One year later, it covered 80% of my body.
I wasn’t sick, really. I was an energetic kid, perfectly healthy in every other way.
But I looked like I was dying.
A pretty little girl, covered in a painful, angry red rash that outsiders could only guess was an horrific burn, a terrible allergic reaction, or maybe even leprosy. It was quite shocking to see, and believe me, it was pretty horrible to live through.
I knew I looked bad. I knew I wasn’t normal, and I hated it. Nobody else in my family had psoriasis. I didn’t know anyone else who had anything remotely similar.
I felt like a monster, a mutant.
Every stare, every deliberately hurtful comment and every accidentally barbed aside, would sear into my psyche, creating wounds that would never heal. It seemed nobody, not my parents, nor friends, couldn’t possibly understand what I was going through, as I spent nights crying myself to sleep, and scratching at my skin until I bleed.
I was just a little girl, and I felt alone, ugly, and ashamed.
I knew that it shouldn’t be this way, from the start. Other little girls shouldn’t have to go through what I went through.
Looking back now, I believe, that with the proper support and communication I could avoided stress-related flare ups and years of pain, as I struggled to deal with being a girl, then a woman, who could never, would never be perfect.
I don’t want another little girl with psoriasis to feel like she’s a monster. I don’t want someone with any other imperfections, be it eczema, acne, whatever – I don’t want them to feel like they’re not beautiful.
I want to build awareness, and acceptance around skin disorders and superficial flaws in the hope that little girls, teenagers, and women around the world get a chance to feel OK about themselves. Comfortable in their own skin. Proud to be who they are.
I want us to support each other and gain inspiration from others who are beautifully flawed. I want to give others what I didn’t have – help – with being a girl and a woman, who likes to wear nice clothes, make-up, have relationships and have fun without letting her skin issues rule her life. I want us to be able to uncover our best selves, starting from within. And trust me, I’m still working on it too.
It shouldn’t matter what you look like. Everyone has flaws. We’re all pretty imperfect.
I’d love to hear from you, by email at hannahprettyimperfectATgmailDOTcom, or follow me on Twitter @prttyimperfect.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding your medical condition.