My Health Experience: ‘One child asked if I had leprosy’

Exercise and a healthy diet help prevent my psoriasis flaring up

Tue, May 20, 2014, 01:00

I have been working and studying since I left school. I did a certificate in business management at Dublin Institiute of Technology and then studied radio broadcasting at the Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Dún Laoghaire. Then I studied journalism and did a degree in marketing.

At the moment, I am finishing a masters in marketing at the Michael Smurfit Business School. I love studying and I like to upskill constantly but sometimes it puts a lot of pressure on me because I have always worked while studying.

I still live at home with my parents and they are very supportive. I have worked part-time in Q102 radio station as a presenter/producer for the past seven years. I also write on a freelance basis. Because I work on the breakfast show on Q102, I get up at 5.45am most days. Sometimes, I am still in the office at 7pm but I try not to let that happen too much. I have to be careful not to overdo it.

As I am freelance, I take whatever work I get but if I feel stressed, I have to cut down a little. I try to make sure I get rest when I’m wrecked.

I have been going to the gym about three times a week for the past five years. This helps me manage my stress, which I believe is the root of the problem. I also regularly use the sauna and steam room in the gym which helps reduce flare-up and itching.

I cook for myself and eat a lot of vegetarian food. I have only one takeaway meal a week now. I had a lot of puppy fat left over from my teenage years but I lost all of that in my early 20s, which also helped.

The thing about psoriasis is that it’s incurable. But you can learn to manage it, just like I have. A lot of people compliment me on my skin now.

I still use the treatment shampoos when I feel it is getting worse. Sometimes I have to wear my hair a certain way to hide the patches on it, but I haven’t used the skin creams for two years now. I have had to cancel interviews with celebrities on a few occasions as I was too embarrassed to meet them during a flare-up.

It’s important for me to keep the condition under control for my work, particularly because I’d like to do television work in the future.

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