May 10, 2022
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Marti? Sans/Stocksy United
The new Bezzy Psoriasis platform is a place for people living with psoriasis to connect, learn, and thrive.
Being diagnosed with psoriasis can come with feelings of uncertainty and isolation. While staying connected to your healthcare team can help, building community with other people living with the condition can offer another level of insight into specific concerns psoriasis brings up.
That’s why Bezzy developed a free community platform specifically for people living with psoriasis.
Now available on the web and as an app, