Woman with skin disease shows that beauty is not only skin deep

Sophia Ridlington is a 22-year-old British woman. In her late teens she was diagnosed with psoriasis. The condition causes the skin all over her body to become red and scaly. "My skin often cracks and bleeds, which causes me so much pain," explained Sophia.

Psoriasis is not curable, but the symptoms can be managed with various treatments like steroid creams or ultraviolet light. But the relief these treatments offer is only temporary and people who suffer from the disease have to learn to live with it.

The effect that psoriasis had on Sophia's physical appearance was hard on her self-esteem. "I spent the majority of my days thinking how I would cover up my psoriasis," she recalls. To hide her condition as much as possible, she always wore long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Hiding the red, scaly patches on her face was more difficult, but Sophia learned to use makeup. In fact, she got so good at using makeup to conceal her skin condition that she decided to make a career out of it.

One day, Sophia's biggest fear came true: her boyfriend caught a glimpse of her when she wasn't wearing any make up. This obviously very superficial young man broke up with her on the spot, leaving her heartbroken. "He broke my heart. He didn't love me for who I really am," Sophia lamented. But at that point she also made a very important decision: she would never again let anyone define her by her outer appearance. She was ready to accept herself just the way she is.

Since then, Sophia no longer feels self-conscious when she's out in public. She is currently working as a bartender but has also started her own makeup and beauty business which she hopes to do full-time in the future. At the age of 22 she has found more self-confidence that most people do in a lifetime.

Sophia has also been posting photos of herself on social media. In some of the photos she is wearing full makeup, in others none at all. But perhaps the most interesting ones are those that show one half of her face done in makeup and the other half left natural. The contrast is obvious, but the observer can also see the beauty on both sides. Sophia hopes that these photos will inspire self-confidence in others who suffer from conditions that affect their appearance. She also offers psoriasis sufferers some very helpful skin care tips, e.g. to put on moisturizer before applying makeup to avoid making the condition worse.

Sophia's ex-boyfriend judged her on her physical appearance and was obviously not deserving of her love. It was heartbreaking for the young woman, but she managed to find the strength to go on with her life with a much healthier attitude. She is now brimming with self-confidence and helping others to find theirs. Well done, Sophia!


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