I spent 20 years looking for a cure for my psoriasis – and found it in a most unlikely place
My sister was born with a birthmark on her right cheek. A bluey-brown blob, slightly raised. In my family this was considered a blessing. This was because my mum had informed us that Emma’s birthmark ‘made her more attractive’ and gave her face ‘character’ – apparently a good thing.
This was the manner of our family; even when something was as plain as the nose on your face, it could be denied out of existence. The Kennaway first aid box was empty but for a bit of paper that said: ‘STOP FUSSING AND GET ON WITH IT.’
When I developed a rash on my face in my mid-20s, I took the family line and simply denied anything was wrong.
On first seeing the red blotches around my mouth and nostrils, I had no idea of the hell I was descending into. I declared that they were ‘a shaving rash’. Sounded manly and, I hoped, almost enviable, the consequence of my virility and hirsuteness.