An Advocate for Psoriasis

Imagine growing up with your skin multiplying three times the rate at which any other normal skin grows. This is what I have undergone for the past 30 years.

I am Esther Nyawira, a person with a rare condition known as Psoriasis. Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin condition where the skin cells multiply three times faster than normal, which leads to painful irritation and red patches all over my body.

Growing up with this condition has been an uphill journey with challenges. Many people in my community do not understanding my condition, and furthermore are not ready to understand me.

Growing up as a young woman, most of my peers did not understand why I would not use the beauty products they used. They did not understand that the cream they use would burn my skin. I loathed using my medicated creams, which did not have a pleasant smell. But because of my condition, I needed to avoid all other beauty products.

In regards to fashion, I would be cautious with the clothes I wore because I did not want people to see the condition that I had. I used to cover myself completely due to the low self-esteem that had engulfed me. However, wrapping myself in clothes brought about itchiness where I would scrub off the white scales and they would fall where I stood. This made me keep to myself even more since not many people would accept me in their spaces, as they feared that I would leave the scales in their spaces

Due to my low self-esteem, I kept off many suitors who came my way. With my condition, I thought that they would not accept me. Some of them, of course, could not accept my condition and would leave me when they learned of it.

But with the help of other people with rare conditions, I have learned to start accepting my conditions and I am now an advocate for this rare condition.

Three years ago, I got into a relationship with a man who has been supportive and understanding to my condition. He has been my pillar of strength and he holds on to the slogan that “yes, we can”. I am now learning to move away from my insecurities and joining groups like this has been extremely beneficial in my development.