Psoriasis is a lifelong condition that requires extra care in order to manage symptoms. Receiving a diagnosis may feel overwhelming at first, but you can live your life as you imagined it — as long as you take proper care of yourself and your condition!

These inspirational people are doing just that. Read their stories to better prepare yourself for the road ahead, or gain a new perspective.

Since being diagnosed with psoriasis, I prioritize taking care of my skin and following a clean plant-based diet. I also prioritize daily physical activity because it lowers my stress levels, which can majorly impact my skin. My advice for anyone coping with psoriasis is to talk about it and to understand that you’re not selfish when you put your health first.

Treating myself comes in a lot of different forms! Sometimes I’ll buy new makeup for myself or take myself shopping, I also have nights where I allow myself to eat what I want without guilt.

Psoriasis is manageable with proper care and diet. Also, it’s not your fault. This disorder is a beast. Stress, diet, and lifestyle all have a great effect on our bodies. Breathe, learn to communicate with your body, and take it a day at a time.

When I was diagnosed, I felt a little hopeless because there is no cure. But I learned not to give up. While there may be no cure yet, it’s possible to clear up psoriasis and live a normal life.

At first, I took many medications and steroids. These failed to control the disease, and it spiraled out of control. I began to investigate natural approaches, like making dietary changes. I completely revamped my life with exercise, natural foods, water, and stress management. I could see that this was working. My skin cleared completely and remains clear today. Pharmaceutical steroids and drugs don’t work for everyone. People are different. Natural remedies worked for me, and I wish I knew about them before I experienced full-body flare-ups from steroids.

People with psoriasis have a greater risk of depression; finding a community of others to connect with goes a long way (whether the community is online or in person).

I worked at the register for a retail store when I was first diagnosed. One day, a lady came in and commented on my psoriasis saying she thought people “had to be pretty” to work there. I was in shock. This changed how I saw myself. At first I felt ashamed, but eventually I realized I couldn’t hide forever. I embraced my condition. Don’t let your psoriasis get in the way of anything. Be proud — you look beautiful!

Since finding out I have psoriasis, I’ve been diagnosed with Addison’s disease, lupus, arthritis, and anxiety. I always thought health just meant listening to your doctor, but I’ve learned that it’s so much more; it’s a lifestyle.

Don’t let psoriasis rule your life. Give yourself time to rest without feeling guilty. I like to do things that alleviate my anxiety and stress, like creative projects, yoga, or cooking.

I used to feel so alone and different, and now I know that many people are dealing with similar issues. Treat everyone with kindness and love. Don’t give up. It’s easy to let illness win, but keep fighting for your health and happiness.