A woman who says 70 percent of her body is covered in red marks has opened up about having psoriasis.
Bri Morrell from Leicester was diagnosed with the irritating condition, which causes red, scaly patches to appear on her skin, earlier this year.
The customer service advisor believes the condition was triggered after suffering a period of depression.
Psoriasis causes the skin cells to grow at a rapid rate, with new skin cells growing every three days, instead of at a one-month rate.
As a result, there is an excess of skin cells that pile up on the surface, causing inflammation, swelling and redness.
These patches cover nearly 70 per cent of Bri’s body, causing itching, soreness and in some cases bleeding when her skin splits open.
Psoriasis affects every inch of Bri’s body. It doesn’t just affect her bare skin, but also her scalp and even her fingernails and toenails.
To ease the psoriasis and irritation, Bri wears baggy and loose-fitting clothes, lessening her contact to tight-fitting materials.
Bri’s psoriasis started in her early 20s, slowly appearing before taking over her body.
She believes it was triggered by a low period of her life when Bri suffered a period of depression.
Psoriasis can be brought on by stress, depression, or changes in hormones, as well as many other things.
Despite visiting the doctors, Bri says she didn’t receive any treatment for her skin.
She was offered an immune-suppressing drug, however, she turned down the treatment due to the multitude of harsh side effects that accompany the drugs.
Instead, to manage the irritation, Bri uses a cream which reduces the soreness and dryness of the skin.
Bri wants to inspire others, using her Instagram as a platform to spread body positivity to others and reduce the stigma around the skin disease.
“I never got psoriasis until I was in my early twenties,” said Bri.
“There isn’t one part of my body it doesn’t affect.
“I have it on my scalp, face, back, chest, stomach, legs, toes, hands, nails.
“Around seventy percent of my body is covered.
“It was triggered by a low period in my life.
“My condition can cause me low periods, but that’s generally when other things are bothering me, and the psoriasis is like a straw that broke the camel’s back.
“I find the itchiness and flakiness the most annoying part.
“It can be embarrassing when it’s in my scalp or ears as I worry people may think it’s down to me not washing my hair.
“When I’m not using my cream, I struggle to get about as my skin is so sore and literally splits open, but I used the regularly which helps control my psoriasis.”
Bri says she has had to change her attitudes and has spoken about the amazing support she has had in place through her journey.
“I’ve had to overcome caring what people think and learn to love myself despite not fitting into European beauty standards,” she said.
“I’ve always been very fortunate to date understanding people who not only accept my psoriasis, but actually find it attractive as they say it’s different and unique.
“If I dated a guy who was embarrassed or irritated by my skin then he wouldn’t last long.
“My family is extremely supportive of my skin and have helped me to embrace it, as well as my ex-partner.
“I’ve never received hate online, but I have had funny stares from people before.
“I think there is a lack of education on skin conditions, so a lot of the time people don’t know what they’re dealing with.”
Bri hopes to educate people about psoriasis and help people accept their individual beauty, regardless of their skin.
“I was confident enough to embrace it,” said Bri.
“I’m proud of the fact that I embrace my skin and have helped others to feel less embarrassed about having a skin condition.
“I’m proud of building my Instagram with content that I’ve been told by others has inspired them not to hide their own skin.
“I think it’s important to learn to love yourself so much that something like a skin condition won’t get you down.
“Stop comparing yourself to other people on social media. I am really bad for that, and it’s never done me any good. Ever since I stopped, I’ve felt so much better within myself.”