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When My Psoriasis Took a Vacation Day

Admin Page Merritt

Merritt 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.

I’ve always wondered (and if you live with psoriasis, I know you have too) what it would be like to live one day free from my psoriasis. For example, what if psoriasis decided to take a vacation, and leave my body for a day – what would I do? How would my routine change? Well, here is what my psoriasis vacation day looks like:


My alarm chirps to life—it’s 7:05 a.m. Left eye open. Right eye open. I turn off the alarm and, slowly, muscle memory kicks in. I reluctantly toss the covers off and sit up. Left foot down. Right foot down.


I saunter into the bathroom, turn the shower on and climb in. I stand under the just-above-lukewarm water and am tempted to turn the nozzle closer to “H,” but ponder if my psoriasis-speckled skin will become too irritated by the heat. My eyes scan my shins where my psoriasis is most prevalent and persistent.


Wait. Something is way, way off.


My shins are clear of the red, flaky patches that have been a constant for the past four years. I scan my chest, elbows, lower back and behind my ears. I even check my scalp. My skin is clear. My psoriasis has vanished - can this be real?


I turn the shower nozzle all the way to H and let the steam fog the room. My fingertips prune and the hot water dissipates.


I pat dry with a fluffy towel and simply add a layer of tinted, scented moisturizer.


Standing in front of my closet, I reach to the back and my hands find stashed treasures and long-forgotten friends; a floral skirt, an A-line shift dress, a black blouse. There’s even a two-piece bathing suit back here. I lay my findings out, assessing favorites. It’s a workday so, even though it’s summer, the two-piece is out, and I land on a coral pencil skirt and black sleeveless blouse – something I never picked out if I was worried about my psoriasis.


At work, two colleagues tell me they love the skirt and I should wear it more often. “Maybe I will!


Maybe I can!” I think to myself. I am confident and I am comfortable.


On a normal day, I pack a gluten-light/free, dairy-free lunch that’s high in lean proteins and antioxidant-rich veggies and fruits. But this isn’t a normal day; I was so caught up with my newfound skin that I completely forgot my lunch. I decide to forgo normalcy and indulge in the extraordinary—in this case, the mom-and-pop Italian eatery across the street. Beaming at the friendly woman working the register, I ask for an Italian sandwich with all the fixings—cheese, hot peppers, tomato, a little mayo. This. Is. Good.



The rest of the workday seems to zoom by, and before I realize it the clock reads 5:30 and I am going to be late to my running group. I quickly change into my running shorts, sports tank top and sneakers and meet the group outside at the start of our path. I’m not thinking about the red spots, the flakes, or the itchiness that once was. Instead, I let my mind be clear and I focus on the beats of my feet hitting the pavement. One…two…three…four…

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