an Oh Myyy Property

A psoriasis sufferer with leopard-like spots coating 95 per cent of her body, whose dating life was destroyed by the condition, has finally embraced her skin by wearing a dress for the first time in a decade and sharing candid bare-faced snaps to Instagram.

When Kirsty Crook, 31, first noticed a tiny red patch on her forehead about 10 years ago, she thought little of it.

But in time, more and more vicious blotches sprang up until, eventually, her scalp, face, back, legs and groin were covered.

Initially, she was diagnosed with the skin condition psoriasis, but that developed into psoriatic arthritis – where the immune system attacks healthy tissue.

Her confidence in tatters – not least because of cruel strangers telling her she looked as if she had been burned in a fire, or was contagious – Kirsty, of Liverpool, Merseyside, England hit rock bottom.

But now, although she still feels self-conscious when it comes to dating, she is determined not to let her condition ruin her life and takes comfort in sharing her journey on social media.


She said:

“I would never go out wearing shorts, skirts, dresses or short sleeves. I'd even wear long sleeves in the summer because I would be so worried about people being judgemental."
“People came up to me and asked if I had been in a fire, and a lot of people would say, 'I'm not touching what she's touched because it's contagious'."
“I'd do everything to cover it up. I'd put loads of make-up on to hide it even if I was just going to the corner shop."

Kirsty with psoriasis on her leg before and after starting treatmentPA REAL LIFE COLLECT

Kirsty continued:

“It takes a long time to become comfortable in your own skin – and some days I'm still not there. But I want people to look at me and see that I'm still smiling."

Kirsty, whose mental health was so impacted by her condition that she had to give up her job in management referral for the NHS two years ago, explained that her nightmare began a decade ago with a tiny mark on her forehead.

A year later, in the winter of 2010, she was officially diagnosed with plaque psoriasis, the most common form of the condition.

Kirsty with psoriasis on her facePA REAL LIFE COLLECT

Over the next five years, it gradually spread until 95 per cent of her body was covered.

Then, aged 30, she was also diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis – a long term condition which develops from psoriasis and can led to joints becoming permanently damaged.

She explained:

“When I got those first patches, I was under a lot of stress. I had been working three jobs and then I broke up with my boyfriend of three years."

Kirsty with psoriasis on her handPA REAL LIFE COLLECT

“But after five years, it was so bad that nothing would get rid of it," she said.

Going back and forth to the doctor, Kirsty has tried everything from prescription creams and phototherapy, which involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet light under medical supervision, to methotrexate, a chemotherapy drug.

Sadly, though, nothing seemed to have much of an effect.

She said:

“All of my left leg was covered in blotches, from my groin to my toes."
“It was on my back, front, face, scalp and even in my ears, which still affects my hearing."
“They are angry, red raw blotches and you can't get away from it."


Kirsty explained:

“I couldn't go swimming because of the chlorine, or wear perfume because it was an irritant. I couldn't even shave my legs."
“The heat was especially bad. It'd be so itchy that I'd feel like I had ants crawling all over me, while in the winter it would crack and bleed to the point where I couldn't lean or sleep on it."

Also battling the pain of her arthritis, on her worst days, Kirsty could scarcely get out of bed.

Kirsty with psoriasis on her armPA REAL LIFE COLLECT

Eventually, two years ago, she hit rock bottom, and was forced to give up work because of the profound affect her ordeal was having on her mental health.

Kirsty, who is currently single, continued:

“It really knocked my confidence, and I needed constant reassurance from everyone in my life, which isn't healthy.:
“It's affected my romantic relationships and dating life in particular."

Kirsty with psoriasis on her armPA REAL LIFE COLLECT

“I try not to stay at people's houses because I'm so paranoid about bleeding on the sheets," Kirsty continued.

“When I take my clothes off it's like it's been snowing because of all the dead skin. I get embarrassed and feel guilty."
“Because it is also on a private part of my body, again I need that reassurance."

Kirsty with psoriasis on her legPA REAL LIFE COLLECT

Kirsty continued:

“I've been single for a few months and I feel like if I met someone, I would have to tell them what I have and let them know I understand if they don't want to stay. Although having said that, I've never met anyone who was bothered by it."

Thankfully though, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Kirsty, who said she is feeling in a much stronger place mentally, compared to two years ago.

For the past six months, she has been having fortnightly injections of Amgevita, a biological medicine used to reduce inflammation by acting on the immune system.

Happily, it appears to be treating both her arthritis, and improving her skin.

Kirsty said:

“I got to wear a dress for the first time in 10 years this summer. I felt like a princess because I usually go out in a tracksuit or jeans."
“I could shave my legs without them bleeding. That was one of the happiest days of my life."

Kirsty with psoriasis on her facePA REAL LIFE COLLECT

“People were telling me that I looked well and had a healthy glow. It's amazing because nobody had said that to me before." Kirsty said.

