My name is Katie, and I’m a 30-year-old blogger living with psoriasis. I blog at Katie Rose Loves, where I share my thoughts about all things beauty and my methods of coping with psoriasis.

I’ve always been quite private when it comes to my skin, and I kept it hidden until about three years ago when I started my blog. My goal is to help others with psoriasis by raising awareness and sharing my advice.

I’ve had psoriasis for most of my life: 25 years, in fact. I was 5 years old when I told my mother that I had chicken pox. But my parents knew that I didn’t have chicken pox — psoriasis has been in my family for three generations on both of my parents’ sides. My doctor confirmed their suspicions.

Over the next 25 years, I let having a skin disorder affect my confidence, my daily living, and my happiness. And unfortunately, over the years, I have missed out on some great opportunities because of my psoriasis.

Here are three examples of times in which I experienced FOMO (fear of missing out) due to my psoriasis, and what my outlook is like now.

After I left high school, I decided I wanted to be a beauty therapist. I had a love for makeup and beauty treatments, so I enrolled in a beauty therapy course as soon as school finished.

Three weeks into the course, my skin flared up badly. We had to team up to do beauty treatments on each other, but my classmates hated getting paired with me. This wasn’t because of my psoriasis, but because the teacher wouldn’t allow me to have any beauty treatments.

We also had to wear little white uniforms. I felt so embarrassed because you could see all of my patches of psoriasis. I began wearing skin-colored tights to hide my legs and a cardigan to hide my elbows so I’d feel more comfortable. But when I arrived to class, my teacher told me that tights weren’t allowed and I should take off my cardigan, too, as it was against uniform policy. I refused and was told that if I didn’t follow the rules, I’d be expelled.

I was so hurt by the total ignorance and lack of empathy I received from my teacher. After that, I decided beauty therapy wasn’t for me.

A few years later, my boyfriend took me away on our first vacation together. Instead of wearing summer dresses and bikinis like everybody else, I covered myself up from head to toe.

I didn’t want anyone to see my skin. Although I knew that a bit of sun would be good for my skin, I still couldn’t bring myself to show it.

I should have been relaxing and enjoying myself, but instead, I was anxious about other people seeing my psoriasis.

Not long ago, I was approached by a modeling agency. Out of hundreds of models, the agency chose me to be the face of a clothing brand.

I was so happy and excited to be chosen, but a few days later, my skin flared up badly. I was petrified that I would turn up to the photoshoot and they would see my skin and turn me away. So I didn’t go to avoid rejection.

When I think about all the times I have missed out because of my skin, I get so annoyed with myself. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time to do things differently. Instead of being ashamed of my skin, I would tell people all about psoriasis and educate those who didn’t know what it was. I would wear what I wanted, and I wouldn’t be anxious about people’s opinions of me. The support of my family and friends would be all that mattered.

I have gained a lot more confidence over the last few years. It seems the older I get, the less I care. I’ve realized that beauty is more than skin deep, and life is too short to worry about what others think.

Instead, I’m focusing on becoming the best version of myself possible — starting with the inside. Psoriasis controlled my life for too long, and I refuse to miss out again or let it ruin my future. I’m not going to let psoriasis define who I am, and I won’t let my skin ruin my life any longer.

Be brave, be confident, be happy, and don’t let it ruin yours either!

Katie Rose is a 30-year-old beauty, skin care, craft, and psoriasis blogger at Katie Rose Loves. She loves all things beauty-related and has a passion for natural beauty products that are gentle on the skin. She has lived with psoriasis for 25 years and hopes to raise awareness and influence others to feel good about themselves regardless of their skin.