25-year-old Giorgia Lanuzza has been suffering from psoriasis – a skin condition that causes skin to become red and flaky with silvery scales – since she was a teenager.
Psoriasis can be brought on and triggered by stress, which was the case for Giorgia.
‘So I first realised that I had something up just after I lost my dad when I was 13 years old. I had these patches, red patches, just on my knees and on my elbows. It was difficult for me obviously because not only was I going through stress and the grief of loosing my dad but being a 13-year-old with big red dots coming up was quite difficult.’
After suffering with the condition throughout most of her teenage years – Giorgia decided to take a trip to visit a friend in Thailand.
‘My skin had been amazing for months, however at the end of the first month in Thailand I contracted a throat virus. They’re quite common – I’ve had them before. However this one just completely changed my skin. They said that my body was over 97% covered. It was extremely severe.’
Despite the severity of her psoriasis – Giorgia decided to turn her experience into something positive.
‘I had written in this journal just after my dad died and inside it I’d written that I really wanted to help people. If I can look good in my pictures so can they. I got back to England and I just looked through all my photos from my trip and thought ‘I need to show people this’ – I need to show people that it can get really bad but it will get better because I was in an extremely dark place. So many people have the same condition as me, so many people are uncomfortable, or insecure or unconfident with themselves. Whether it be psoriasis or anything else.’
In a bid to help others dealing with psoriasis or low confidence, Giorgia has created her own Facebook page and also has plans to launch a website.
‘It’s called Different Skin – The Real Giorgia, and it’s basically just for people who want to ask for information. And they can post their pictures, I’ll post mine, and it’s the best feeling when you’re hearing these stories and these people telling you ‘thank you – you’ve made me feel so much more confident. If you can do it then I can do it’.’
‘I’m trying to show that you can be beautiful with your flaws and yet the whole world has been brought up to learn something different. I want to help people feel better about their skin.’
Despite her battle with the condition – Giorgia is determined that she doesn’t want to her psoriasis to heal.
‘I don’t want to cure mine, my dad left me with this skin and I will keep it forever as a memory of him. If this is what he’s left me I’m going to turn it into a good thing.’