did. I’ve also met wonderful friends, through the online community, that I would never have met had I not been diagnosed with psoriasis, and given opportunities to work with brands that I could previously only dream of.”
Jude also offered the following advice:
“You are not defined by your psoriasis. So many people with the condition believe that the condition is all people see and it can be so hard to change the mindset - I know, I’ve been there. Just remember, you are living with psoriasis, not defined by it and if anyone says otherwise then that’s on them, not you.”
Managing psoriasis symptoms and flare-ups
Jude let us in on some of the best methods she’s found to manage her own psoriasis, in the hope that others might also find comfort in knowing there are ways of managing the condition. It’s important to remember that psoriasis can affect everyone differently, including an impact on mental health as well as physical.
Jude told us:
“I like to ensure I have a good mix of medication and also a holistic approach. I work with my dermatologist and rheumatologist to make sure I am on the right medication that works for me. I also ensure I eat right, workout regularly and keep myself well hydrated.”
Having a great self-care routine can be really helpful for your peace of mind and making sure you feel more at ease. We asked Jude what her go-to self-care routine consists of.
“I love to put on a face mask, grab some ice cream and watch old episodes of The Simpsons (my favourite tv show). Sometimes I just need some time to
myself, especially if I am flaring and itchy. I also think it’s important to practice self-care every day, this can be taking your medication, cancelling plans, or washing your hair. Self-care is self-love!”
When we asked Jude about which products she uses, we were so pleased to hear that Westlab bath salts play a helpful role.
“Whenever I am having a psoriasis flare or arthritis flare I love jumping in a bath with Westlab salts to soothe my skin and muscles. It really relaxes me, makes my skin less irritated and allows me to de-stress.”
Image credit: Judith Duncan @judeavrilduncan
You can check out more about Jude’s journey and advice by visiting her Instagram page @judeavrilduncan.