A young woman has been forced to shave her head after psoriasis caused flaking skin
A young woman has shaved her head after a horrific flaking skin condition has ravaged her scalp.
Jerica Roach, 24, from Toronto, Canada, has been suffering from psoriasis on her head – a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales – since she was seven years old but it has since spread across her body.
The former dog groomer was forced to shave her head in July after her scalp became so itchy her hair started falling out in clumps.
Jerica has claimed she sheds almost an entire body’s worth of skin every day and is constantly vacuuming to hide her shedding skin.
But the mum-of-one has refused to allow her skin condition to rule her life and is now sharing her story to raise awareness for psoriasis.
Jerica said: “It all started when I was around seven, I had always had patches of dry skin but nothing prepared me for it to start spreading all over my body.
“Currently my psoriasis is the worst it has ever been but I’m not going to allow it to control my life.
“It gets really itchy and sometimes I have to fight the urge to scratch in public because a bunch of skin flakes will fall out.
“I’m mostly affected on my scalp, arms, chest, stomach, back and shins, it made my hair start to fall out so I had to shave it off.
“And I avoid going to people’s houses in fear that they will get mad at me or be really grossed out by my shedding skin.
“It is however nice being told by other people that I help inspire them to be more confident, I want people to be able to feel comfortable in their own skin, even if their skin is uncomfortable to be in.”
Jerica has been subjected to cruel questions by strangers who assume she’s contagious.
She added: “People usually tend to ask things like ‘what’s wrong with your skin?’ and ‘does it hurt?’
“I was around a few kids at the park and one asked if she was going to get it and had a worried look on her face.
“I’m currently breast feeding which is why it’s worse than ever as I can’t take medications.
“But I have been able to use lotions such as coconut oil, Vaseline and having a healthy diet has helped my psoriasis from getting out of control.
“I’m a vegetarian and I have been trying to stay away from caffeine, added sugars, and dairy.”
Jerica, who gave birth to Ixchel in April this year, has found confidence through being a mother.
She said: “I want to teach Ixchel body positivity, and set an example that no one is perfect.
“It keeps me positive when teaching my daughter to respect everyone regardless of how they look.”
Jerica has been trying to raise awareness for psoriasis through social media and insists that she doesn’t let the condition restrict her from living a normal life.
She said: “I’ve recently been posting pictures on social media and I just wanted to raise awareness since I had to shave all of my hair off, I wanted to let people know why I looked like I was balding.
“I make sure I still do things that I love, such as going swimming and to the beach, I know a lot of people tend to hide their skin but I think the fresh air feels good on it.
“I met another person with psoriasis who wore long sleeves and trousers even when it was hot out, I feel like you need to embrace your skin rather than being frightened of what people think.
“The online community have helped me loads with inspiration an encouragement from other psoriasis sufferers, there are some awesome people out there.”
Professor Chris Griffiths from the University of Manchester & British Skin Foundation spokesperson said: “Psoriasis tends to come and go unpredictably and can appear at any age.
“Psoriasis doesn’t scar the skin and appears as pink or red coloured areas on the skin with silvery-white scales, these are known as plaques.
“Plaques of psoriasis usually appear on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp but are not exclusive to these areas.
“Some psoriasis sufferers are also affected in the nails or joints as well as the skin.
“Flare ups can happen from a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers such as streptococcal tonsillitis or pharyngitis, stress, alcohol and some medicines.”
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