Let’s Talk Psoriasis– An Interview with Joni Reece

Inform Your Friends:

 “Hi I’m Joni and I’m a girl with spots!” This is Joni Reece’s greeting note to visitors of her own blog site: justagirlwithspots.com. She has been using her blog site to share her thoughts, emotions, and perspective towards psoriasis. 

She hopes to spread awareness about psoriasis and not just think of it as “another skin condition”. She wishes to share her experiences—the trials and triumphs, tips and tricks, and changing the overall attitude towards psoriasis.

joni

Tell me more about yourself, your blog site and your perspective about psoriasis.

I’m Joni ,  and I live in NYC with my fiancé and kitty. I grew up on Long Island, went to college at Quinnipiac University and I love the color pink. I started Just a Girl with Spots in January of 2012 to tell my story about psoriasis.

I was diagnosed with psoriasis when I was 15 and its severity has varied through the years and remains a complete mystery to me.

Psoriasis has become a part of who I am and the woman I’ve grown to be. I used to let it manage me and I believe that I’ve come to a point in my life where I manage it.

Can you share something about your kind of work? Does psoriasis has an effect on your job and performance?

I work in an advertising agency as an Account Supervisor. My position is as a liaison for the clients to each department of the agency. It’s hectic, deadline driven and incredibly stressful.

Psoriasis drives the clothing I wear to ensure I feel confident in my role. I often find myself leading and presenting in meetings and I like to ensure that I appear professional and confident. I don’t let it affect my performance, because that is mine to determine.

But the stress and long hours contribute to eating poorly and less exercise, which do affect my skin and psoriasis.

Do you find that the weather affects your Psoriasis? Are you in an area with a cooler climate?

Yes definitely, the summer is always so much more fabulous for my skin. I live in New York City, so starting in the fall my skin begins to tighten up and break out more heavily. It’s definitely time to move to a sunnier home!

What type of psoriasis do you usually have? Have you experienced any other types aside from what you usually have? How do you deal with it?

I have guttate psoriasis. My psoriasis appears in spots (kind of like chicken pox style) all over my body, but mostly affects my arms, legs, scalp, chest, stomach and back – so pretty much everywhere. It doesn’t always show up in all those spots at the same time, but right now it does.

In some instances I have had plaque psoriasis in some areas, but not anything lately (knock on wood).

I am currently not taking any medications for my psoriasis, but I try to stick to a healthy diet (but this is where that work-stress gets in the way) and exercise (for this too). I’m a recent fan of coconut oil and other oil moisturizers, as there’s no need to worry about putting them only on the affected areas of skin..

How does psoriasis affect your activities of daily living? How do you cope up with this kind of experience?

It can be uncomfortable under certain types of clothing or in situations where people don’t know that I have it.

I am getting married in December and at a recent dress fitting, my seamstress asked if I had a rash and she hoped it would be gone by the big day. I explained that I have psoriasis and that I too hoped it would be gone by the wedding, but I can’t count on that.

I believe that explaining what psoriasis is and letting people know it’s not contagious helps the conversation move on.

Do you use prescribed medications to manage your flare-up? May we ask what medications you are using? How is your psoriasis responding to the medications?

Currently I am not using any prescriptions, but I have tried them all. Steroid creams/ointments, topicals, sprays, light treatment, injections.

Are you involved with any groups related to your advocacy for psoriasis awareness? Any updates for recent and upcoming activities?

The National Psoriasis Foundation is a great partner to me. Their site and newsletters keeps me up to date on the latest research and psoriasis awareness events.  They offer walks, digital seminars, articles, FAQs and tips for living with psoriasis.

Aside from large organizations, there are so many wonderful people spreading awareness of psoriasis through social media & blogging. I love to share their great work as often as I can.

Any good advice you can give to other people who are constantly battling with psoriasis?

Be honest with your friends and family on how you’re feeling. It’s a huge relief to be able to talk freely about it. If you aren’t ready for that yet, try a journal. Social media and websites like Inspire.com and Patients Like Me are amazing places to connect with others who are living with psoriasis.

Take care of yourself and listen to your body. Nutrition and exercise play a huge role in how your skin looks and feels.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information here is not advice, and should not be treated as such. This website is not to be used as an alternative to a doctor or other healthcare professional. You should never delay in seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment based on this information.

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