“It is now manageable so, I feel really excited about the future and what I might achieve."
“After the injection I will feel knocked out for a couple of days but then after that I will feel like a ballerina or that I can run a marathon."

Kirsty with psoriasis on her armPA REAL LIFE COLLECT

Kirsty has also started sharing videos and pictures on Instagram – finding a community of psoriasis survivors who turn to her for advice.

She added:

“I would put up little videos of me doing make up, and people would ask me to tell them about myself."
“I thought I had not seen much about arthritis in younger people, or psoriasis so I wanted to share my experience and how I cope."

Kirsty with psoriasis on her arm and facePA REAL LIFE COLLECT

Kirsty explained:

“It really opened my eyes. Lots of people messaged me saying they had the same, and that seeing me share my experience had given them more confidence."
“I share with my followers if I'm having a bad day or struggling with my mental health. I'm never fake."
“If I'm feeling really low, I imagine myself in the tunnel and I keep going to the light."

Kirsty with psoriasis on her armPA REAL LIFE COLLECT

“Things will be thrown at you along the way – but you keep fighting and you will get there eventually," she added.

You can follow Kirsty on Instagram @kirstycrook_29.

We're all self-conscious about something, and it doesn't help when our faults get thrown in our faces. You don't want doctors hinting that something is "weird down there," nor do you want someone to tell you you're balding. WE KNOW.

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When you know your kids backwards and forwards, this is the best tool in your arsenal.

Getting our kids to listen to us is not always the easiest of tasks. They're willful and stubborn, but we've got a mighty weapon they are rarely prepared for: reverse psychology. Getting them to convince themselves to want to do something against their own initial intentions takes some work and a whole lot of creativity, but a little sneaky manipulation goes a long way. Here are some clever parents' tricks that are definitely worth taking notes on.

Redditor u/LeanderD Asks:

Parents of reddit, what's your best example of reversed psychology on your kids that actually worked?

He Floated His Idea Through A Back Channel


Wanted to name my boat. Anything I would think of was dismissed as stupid by my 13 year old son. After deciding on a name, I confided to a male friend my son liked. Made my friend suggest the name as though it was his idea. My son thought the name was perfect. Done.


We Always Want What We Can't Have

One of my best friends through childhood used to be punished with no salad if she misbehaved. She cherishes salad now and would always try to eat as much as possible during school lunch. Coincidentally, her now husband used to be punished with no books, it had the same effect. I think it's hilarious that they'd be hitting the salad bar and library like some black market their narc parents couldn't reach hahaha.


A Deceit That's A Cut Above The Rest


Don't know if this counts, but, at my high school (private, boys only) in the 1960's, they made a big deal about how long your hair was, and would occasionally order a boy to go home and "get a haircut".

I thought it was stupid, until years later, a master confided to me at a reunion that the policy was deliberate. The school figured we'd spend so much energy rebelling about hair length, that we would ignore other aspects of teenage rebellion. (Not?) Surprisingly, they were mostly right.


Damn! That's smart. Wow.


Oh they don't like long hair?

I'll show them. I'll grow my hair out as lon- what?! No I don't want to go "party"? I gotta try out this horse shampoo.


The Forbidden Book

Hi I was a victim,

There was a forbidden book that I was not allow to read on the shelf. My parents said I could only read it if I behave myself.

It was summer holidays and I was playing games all day (after 6 hrs of summer homework). One day I was home alone and had the opportunity to grabbed it. I read like half of it in one go. It was 5000 years of Chinese history.

Safe to say I was bamboozled.


Flowers Of The Queen

My parents always told me my broccoli were the flowers of the queen and that I really shouldn't eat them, or else the queen would get very upset! I, of course, ate the whole broccoli in a few seconds.


I'm telling the queen and she's gonna be pissed


Sleeping Beauty


I taught my kids when they were toddlers that no amount of yelling, shaking or hitting can wake a sleeping adult. The only thing that works is a gentle hug and/or a nice kiss on the cheek.

Edit: Probably needed some more details for the reverse psychology aspect to be clear. It went something like this - Step one, tell the kids I'm going to sleep and nothing they do will wake me (head buried face down is the safest position). Step two, after the initial onslaught dies down pretend to awaken on your own. Tell them you got a bit of nap left in you and nothing can wake you, especially not hugs and kisses.


Holy sh*t...if my daughter woke me up like this I would buy her a pony.


I am saving this comment because this will save lives if I ever have kids, stg.


A Walk In Someone Else's Shoes.

Split custody with my ex. When my son was around 10, he visited two weekends a month. I was waiting tables and didn't have a huge amount to spend, but he was so needy from divorce (and I'm not blaming him, it was ugly), he begged constantly for MORE when he was with me. Whatever more was, it didn't matter... he'd be eating ice cream cone and begging for teriyaki.

