My Psoriasis Treatment Changed My Life


Emma Yarbrough

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Emma Yarbrough

A native of Eufaula, Alabama, Emma Yarbrough currently lives in Atlanta where she works as an arts administrator and part-time actor. Emma is an avid cook, dancer, and storyteller.

Everyone has something they’re really good at. I’m really good at growing. I was always absurdly tall. By the age of 11, I was already 5’10”. Now, at 28, I’m 6’1”. And my hair and nails grow faster than anybody’s I know. Part of me likes to entertain the idea that maybe I’m really a superhero.

On top of that, my skin reproduces too many growth cells–I have pretty severe psoriasis.

I vividly remember, as an 8-year-old, the doctors telling us it was psoriasis and it was incurable.

Up until I went through puberty, my disease didn’t mean anything to me. What I remember most about having psoriasis at such a young age is how it affected my mom. One of the things that can trigger psoriasis patches to develop is injury to the skin—and like I said, I was a giant. I was all limbs and I fell a lot. After I’d clumsily hurt myself, instead of my mom telling me, “Oh, it’s going to be okay,” she would get really upset because she knew that would be a new psoriasis spot on my body. It got to the point where if I fell and hurt myself, instead of going to my parents, I would go to the bathroom by myself and patch myself up because I didn’t want to upset my mom.

There are many treatment options for psoriasis, and they all come with risks and benefits. Ultimately, whether you treat with topical creams, light therapy, or medications, you and your doctor will decide the best treatment path together.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Apr 13, 2016

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