Overcoming the hurdles of Psoriasis with Jude Duncan

This summer we have been celebrating all skin types with the help of some amazing skin and body positivity warriors. Our last summer skin positivity guest is the lovely Jude from @judeavrilduncan - ready to kick off Psoriasis Awareness Month.

Unfortunately psoriasis is not something that we can hide or cover, it is visible and noticeable when a person looks at you. This can be hard to deal with and speak about. However at Salcura we don't shy away from talking about our skin nor does Jude! That's why this Psoriasis month, we wanted to take this opportunity to spread awareness about the condition and show support for those who have been affected by it. In this dedicated psoriasis blog, Jude tells us how she has learned to understand and support her skin.

Tell us about you and your skin journey?
Hello! I’m Jude, I’m 29 and I live in Glasgow, Scotland. The condition I have is psoriasis. Psoriasis is an auto-immune condition which appears on the skin. Most people’s skin renews itself every 4 to 6 weeks, whereas patches of my skin renew itself every 4 to 6 days which cause the patches of red, flaky, irritated skin.

I was 20 years old and had just started my third year at university when I noticed a small red mark growing above my left eyebrow. I wasn’t sure what it was and went to the doctor after a few weeks when it didn’t go away. I’ve always had various skin issues from adult acne to shingles, and lots of rashes and reactions. My doctor thought it was just another reaction and that it would die down soon with some cream. I went away and started using the cream to no affect. After a few months, I decided to go back to the doctor as my patch was getting bigger and that is when I was told I had psoriasis. Given another cream and told to try that. Again, this didn’t work and I gave up hope that it was ever going to go away.

In November 2014, almost a year after my initial diagnosis, my parent persuaded me to go to the doctors again to seek help for my psoriasis and depression. It was then that I was referred to a dermatologist to receive further treatment for psoriasis. At the end of 2018 I was also diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.

Could you tell us a time when your skin was really bad and how you felt?
I wasn’t even that bothered about the condition at first, even though it was on my face. However, in the run-up to Christmas 2013, a member of the public approached me as I was working on a High Street retail 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. 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. My skin wasn’t even that bad at the time, just a few small patches on my forehead but it’s the worst I’ve ever felt or been made to feel about my skin.

How can you make yourself feel better about your skin even in days when you feel most down?
Firstly, I acknowledge the feelings about how I am feeling about myself and my skin when I’m feeling down. Not acknowledging these feels in the moment will mean they will linger and you could end up feeling worse further down the line. After I acknowledge my feels, I try and say some nice things about myself that day. Whether that’s about how I look, for completely a task (even something simple like brushing my teeth or showering, or I take my dog a long walk and get some fresh air. That way I’ve tried to clear my head and it’s a little bit of exercise which can help make you feel better!

That doesn’t always work though and some days I curl up in bed, watch re-runs of my favourite TV show and try again the next day. It's important to always listen to your body and not beat yourself for doing that. Taking time to look after yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself.

Tell us about the positive things that have come from having psoriasis?
The online community, the friends I’ve made and the opportunities that I have had by sharing my story and living with psoriasis. I have worked with brands I never thought I would have had the opportunity to work with but more importantly I’ve made lifelong friends through the online community. Some I see regularly and some I’ve never met in person but are great internet friends who are always there for me when I need them.

Tell us your go tips & products?
My number one tip is hydration, hydration, and more hydration! This is both on the inside and out. Keeping yourself hydrated from the inside by drinking plenty of water and keeping yourself hydrated on the outside by using hydrating products such as the Salcura Bioskin Dermaserum, or Dermalogica’s Ultra Cleanser.

Salcura supports your skin
Having Psoriasis also means adapting to your skins changes as well as your skin care routine. Here at Salcura we provide skin care products for those suffering with Psoriasis, so we can all have a summer glow and join in with summer positivity. Our Bioskin range naturally supports and soothes your dry, itchy and dehydrated skin. It consists of our Dermaspray Intensive & Zeoderm Skin Repair Moisturiser which helps the skin to regain strength in order to find a healthy balance.

We are extremely thankful to Jude for inspiring us with her story. Don't forget to head over to Jude's Instagram to show her some love and support.