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Actress Shows the Hidden Pain of Dealing with Psoriasis: 'Skin Conditions Are Not Cosmetic Issues'

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Ciena Nelson/Instagram

An actress with psoriasis shared an honest post about what it’s like to deal with the painful illness.

In a side-by-side shot, Ciena Rae Nelson posted one photo of what it looks like when she covers her psoriasis and eczema with makeup, and another of the dry and itchy spots without it, but with colored filters to highlight how difficult the condition can be.

“Everything in both pictures is what was really there, the only difference is that on the right I’ve upped the saturation and structure,” Nelson captioned the post. “Most people looked at the left in person and didn’t notice much but dry spots here and there, not noticing what was really underneath.”

“#psoriaticarthritis is an #invisibleillness and sometimes so is psoriasis (chronic itchiness and chronic fatigue). Not everything is as bad as it looks and sometimes things are actually much worse.”

In an earlier post, she explained more about the illness.

This is me 2 years ago just before I went to the hospital for severe dehydration and a fever. Skin conditions are not cosmetic issues. They cause physical pain and suffering and oftentimes a feeling of being trapped in your own body, on top of the social anxiety many people face because of them. I personally struggle with sleep deprivation due to constant, widespread itchiness that feels more like I'm being stung or bitten then I am "itchy." Sometimes it's completely unbearable and I have to go to a calm place in my mind to meditate and breathe until it lessens, but it never fully goes away. Hydrate. Get enough sleep. Eat healthy foods. Nourish your biggest organ, and all of the rest while you're at it. #psoriasisawareness #psoriasis #benice @carideeenglish #bekindtooneanother #getyourskinout

A post shared by Ciena Rae (@cienarae) on

“This is me 2 years ago just before I went to the hospital for severe dehydration and a fever. Skin conditions are not cosmetic issues. They cause physical pain and suffering and oftentimes a feeling of being trapped in your own body, on top of the social anxiety many people face because of them.”

“I personally struggle with sleep deprivation due to constant, widespread itchiness that feels more like I’m being stung or bitten then I am ‘itchy.’ Sometimes it’s completely unbearable and I have to go to a calm place in my mind to meditate and breathe until it lessens, but it never fully goes away.”

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Nelson’s goal is to show people that even if someone looks healthy on the outside, they may be dealing with something on the inside.

Her post quickly filled up with thankful comments from fans who also suffer from the illness, and others who just appreciated Nelson’s sentiment.

In a video post, Nelson tearfully thanked everyone for their kind words.

“In the last two days, I’ve had such an incredible, incredible amount of support from people all over the world, thanking me for posting what I posted about my skin,” she says. “I just wanted to make a video to say thank you, because every single one of you has made me feel less alone in my struggle.”

“We need to continue to educate people and support one another and BE HONEST,” she added in the caption. “IM SPOTTY YALL! I got dry skin for days!!!!”