CNN International anchor Zain Verjee writes on CNN.com that she has hidden a “painful secret” for years: “I can’t bear to look in the mirror. I shrink from bright light. A gaze that lingers a second too long makes me panic. A hot summer day sends me into the shadows.”
The reason is her battle with psoriasis, she writes. “I have fish-like scales. There are tiny red islands floating on the surface of my skin. They combine to create continents with jagged surfaces. They turn black and start to smell. There is blood and pus."
She adds, “At its worst my plaques look like leprosy. I feel like a leper.”
Verjee, who writes that her face isn’t affected by the disease, notes that she has been asked to leave a public pool because of the unsightly condition.
After receiving treatment at a clinic and changing her diet, she writes that she found the condition improving. “I can’t say what will work for others, but I believe that diet, mindset and a wonderful support system were the best long-term answers for me. There is a place for light therapy or steroid cream or biological medication, but back then I healed myself from the inside out,” she wrote.