Happy Psoriasis Awareness Month!
Hi Jenny, Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Jenny, I’m 27 years old and from Glasgow, Scotland. I set up an Instagram called Scabby Queen to talk openly about struggles with psoriasis and aim to create a platform that people can share their stories on and promote body positivity!
When were you diagnosed with Psoriasis?
When I was age 14, which was 13 years ago.
What do you think caused it?
I’m not too sure actually. My dad has mild psoriasis, so it could be due to it being hereditary, but when I was around that age, I started experiencing issues with anxiety. I do think that anxiety and stress is a contributing factor.
What foods do you avoid?
I avoid red meat and try to avoid dairy as well. I have been strict with my food previously by sticking to an alkaline-based diet and then vegan. I did see benefits with eating alkaline, but to be honest, it is quite difficult for myself to sustain as I enjoy eating out at restaurants and just cooking and eating different foods in general.
What foods do you eat to heal?
I find celery juice one of the most effective foods for healing. Celery is a natural anti-inflammatory, and I like to have one juice in the morning on an empty stomach.
Do you avoid Gluten and what do you think about gluten sensitivity in Psoriasis?
Not just now. The link between gluten and psoriasis is something that I’ve only recently started looking in to. Maybe I’ve just put it off because I love bread so much, haha. This is something I am going to explore in the near future… I am currently waiting on results from a food intolerance and nutrition deficiency test coming back, and I have a feeling that gluten is going to be an intolerance of mine. If it is, I will try my hardest to avoid foods that contain gluten. While I wait, I will eat as much bread as I possibly can…..
What to eat for breakfast?
Most mornings, I try to have celery juice on an empty stomach when I can. For breakfast, I usually make a protein smoothie with almond milk, banana, spinach, banana flavor protein & super greens powder. (you can find the recipe on my Instagram scabbyqueen_). Lunch is probably when I would be eating products that contain gluten because I loooove avocado, toast, poached eggs, and mushrooms.
Top 3 triggers?
- Cheese/cows milk
Tips for healing, how do you fight flare ups?
I would say, be patient and persistent with creams. Have a good sleep routine. I started working night shifts for my job, and my psoriasis got so bad, and it was because I was out of a routine – I had to stop working night shifts because I just was not willing to put my body through it anymore. Also, try to relax and stay calm… I believe that self-care is so important, and if your skin is in a bad way, it can have such a negative impact on your mental wellbeing, so it’s essential to have a self-care routine that makes you happy. Also important not to feel guilty – I have found myself feeling guilty and blaming myself for my skin flaring up, for example, thinking that it is my fault because I ate something that triggered it. The guilt just adds more pressure and makes you feel worse. Remember, your skin is BEAUTIFUL, flare-up, or no flare-up!!!!
What would you tell those who are newly diagnosed and looking for answers?
Firstly I would like to say, just because you have a skin condition does not mean you are any less beautiful than someone who does not. Being diagnosed with a skin condition is terrifying and difficult to process. I used to deny and hide my skin condition to everyone, but I realized there is absolutely nothing to hide or wrong with having psoriasis. I would also recommend not putting pressure on yourself to feel confident with your skin. Having psoriasis does make that really hard, but the confidence will gain over time.
Try to surround yourself with body positivity. Instagram can be a horrible platform to make people feel bad about themselves because it contains photos of celebrities with ‘perfect’ bodies and ‘perfect’ skin sitting on a beach drinking a milkshake but, it does not have to be that. Since creating Scabby Queen, I’ve come to understand there is such a huge platform for body positivity on Instagram that shows real people, real bodies, and real skin. Try and surround your feed with that, rather than the fake shit. Lastly, I would like to say, find your creams and find your triggers and try and avoid the triggers, but don’t stress yourself if you struggle. If alcohol triggers you, but you enjoy a sociable drink with friends – then do it. All we can do is try our best and hope for the best. STILL SCABBY, STILL A QUEEN
Find out more about Jenny’s journey through her Instagram account @scabbyqueen