Disease won't keep J.T. Scott quiet

| Melissa Leavitt

J.T. Scott of Lake Stevens, Wash. has had psoriasis since age 4 and psoriatic arthritis since age 11, but it hasn't stopped him from enjoying life.

Scott, 14 now, gets good grades, holds the role of the social butterfly between (and yes, even during) class and enjoys playing defensive lineman on the football team. 

Scott's position as a National Psoriasis Foundation Youth Ambassador fits him perfectly. When asked about the lesions on his arms, he says he has psoriasis, an autoimmune disease appearing on the skin, and it's not contagious. Twin sister Mikayla admires how well her brother has handled his medical challenges. 

"He's had a few bad comments toward him and it does make me feel bad," she said. "He just laughs it off and doesn't let it get to him." 

Even though Mikayla doesn't have psoriasis, she's spreading the word, too. She recently helped a friend who was having skin problems connect with a doctor who diagnosed the friend's psoriasis and helped treat it. 

"We joke I got hit with the medical stick," J.T. said. 

Like many, J.T. was misdiagnosed with eczema initially. It never improved, but he didn't get teased for it much when he was young. As he got older, though, the teasing started. That's when his persistent rashes were diagnosed as psoriasis and he started accessing more effective treatment. 

"It's not on my face anymore, it's not on my legs anymore," J.T. said. "It's just on my arms and that's great." The Scotts will move from Washington state to Virginia this summer. J.T. said he's nervous about the move and the changes, but knows he'll make friends and continue to make others more aware of psoriatic diseases. 

"I'm pretty social. I'll talk to you even if you don't want to talk to me," Scott said.

Learn more about the Youth Ambassador program »

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