The Big Picture

It's said that photos don't lie, but for people living with a health condition, one image may not tell the whole story.

“They say we don't hurt but we know what we go through. Because there's some people, they say, ‘Oh, psoriasis doesn't hurt. It's just your skin peeling.’ No, it's not just your skin peeling. It's like also an infection in your skin and inside your body.”
Adriana Pena Carmona
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Jerrell Trulove
“I think the biggest obstacle was just the stares in public…all or most of mine was on the face. I guess I could have worn a ski mask around in public, but that probably would have raised some more eyebrows…also, for awhile it did interfere with my life, so I had to use a cane temporarily. You know, here I am, 25 years old. I don’t know of anybody else my age that’s walking around having to use a cane all the time.”
Kyle Burgoyne
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Jesse Patterson
“Psoriasis isn't on the health agenda as it should be so it doesn't get awareness like other conditions. Living with psoriasis often means for me, that I can't go to work because I haven't slept or I've reached the end of my tether with it. In these situations you can often feel guilty to take these actions but actually in reality this is fine because this is what it means to live with a chronic condition.”
Holly Dillon
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Lewis Khan
“I never wanted to go to a water park because I had to be in a bathing suit, stand in line, and be close to people, so people could really see it. I think I remember as a kid being upset like, ‘I don't understand. Why do I have this? Why don't other kids have this?’ ”
Kirsten Jones
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Thomas Van Veen
“So we were together for like nine years but it was getting very, I guess, emotionally abusive because he would say things to keep me there, he would say things like, ‘You know, no one's gonna love you like I do with all that stuff on your skin.’ He would kind of...I really was brainwashed to believe that with psoriasis no one...I can't date anybody else. No one's gonna wanna marry me, it's so unsightly and gross. And it was, it really was, it looked like a burn victim, I was that covered, I was like 80 percent. It was crazy. So I stayed because I was scared that I would never be a mom or be a wife, and live this life that I had imagined. ”
Aimee Perez
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Lisha Riabinina
“It stopped me from wanting attention. I definitely shied away from having attention… it's sort of weird for me because I like to perform, I was in the hip-hop step team in college, I'm in a fraternity where we did shows all of the time. And so, it was hard for me to be a part of that because I was like, ‘OK, well, I have to keep this covered. I can't do this, I can't do that.’ So, if we couldn't come to some resolution, I just had to back out of it.”
Reginald Gooden
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Stan Kaady
“I didn't work for two-and-a-half years, and I basically had to learn how to do everything again because it weakened my body and my walking, so I had a cane for a while. And literally, in like a couple of days, I went from like being healthy and walking and fine to I couldn't walk. The pain was just extreme. It would take me 10 minutes just to walk to the bathroom.”
Jessica Howard
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Lizzy Sullivan
“Many people said, ‘I feel this sculpture. I know how this feels. I know this posture, this feeling of just...’ I don't know, this introverted, maybe depressed, just that feeling you get when your body is not cooperating, and you don't have a choice, you know?”
Valeri Trombley
Psoriasis
“I joined this college Christian fellowship group on campus. And that group really accepted me and kind of empowered me to share and speak up…I spoke in front of a large group that we had once a month and just shared my psoriasis story. I shared about my faith and how that helped me overcome just a lot of different struggles, physically, emotionally.”
Howard Chang
Psoriasis Patient
“Honestly, I don’t remember ever being like formally diagnosed…but I started showing symptoms probably around I think 12 or 13…so the best time of a young man’s life for it to break out, you know, those young teenage years.”
Chris Pettit
Psoriasis
Photographer: Daniel and Lindsay Stark
“The largest obstacles I face with psoriasis are the ongoing pain and challenge of the skin condition itself. It feels like it's constant, and rarely clears up or goes away.”
Laura Deanovic
Psoriasis Patient
“I’m somebody that works with my hands and I do decorative arts and I do paintings and it just made it much more difficult to work.”
Noah Post
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Lizzy Sullivan
“Knowledge is power. I’ve always felt that way, and if I don’t know something I need to know it. And if I’m stressed out, that’s the best way to distract me, is just get my mind somewhere else…it takes me out of the situations because it’s turning a negative into a positive.”
Jacey Beth
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Lizzy Sullivan
“When I have an outbreak and it’s really red and angry and I’m about to go teach yoga, I have a moment of ‘Should I cover myself up with long sleeves?’ I call it my ‘poor me’ moment.”
Anne Falkowski
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Lizzy Sullivan
“I've been kickboxing for quite a few years, and I actually thought I was going to have to stop because the first doctor I went to said, 'Absolutely not. You cannot do this.'”
Jaime Lyn Moy
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Bryan MItchell
“It is difficult to feel at my best when I make a first impression on people, because I am worrying if they notice my psoriasis or if they are going to ask me about it.”
Alec Centeno
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Chris Carpenter
“I felt like somebody who had fallen out of a window and was clinging to the ledge for dear life.”
Janice Helvy
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Teresa Lee Photography
“I used to get bullied at school. I was locked in this vicious cycle where I would stress about it, and then I would hide it, and then it would get worse.”
Damini Misty
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: David Wilson Clarke
“I feel like right now I'm currently in the hardest part of my psoriasis.”
Brianne Wong
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Peter Amend
“I got really depressed, so bad that I told my husband I'd give him a divorce. I'd let him out since I didn't know where the psoriasis was going to go.”
Vickie Wilkerson
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Kelly Hicks
“As long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to be a musician.”
Ben Tiberio
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Heather Funk
“I stopped cooking for my big Italian family and friends because of the psoriasis on my arms.”
Brittany Ineson
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Liz Sullivan
“My parents raised me to say, 'Thank God it isn't something worse.'”
Carrie Sweeney
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Brett Kramer
“Three years ago I realized that the more I ran, the more my psoriasis was kept at bay.”
Gabriel Hortwitz
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Thomas Van Veen
“In the third trimester of my pregnancy I had a lot of flare-ups. I was anxious and stressed about the baby coming.”
Sabrina Skiles
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Justin Calhoun
“I don't believe that everybody's psoriasis is exactly the same. It happens differently with different people.”
Scott Randell
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Kent Mercurio
“No matter how much I was covered, from head to toe, it still hurt to go outside when I was dealing with the outbreaks.”
Sonya Feliciano
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Brett Kramer
“I’ve wanted to jump out of my skin. Almost every part of my body is affected by illness.”
Jessica Gimeno
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Brett Kramer
“I still do suffer from the looks and the stares. I mean, you never get used to it. You just don't. I'm a cake designer. I've had customers cancel orders.”
Jennifer Pellegrin
Psoriasis Patient
Photographer: Kent Mercurio