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At one point, my body was about 70 percent covered with scaly red patches of skin. The worst part was that it was on my hands, and I could cover my arms, legs, torso...I couldn't cover my hands, and that's what people noticed.
Once, I visited a salon for a pedicure and was asked to leave, because when I rolled up my pants, the pedicurist was horrified at the sight of my skin. I think she thought what I had was contagious and she might catch it by touching my legs. I never felt so uncomfortable in my life.
Shortly after my divorce, I felt nervous to enter the dating scene again having plaque psoriasis because I was too scared to be honest about my skin, and how people would react. It was easier to just stay covered up and keep people at a distance. But while dating, I met a man I really liked and on our fourth date, I decided I needed to tell him that I had plaque psoriasis, something I had covered up during our times together. I'll never forget when I pulled up my sleeve and saw the look on his face, almost in shock, and I thought for sure he was going to get up and walk out of the restaurant. But he did something so profound at that point - he pulled up his sleeve and told me he had psoriasis too and he knew what I was going through. We've now been dating for more than five years!
Looking back on my journey of living with plaque psoriasis, I'm reminded of all of the obstacles and challenges I've encountered along the way, and today I am thankful for having a dermatologist who has worked so closely with me over the years to help manage my condition.
See Janssen Biotech, Inc. through the years in our interactive timeline.
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