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She "stuck" to me when I was 15, but it's only been a few months now that I call her her real name. Once I was ashamed of her and hid her. For over 10 years it was some kind of "skin disease" for me. Now I introduce myself like this: my name is Dominika Jeżewska and I have psoriasis.

I just scratched myself …

-Oh God, it could be psoriasis!- my mother shouted when, one day in 2007, she noticed the first skin lesions on my elbows. She took care of me extremely since I was 1 year old and it turned out that I have nephrotic syndrome. It is a disease in which the body excretes protein in the urine, and in order to maintain it, you need to take steroids. So from almost my childhood I was "kept on steroids", under a shade, in the safe circle of my family.

-What kind of psoriasis? I just scratched myself, and you invent new diseases for me!- I shouted at my mother. For God's sake! I was 15, I was a teenager, I was discovering my female body, I wanted to please myself and others. For years, I had watched the psoriatic lesions on my mother's friend's body and argued that "something like this" might have happened to me as well. But when my arms, legs, stomach were "covered" and a few changes appeared on my scalp, I humbly allowed myself to see a dermatologist.

Then I was ashamed

-Very few people around me knew that I had psoriasis. I tried to hide it. Only my closest friends, who even visited me in the hospital, knew about it. I honestly admit that I do not remember if I told them directly that I had psoriasis or they found out when they saw changes on my body. I know one thing, at that time I didn't like to talk about this disease. Fortunately, I have never lost my friends due to psoriasis and I have never felt stuck with my fingers. I think it was because I was trying to hide, I was wearing long-sleeved clothes to prevent people from asking questions about my illness. I remember one occasion when a friend asked if I was bitten by mosquitoes because my legs were so red, and I just nodded and didn't want to tell the truth .

You won't be different?

The very first doctor left me disillusioned. It's psoriasis! From where? It is a hereditary disease, so maybe one of my relatives left me such a "inheritance"? AfterIn the family interview, we suspected for a moment my grandfather, who admitted that he once had "some sort of eczema" but quickly passed. Ultimately, it was concluded that psoriasis appeared for me as a reaction of the body after stopping steroids. This was the time when the nephrotic syndrome healed and I stopped taking it.

-Face it. This will stay with you for the rest of your life- the doctor told me goodbye. Her words went deep into my 15-year-old head. I lost hope and will to fight the disease. Why should I take medication and lubricate myself, if the doctor said that it won't do anything anyway?

My mother and I went from one doctor to another in search of an effective therapy. Ba! Even to those for Chinese medicine, because what if the herbs known in China for centuries will help me …? So I was getting new drugs, ointments, herbal mixtures, but I must admit that I was not consistent in using them. If the new drug did not work for 2 weeks, I threw it disappointed, reinforcing the belief that nothing will help my psoriasis, that I will not be any other …

Education at school

- I believe that school should be a friendly place for young people with psoriasis. First of all, lessons should be organized on topics related to various skin diseases, not only psoriasis. A sick person should feel safe because, as we know, stress in psoriasis exacerbates symptoms. It is worth organizing more social campaigns with the participation of young, sick people or performances at academies in which situations of STYGMATIZATION and EXCLUSION are shown.

In addition to psoriasis, we also have atopic dermatitis, urticaria or acne, so it is worth talking about it from an early age.

This is the last one!

-I won't go to any more! They all tell me and prescribe the same thing and nothing works!- I was excited when I found out that my mother had an appointment with another specialist and that I was to go with her to Lublin. But as it turned out, this doctor treated me completely differently. He started with my… head. He put me in his hospital for a month to prove to me that psoriasis cannot be cured but can be cured.

It was shock therapy. I spent 4 weeks away from home among people I didn't know, and I left them with psoriasis patches that were hardly visible and with the conviction that what is most important in the treatment of psoriasis is a successful, cool relationship: patient-doctor. A doctor who can talk to you, convince you, give you faith and energy. One you trust.

I know what I'm saying … After I passed my secondary school-leaving examination and moved to study in WarsawI started going to one of the capital's clinics, and there I experienced the opposite situation. The doctors who "looked after" me changed so often that I did not remember their names and faces, and conversations with them were limited to answering the question:How many tubes of ointments should you write?

Such a "skin disease" …

For 9 years my illnesses gave me a little "rest." The nephrotic syndrome has regressed. Psoriasis was worse. In fact, it was worse with my acceptance of psoriasis. The skin lesions were smaller, but there were. I hid them tightly under my clothes. Especially those on the legs. Because the ones on the elbows were on the back and theoretically you couldn't see them. And when people stared at my legs, I thought it was not out of admiration for them, but because they detest my skin. Though I admit that I have never experienced rejection due to psoriasis. Only once, when I was in a sanatorium by the sea and paraded there in shorts, a child asked his parents loudly:Oh, what is this lady on her feet …?

Have I felt sorry for myself? In the beginning, yes. On the other hand, I did not call psoriasis by name for many years. I did not admit to her, I did not like being talked about in front of me, I called her enigmatically: a skin disease. Even before my future husband. Psoriasis was also my excuse for a while. I blamed her for my bad days and failures. Or I used it when I didn't want to do something, e.g. learn to swim and go to the swimming pool.

