A woman with psoriasis has shared candid photos of herself in a bid to reclaim her body and prove to others that the skin condition doesn’t have to define them.
Celia Martinez, 26, says she has finally learned to embrace her skin as beautiful.
She was first diagnosed with the disease, which leaves the skin looking red and scaly, two years ago after catching an infection.
Now she hopes to encourage other sufferers to love their skin too.
Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disease affecting up to 1.8 million people in the UK.
The condition, which can occur at any age, can be caused from a combination of genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers such as stress, certain medicines or infection.
It occurs when skin cells are replaced more quickly than usual, which researchers believe is caused by a problem with the immune system.
Martinez, a receptionist from Granada, Spain, said: “My psoriasis...is triggered by a blood problem.
“I have very high levels of anti-streptolysin O (ASLO) and I also have a bacteria called streptococcus that produces it.”
Discussing her diagnosis, she recalled: “At first, as I imagine for anyone sick, it came as a shock and it was a pretty hard blow.”
But, over time, she decided to approach life with “optimism and a big smile every day”.
“I told myself that this disease does not define me or how I live my life,” she said.
“For this same reason I decided to share the photos of my body on Instagram to motivate all those people who have it and suffer for it, so that nobody feels less and they know that we are very brave warriors.”
Martinez has over 10,000 followers on Instagram (@celia_dalmatita) where she details her journey with the condition.
She concluded: “I think my greatest virtue is my optimism and that every day I wake up with a smile.”
There isn’t a cure for psoriasis, however it can be treated and managed with topical creams and ointments, UVB light therapy and systematic medicines.
In more severe cases, biologic injectable drugs are used.