“I’m Rocking My Psoriasis!”

Lauren Wanger Hernandez Psoriasis
Photo by Eileen Escarda

Florida beauty queen and reality show star Lauren Wanger Hernandez shares her secrets for stepping out into the spotlight—despite psoriasis!

It was a magical moment: The sparkling tiara was placed on her head. The sash, bearing the words Ms. United States 2007, draped across her torso. And the music swelled as Lauren Wanger Hernandez stepped forward to accept her bouquet and scepter, smiling through happy tears. Competing was a blast! But there was something else going on, the brown-haired beauty admits. “I felt I had something to prove. I didn’t want my psoriasis to stop me!”

“I was teased as a child,” adds Lauren. “I think I put myself out there because of that childhood bullying. I thought, I am going to overcome this. I wanted young girls to be able to look at me and say, ‘She’s not perfect, but look at what she’s accomplished.’ ”

And when, just a few months later, she found herself vying for the attention of Jason Mesnick on ABC’s The Bachelor, she proved the point again. When Jason commented on her spots, she tossed off the moment with ease: “No one’s perfect,” she said.

True, her confidence was hard won. In her teens, she’d spent night after night cutting medicated tape to apply to her psoriasis patches. “Twenty pieces of tape. So I guess I had 20 spots. I had a big one on my calf. That took a 3-by-3-inch piece of tape. In the morning, you’d peel off the tape, along with the dead skin.” 

These days, Lauren’s busy teaching online high school in Boca Raton, FL, and being a mom to kids, Aaron, 3½, and Adriana, 1. Thankfully, her psoriasis went into partial remission after her pregnancies and is so well-controlled now that she only needs to dab on some creamy foundation for occasional spots.

As for that confidence of hers, it’s still running high, and here, she shares a few of the “look great, feel great” tips in her toolbox:

Avoid flares with activity

“Psoriasis flares for me are triggered by stress. So even though I do not love exercising, I try to work out 3 to 5 days a week, even if it is just for 30 minutes. It helps to clear my mind and reduce stress, which leads to clearer skin.”

Find your favorite camouflage

“I know what works for covering my spots. I’ve experimented! When I want to cover up my psoriasis for a special event or photos, I will use a heavy concealer. A department store makeup artist helped me find the best color match to cover the spots on my legs!”

Baby your skin

“It’s my best skin care tip. I exfoliate weekly and moisturize daily. Right now, I love using organic coconut oil! And I make sure to stay away from products containing alcohol, which irritate my skin.”

Keep stress at bay

“My mom helps me with the children, and occasionally I’ll hire a baby-sitter—sometimes just to come in for a couple of hours. When she’s here, I’ll work or do chores. It’s important to have that ‘me time’—even if it’s just folding laundry.”

Make healthy choices every day

“Aside from exercising regularly, I eat a healthy diet. I particularly love salmon, walnuts and spinach, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation. And I try to stay hydrated. I take my water with a squeeze of lemon!”

Create a personal mantra

“Mine is: ‘It’s your flaws that make you beautiful.’ I try to go out and rock my psoriasis! Instead of thinking about my psoriasis as a negative, I focus on the idea that it makes me unique and special. It’s so important to maintain a healthy attitude.”

Have a story to share? We’d love to hear your story! Email us your advice for coping with psoriasis at: Guides@healthmonitor.com

Published January 2014

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