A nurse’s seemingly only sore throat transformed her body into a rare ‘leopard print’ pattern. Read more about her skin condition.
Nurse Ashling Armstrong initially thought she had a mild sore throat and acne, but when she noticed tiny red spots spreading across her chest, arms, legs, back, and torso, she knew her skin was experiencing something different.
After receiving a prognosis from physicians, Ashling spiraled into an emotional abyss.
The nurse’s diagnosis from the doctors’ was Guttate Psoriasis, a skin disease common in children and young adults, which often erupts after an infection like strep throat.
It isn’t a chronic condition and usually goes away on its own after a few weeks. Expectedly, the diagnosis got Ashling down, and she was even told the sore throat caused the sudden rash.
Her condition, which was expected to last a few weeks, persisted for almost six months.
“It started on my chest in mid-January. It was very mild at this point. When I was younger I used to have really bad acne so I didn’t think anything of it. My mom came up to Belfast the following week and asked to see my back and I hadn’t seen it myself and she said ‘Ashling, your back is completely covered,” she told Kennedy News.
Ashling updated her 400K TikTok followers that her blotches were starting to fade following five sessions of light treatment.
The recovery follows a period of unbearable embarrassment.
She said: “At the beginning, it made me very angry and a wee bit insecure. I was covering myself constantly. I was wearing a North Face coat when the sun was shining outside and was just really embarrassed by the whole thing. I just didn’t want anyone to know about it so I was constantly wearing jeans, jumpers and just anything to cover it. It came onto my face and that’s when I was like ‘I can’t hide this anymore.”
This April, she fearlessly shared a video of herself in a halter crop top that failed to conceal the reddish patches on her skin.
She said: “I posted it and it’s literally the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I feel so amazing about it. My confidence has skyrocketed, I can’t even describe it, and it’s amazing. I feel really powerful. [The blotches are] everywhere, my ears, face, the bridge of my feet, legs, hips, bum cheeks, everywhere. I get people staring every day. I honestly don’t care anymore, I’m so past the point of caring.”
Ashling received messages saying the red blotches resemble art, and psoriasis patients thanked her for raising awareness about the condition.
“Posting on TikTok genuinely just makes me feel good about myself and when people comment and say I’m beautiful, I feel good. Especially with this on my skin, being called beautiful makes me feel a lot better because you do feel that you’re ugly with that type of thing. It’s one of those things, at the end of the day, we need to normalize it. Everyone’s beautiful in their own way, shape or form,” was the nurse’s words in the video.
Her self-esteem helps her cope with onlookers staring at her leopard-printed skin, and Ashling responds with grace to sudden insecurity.
Have you ever suffered from any skin condition? How was your first reaction? Let us know in the comments how did you cope with it.
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