I finally realized that he just felt empty, and getting MORE whatever from me wasn't filling him up. His next visit I handed him $100 in cash and told him it was our food/fun budget for 3 days and two nights, and he was in charge of it. I bought him his own wallet to carry. We figured out how many times we were going to eat and what we were going to do, and he paid. He got to keep whatever money he had left...thought he was rich...then realized just how much everything cost. Well. Shoe on other foot then. If we had no money for food, we ate leftovers - and I didn't contribute more to pot. After a few weekends of running short or not getting something he actually wanted because he was foolish with funds, he started to really think about how to spend that money. He budgeted and kept to his budget. And a few times he actually went home with a little cash for his private stash.

Many years later, he thanked me for this. It really changed the way he thought about money and love.


This Is Worth Giving A Shot

Took my 3 year old son to one of those doctor's visits where he was going to get a shot. He was worried about the shot on the whole drive over, almost to the point of tears. We get to the doctor's office and a nurse subtly lets me know that my son is not just scheduled for 1 shot, but 5 of them in the same visit.

I turn to my son with an exaggerated smile and tell him, "Good news! They figured out how to take that one big shot you were going to get and instead break it up into these 5 little tiny shots so it won't hurt nearly as much!"

You could see the relief wash over his face. He stopped squirming and relaxed completely. He took the first shot and even smiled and said "It's true! The small ones don't hurt!"

We actually made it through the third shot before the effect wore off and reality kicked in. Still... I counted it as a victory.


Put This To The Taste


My mom would tell me she only lets me eat soup after candy and she'd only buy me candy that i didn't like. After a few times, i stopped trying and begged her to let me eat soup first. She gave me a smirk and told me go ahead. This doesn't sound as evil as it was. But trust me i suffered.


So what was the candy?


Mint chocolate, raisins, stuff like that. I still hate them to this day. Who the f--- thought while eating chocolate "hmm id like some tooth paste with this."


This is Truckin' Awesome

Mum had sworn a bit around the house.

When 4, while out at the supermarket, I said F word really loudly.

Very quickly and intently, she asked if I had just said "Truck" and said that was a bad word and not to ever say Truck like that again.

I thought that was the bad word so used that when being naughty.


The "Silly Mom" Routine

The "Silly Mom" routine.

My kid, and a few other kids I've known, would balk at getting ready to go. I'd grab their clothes and say, "Well, if you won't put on your clothes, I guess I'll put on your clothes. Cute shirt, by the way! Does it go on my foot?"


"Does it go on my head?"


"Oh, that's right, thanks! So, it must go on your legs, right?"


"I just can't figure this out! Where does this adorable shirt go?"

[kid grabs shirt and puts it on] ON MY TUMMY! SILLY MOM!

"Oh, thank you so much! Now what about these pants? Shirts go on tummies, so...the pants go on the tummy, too, right?"


[continue until kids have dressed themselves]

I would also do things like hand the kid my keys and say, "Alright, you're driving, I'll sit in the booster seat in back," attempt to feed the kid by putting a spoon up to his ear or his belly button, and attempt to put away his toys in the refrigerator.


Some Foot For Thought.


My mum would always yell at us "if you don't do X, you have to go to bed without socks!"

I never wore socks anyway, and I'm ashamed to admit that this worked.


That would work really well on my son, or make him cry for a really long time... He's 3 and over the last few weeks has decided that he is fully unable to sleep without socks on.


Toddlers man. Completely unpredictable.


I'm Greens With Envy

My mum had a friend that would put vegetables on her own plate and not the kids.

When the kids asked she would be reluctant to share, "that's grown up food. But I suppose I can let you have a little."

Her kids grew up loving vegetables.

I sat at the dinner table for 3 hours staring at the yucky cauliflower I refused to eat.


This reminds me of an instance when my child convinced my wife and myself to change our plans for dinner. We were in a grocery store to pick up something quick and easy to eat that we wouldn't have to prepare. Our daughter, wanted none of that, she demanded that she wanted a salad from the salad bar. We started to argue back, but then realized: "Our child demands that we feed her vegetables for dinner instead of a microwaved meal, why are we saying 'No?'"

We had salad for dinner that night.


The Power Of Choice

I don't so much know if you would call it reverse psychology, but I didn't realize it until my dad told me this.

When there were chores that needed doing, he noticed if he asked me to mow the lawn, I would complain and procrastinate. But if he asked would I rather mow the lawn or wash the windows, I'd pick one and just get it done.

Shattered my brain when he told me when I was in my twenties. I use it when I'm coaching or baby sitting all the time and it almost never fails.


The Boy Who Cried 'Ouch'


I've done this one with tens of kids. Any time a kid gets "hurt" (falls down on grass, gets gently hit in the face with a ball, etc.) instead of stopping the activity to pick the kid up and see if they're ok you just scoot them off to the side and resume. Within 10 seconds of not getting all the attention and seeing the fun is resuming they pop right back up and are magically healed.

This of course is only for the "injuries" that aren't actually injuries.


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