Just under 3,000 people in Kikenny are living with a skin disease rarely talked about in public.
Yet, the condition – psoriasis- can affect those individuals’ lifestyles and personalities. Psoriasis is a non-contagious, chronic inflammatory skin disease that can appear anywhere on the body, the most common areas being the scalp, elbows and knees. It is incurable but not contagious.
Many suffer in silence rather than seek medical treatment for a number of reasons such as embarrassment and guilt, says Caroline Irwin, from Castlecomer, who is chairperson of the Psoriasis Association of Ireland.
The association celebrates its tenth anniversary next weekend with a National Information Day in the Sheraton Hotel, Athlone this Saturday, November 3 from 10am to 4pm.
Entitled ‘Living with Psoriasis’, the day includes an address from a leading dermatologist, a talk about lifestyle and psoriasis, workshops featuring correct application of creams and ointments, and a session on camouflage make-up. A number of exhibitors will be present.
As a child, Rose of Tralee Nicola McEvoy prayed every night that the psoriasis covering her body would disappear forever. The 26-year-old has suffered with the skin condition since she was eight years of age.
“I used to pray every night ‘please let my psoriasis be gone forever when I wake up’.”
“However, it never went away. It covers my body quite extensively,” said Nicola who is a teacher of history, geography and human science at the European School of Luxembourg.
Despite her psoriasis she refuses to allow it run her life.
“I control it, it does not control me,” she says.
“I have reached a new calm in my life in relation to it; it no longer consumes my constant thoughts.”
For more information visit psoriasisireland.ie.