While returning from a holiday in Faro, Holly Dillon age 26, was stopped while boarding her return flight home. The boarding attendant was concerned about visible rashes on Holly’s face. Saying it was a “health and safety concern” the attendant asked her boyfriend indirectly.
Little did they know Dillon is an Ambassador for psoriasis sufferers. She has many followers on her site “Get Your Skin Out”. Her campaign is about raising awareness and changing the publics misconceptions about this insidious disease that not only affects the surface of the skin, but also affects the organs and the joints. Dillon points out that psoriasis is a non-contagious autoimmune disease. Her reason for flying was to take in some rays which is very helpful to those of us with this disease.
Dillon, of Peckham UK, was wearing no make-up while traveling home. Partly because the sun reduced her symptoms. She was feeling confident and renewed. That is until the boarding clerk from EasyJet asked her boyfriend about the rash on her face.
She interrupted and said, “Excuse me, you should be asking me directly if you think there is something wrong. He said, It’s a health and safety procedure.” Dillion felt that his reaction was completely unacceptable, rude and unprofessional.
Working with names like Brad Pitt and Jon Bernthal, Dillion is making a name for herself. She launched her campaign on Instagram gaining 1,500 followers within a short time frame.
Hiring a professional photographer named Lewis Khan, she wanted to show her PUVA light treatments publicly. Light therapy for psoriasis is a tedious and time consuming process. It requires patients to travel to their doctor 3x to 4x per week. The cost can add up to more than a car payment each month. Not only that, treatments are temporary at best. Skin can be very painful if over exposed. The light you recieve is UVB, making it much more intense than a tanning salon.
The photographs show how effective light therapy is for psoriasis. And it also shows psoriasis in a positive light. She considers it a art form; the main two reasons why she contacted the photographer.
Psoriasis affects more than 125 million people worldwide. That’s roughly 2% of the population. That number makes it the most prevalent autoimmune disease. It has the highest suicide rate and is linked with heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and depression.
Psoriasis is caused when skin cells regenerate too quickly. Celebrity sufferers include Cara Delevingne, Kim Kardashian, LeAnn Rimes, and Cyndi Lauper.
Holly Dillon had her first flare-up at age 14 and was diagnosed with guttate psoriasis, which caused small sores to develop all over her body four years later.
Tonsillitis or Strep Throat is often the trigger for guttate psoriasis. Often the disease can interfere with every aspect of life. Treating the disease requires many sick days and if very severe can be disabling.
“In the last 18 months I have had treatment for six months of that,” Ms Dillon said. “The thing with psoriasis is because it doesn’t have a death sentence at the end, it’s disregarded by the public. But it is chronic. It has a huge impact on people’s lives, on their wellbeing and happiness.”
Get Your Skin Out is another platform to raise awareness about psoriasis. We here at OvercomingPsoriasis.Com applaud Ms Dillion’s efforts to end the misconceptions about this insidious disease.
EasyJet had this to say about the incident.
“As soon as we were made aware this morning, we started an investigation. All of our staff are carefully selected and undergo training to maintain our high level of customer care which may not have been upheld in this occasion. We will be addressing this with the ground staff member involved as we always have high standards to maintain. Our customer team are contacting Ms Dillon to discuss this with her directly”.