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A psoriasis sufferer who used to hide her skin now sees her blemishes as an 'accessory' and even dresses to show them off.
Katrina Desjardins, 21, from London, Ontario, was devastated when the psoriasis plaques that used to just affect her scalp spread over her entire body last year.
Patches - Size - 'beachball - Ms - Desjardins
The painful patches, which go up to the size of a 'beachball', left her miserable when they would crust and bleed, forcing Ms Desjardins to endure cruel stares from strangers.
After covering herself from head-to-toe and wishing her appearance was different, the support of her boyfriend Jesse, 22, and best friend Victoria, 21, encouraged her to see her disorder differently and wear a bikini in public.
Ms - Desjardins - Telemarketer - 'I - Part
Ms Desjardins, a former telemarketer, said: 'I have accepted it as part of who I am. I take a peaceful attitude towards it, rather than struggling and wanting it to be different, I want to love and accept myself the way I am.'
She is speaking out to encourage other psoriasis sufferers to be confident in their own skin.
Condition - Percent - People - US - UK
The condition affects around two percent of people in the US and UK.
'It's just part of me'
Speaking - Newfound - Confidence - Ms - Desjardins
Speaking of her newfound confidence, Ms Desjardins said: 'To me now, when I look in the mirror it's just familiar and part of me that I'm used to seeing. Sometimes it feels like an accessory if I'm wearing clothes that match the colour.
'I have always loved pink, so I have lots of nice pink pastels that go well with my psoriasis.
'If - Psoriasis
'If I try to look at myself and think how I would appear without psoriasis, it feels so weird and I think I would feel naked.
'Sometimes when I see my friends' bare stomachs it's weird because I'm so used to seeing colour on my own body now.
She added: 'It's pretty fantastic now, I can...
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