Hi I am Sofia, I am from Venezuela and I work as a Doctor.
In 2010 I was diagnosed with Psoriasis. At that time, I was 12 years old. I didn´t know anything about this condition. I started experimenting with almost every kind of therapy. Ultraviolet light sessions 2-3 times per week. I began to use topic steroids, shampoos with coal tar, capsules of Milk Thistle, Mares milk pills, Vitamin D, Homeopathy, and a lot of things that were not very helpful for me. I started to experiment with Psoriasis in my entire body: Face, scalp, ears, chest, arms, back, and legs.
In 2013 I started attending medical school. Every year I was learning about the human body, and finally got to know everything about my skin condition. But this new knowledge, the stress and the hours of study made me worse. Nevertheless, I have never stopped fighting for my big dream: Becoming a Doctor.
In my country, beauty pageants are a big thing, I know it might seem silly, but it is something that unites the people around Venezuela, and everyone grows up watching these contests with their families. Since I was young, I loved to see Fashion Shows, and I dreamed about becoming a model. But the idea of having lesions all over my skin and showing them to others was terrifying. Despite this, I managed to participate in a Model competition in my country when I was 22 years, so I became the first model in Venezuela to participate in a model show with Psoriasis.
A year ago, I was called to participate in the Miss Latin-American Venezuela. I thought that would be my last chance to participate in a contest, so I decided to do it. I have to say it was very difficult to hear comments at every single rehearsal or practice about my skin. Several times I had to use makeup to hide my condition. When the contest was over, It was harder to accept myself because my self-esteem was very deteriorated.
Finally, this year I graduated from Medical School. One day before the state of emergency due to the Covid – 19 Pandemic, so I started to work in a Hospital immediately. My worry now is about the fact that presently I am being treated with Methotrexate for controlling my Psoriasis. And the idea to be immunosuppressed and exposed every day to the virus at work it is very stressful. As you must know in Venezuela, the Health System has deteriorated over the last 20 years, and our country is in a humanitarian crisis. Despite this, all the Health staff do as best as they can to fight the Covid 19. But this is a reality that we have to fight against.
Well, that’s my story. Now as a Doctor and a Psoriasis patient I must say a few things:
- The most important aspect of getting well is to have a balance between your mental health and your body’s health. Many times, we forget this, and we have to know that controlling the mind is the most powerful therapy we can have.
- The food we ingest has to be as natural as we can get. We have to avoid processed food and fast food, sweet treats, and chocolate (This is very hard for me, like extremely, almost impossible). We should avoid Gluten because it has been hypothesized that there may be a relation between certain food products and immune disorders.
- Natural Vitamin D: Sunlight can decrease itching, redness, and flares. Don’t forget about using sunscreen and not no exceed the recommended doses of sunlight’s
- Don’t forget to go into the Salty Water at the beach. This is going to help you heal.
- Take a bath with cold water to decrease the vasodilation that leads to inflammation.
- Try meditation and do Yoga. This may help you gain more balance between body and mind.
I want to share something that my sister told me: Your body is capable of healing itself.
Don’t forget that your skin is a part of you. Your skin is beautiful, and you have to love it, respect it, and accept it! No one can put this to doubt.
Find out more about Sofia’s journey through her Instagram account @sofiaisea_