Psoriasis and Body Image

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Joni Kazantzis was 15 years old when she woke up one morning covered with red, scaly spots that looked a lot like chickenpox. It happened overnight, so her mother thought it may have been an allergic reaction. But within the same week, she got a diagnosis: guttate psoriasis. That’s a type of psoriasis that shows up as small, round spots called papules. The papules are raised and sometimes scaly.

As a high schooler, being covered in spots made Kazantzis incredibly self-conscious and affected her confidence. In fact, she says she has no photos from that time because she wouldn’t let anyone take them. Treatment was an ordeal, too.

“When I was first diagnosed, I was sent home with a bunch of creams — really greasy and gross creams — with the instructions to put them on before bed and put on Saran Wrap to make sure it stayed on all night. I just remember it feeling disgusting and…

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