Michelle Racicot of San Diego, California, does not let her psoriasis stop her from staying active and getting outside as often as she can. “I love the outdoors. I love to hike, snow ski, mountain bike,” she says. “I like to walk. I like the water – beach cruising. I’m real outdoorsy.”
Racicot grew up with brothers and describes her early life as full of sports like softball. She enjoys the freedom of the outdoors and the movement of sports. Although the exact year does not come to mind for her, she says she was about 18 to 20 years old when psoriasis entered her life. Her father had experienced the disease, and she understood that it was genetic.
Racicot now believes the stress she was feeling at that time in her life was a trigger for the onset of the disease. “I was a 20-year-old mess,” she says. “I was under a lot of stress.”
Psoriasis gave her major challenges to overcome, all at a time when she was trying to spread her wings and figure herself out, as most people are doing at that age. “It exploded on me. It was like one of those worst-case scenarios you see – psoriasis all over my body,” Racicot says. “I was living up in San Francisco, working in the garment district, and San Francisco State was having one of those research things where you can go and try products and stuff. And I thought, ‘I’ll just go do it,’” she remembers. “It was one of those infrared light closets. I did that with my whole body, and it cleared it up, thank God.”
Many years later, Racicot still has psoriasis appearing on her lower back, and she says she is mostly challenged by scalp psoriasis these days. Fortunately, the full body flare that introduced her to the disease seems to be a thing of the past. “I’m admittedly less stressed,” she says with a laugh.