Meet the woman facing psoriasis head on | Challenging body image perceptions

Meet the woman facing psoriasis head on | Challenging body image perceptions (F)

Giorgia Lanuzza was just 13 years old when she lost her dad.

It was then that she started to see the first signs of psoriasis, a condition which affects 2 -3 % of the population and is characterised by red, flaky patches of skin covered with silvery scales. And in a world where perfection is everything, it can make the sufferer feel overwhelmed and lacking in confidence.

Meet the woman facing psoriasis head on | Challenging body image perceptions

That’s why Giorgia Lanuzza, 25, is special.

‘It started with small patches of dry skin on my legs,’ Giorgia says. But psoriasis is a life-long condition, and it would go on to cover almost her entire body.

Leaving for Thailand in 2015, Giorgia was ready for the trip of a lifetime. But her six-month trip was cut short when a throat infection triggered a devastating outbreak of psoriasis that covered 97% of her skin. The heat from the sun on her skin was so painful that she could only spend a few minutes outside each day and was forced to return to the UK early.

‘Reading diary entries from that time can still bring me to tears,’ says Giorgia. ‘I wrote about the pain I was experiencing and the feelings that went with it. But reading the entries made me want to show that I am beautiful with my psoriasis – I’d written, “I want to show the world that you can be happy regardless of perceptions, and to change how people view psoriasis.”’

Meet the woman facing psoriasis head on | Challenging body image perceptionsShe took the bold decision to strip for the camera and encouraged the world to reappraise what it means to be beautiful through her daring self-portraiture work.

Her story made headlines in 2015, and now she’s fronting a new campaign sponsored by psoriasis treatment Exorex called ‘I Am Beautiful’ to inspire people to realise that their own individual beauty is more than skin deep.

‘My dream is to show that what holds us back in life can be turned into strength,’ explains Giorgia. ‘If I can take pictures of myself covered in psoriasis and see the beauty in [those] photos, in the scales, I can help others do the same I hope.’

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