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A Letter to Those Close to Me & Those I Haven’t Met Yet

From friends to strangers, Merritt is grateful for the encouragement that people provide her. Read her open letter to her psoriasis supporters.


Merritt Ward is one of our community writers and currently lives with psoriasis. She resides in Boston, Massachusetts where she works as a public relations specialist, and hopes her personal stories will help uplift and empower others in the psoriasis community.

Dear family, friends, colleagues, those in between and those I haven’t met yet,

In one way or another, I’ve spoken to all of you either individually or in groups, directly or indirectly, candidly and guarded, about my psoriasis. I’ve shared what it is, where it is, why it is and how it affects me. But, here, I’d like to share a little more with each of you.

To my family – Sometimes, when I call, I am solely in need of an ear for a venting session about how inexplicably and irritatingly horrible my skin is that day. I apologize in advance for sometimes snapping, accusing you of “not understanding it all.” I do know you can empathize and, while you may not understand completely, you are trying very hard. Thank you for being patient with me and for telling me it’s all okay.

To my friends – Thank you for the unconditional judgment-free zone and for pulling me out of a self-deprecating habit I seem to have gained along with my psoriasis. You always make me feel comfortable in my own skin because you know I’m so much more than that. And, how could I not mention the beauty insider tricks and hacks! I know it can be uncomfortable at first to email me a beauty YouTube tutorial or send me recommendations for skin products, but I want you to know I welcome all of that, and I am grateful you thought of me.

To my colleagues – It is okay to ask questions. I know it’s a rare day in the office when I show my psoriasis, and I am sure you are wondering about it when it is revealed– how long have I had it, does it hurt, is it contagious. It’s okay to be inquisitive and ask me because then I get the chance to share my story and, hopefully, spread a little awareness.

To those I haven’t met yet – Most days, I do have a very positive, sunny disposition. And I usually do not let my psoriasis affect my mood. However, there are some days when I’d rather pull the covers over my head and stay in bed, dreaming my skin will magically transform into clear and smooth when I awake. Some days, I am frustrated, angry, sullen and annoyed. During those times, I always appreciate a joke, smile or high five (or my favorite snack – definitely that). I also want you to know, I am open and honest about my psoriasis experience, so if you want to know anything, just say so.

To all, the support and words of encouragement are deeper to me than the red, itchy, scaly skin. Please keep it coming my way, and be sure to do the same for the next person you meet with psoriasis. I know they’ll appreciate it, too.



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