Psoriasis, however, did not prevent me from finishing my studies (food technology and human nutrition at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences), taking up an interesting job in a consulting company dealing with food law, as well as getting married to a boy with whom I "dated "From the 3rd grade of high school.

Tame psoriasis

In 2016, after an untreated infection, nephrotic syndrome returned, and as a result of weakened immunity, also psoriasis. There was so much water in my body that I was swollen like a pumpkin. However, I was given the drug quickly and both conditions receded again.

-How about having a child?- I started dreaming carefully in 2022. My desire was mixed with fear. I am afraid my child will also have psoriasis. I am afraid that after pregnancy, when the psoriasis lesions regress, it will come back more severely. Doctors did not help with the decision. The gynecologist felt that I had to stop taking my psoriasis medication, which could interfere with the normal development of the fetus. The nephrologist said I could take it and nothing bad would happen. So, just in case, I stopped taking it, but after a week of "weaning"psoriasis is back.

Looking at my "showered" legs, for the first time I felt an inner impulse to finally stop hiding from the world. I found information about theI'm a Biedronka campaign and took part in an artistic photo session in which I showed my psoriasis lesions in public.

And then I went to my Lublin doctor for treatment. I spent 2 weeks in his hospital on diagnostic tests, irradiation with lamps and lubricating with ointments. Later, I consistently followed all the recommendations in the privacy of my home, not forgetting a single day. It lasted for two months. And that was the time I finally accepted my psoriasis. A resolute, wise, joyful 13-year-old girl with advanced changes on the head and face, with whom I shared a hospital room, also helped me. She gave me an example of how to speak loudly and proudly about your illness, how to make it an important part of your life, not an "emotional disturbance".

Thanks to my hospital friend, on October 29, 2022, on the World Psoriasis Day, Mrs. Łuska was born on Instagram …

"Your illness can become your friend"

This is the main motto of Mrs. Łuski. My husband told me the nickname, because my psoriatic skin lesions resemble a tiny, slightly shimmering fish scale. In the first posts, I showed this husk of mine before and after the treatment. Many people have expressed admiration that I was able to heal my psoriasis so well, and have asked for advice on what works and what doesn't. So I started to post posts showing what works for me.

Now I was revealing more and more "secrets" from the life of Mrs. Łuski. Over 600 followers watch me eat, run and exercise, and even photos from my honeymoon to the Dead Sea, whose s alt water is a wonderful balm for psoriasis. Like the balm for the soul is knowing that through your experiences you can help others cope with illness. Biggest dream? Now? To make people aware that psoriasis is fun to live with and that you can make friends with it.

Psoriasis is like the sea

- I like to think about my illness not only in terms of the disease itself . “Psoriasis is relatively calm when the sun is shining, it can be asleep like the sea in summer, where the wind is just a gentle breeze. However, it happens that just as a strong wind comes in at sea and a storm begins, the psoriasis returns with a double force‼ Wave after wave hits the shore then, it does not look at the fact that it can destroy sand castles.

Similarly, psoriasis disturbs our balanceorganism, it violates our skin and dispels hope for a better tomorrow. Just as you can't see the end of the sea, you can't see the end of the disease …

Then everything calms down again, nature returns to balance, the body regenerates and becomes calmer. Man is helpless in the face of the forces of nature, but he should not be helpless in the face of his disease "

But will he handle the pool?

- I've avoided going to the swimming pool terribly in the past. It wasn't until this year that I broke through and finally learned to swim. I think it is worth noting that not everyone has a swimming pool . Some people have more irritated skin after contact with chlorine, so watch how our skin reacts.

Unpleasant glances will happen and we have no influence on that. -We should realize that we have no influence on the thoughts and reactions of other people, but we do have a great influence on our own thoughts. If we are used to our disease, even crooked eyes should not make us feel worse because we know our worth.

The Chief Sanitary Inspector has signed a statement on people suffering from psoriasis, in which it is stated that psoriasis is not an infectious disease and skin lesions that are a symptom of this disease do not pose he alth risks for other users of the swimming pool. If someone asks a person suffering from psoriasis to leave the pool, please refer to such a document.

On the website of the Polish Association of Patients with Psoriasis "Psoriasis" there is also a list of swimming pools that take part in the "Friendly Swimming Pool" campaign. People suffering from psoriasis are certainly welcome in such places. It is similar with the SPA. It is worth looking for those that offer treatment packages for people suffering from psoriasis.

-I think you need to change the way you think about our disease, starting with ourselves. Let's not be negative, but look for different solutions.

5 commandments of Lady Luska:
  1. Lubricate yourself every day!Ointments, lotions, regularly several times a day. Even when you come home from work, half-conscious from fatigue, or from a party in the morning.
  2. Live actively!Fill each day tightly with activities and physical activity so as not to think about the disease.
  3. Eat he althy!Observe how your body reacts to various foods, so that the unfavorable ones are excluded from your diet in time.
  4. Talk openly to other people about your psoriasis!If you show that you are not afraid of it, they will not be afraid of it either.
  5. Seek support from other patients!In real life, e.g. innon-governmental organizations and on the net, e.g. on FB and Instagram. Nobody will understand you as well as a man who has the same disease as you.

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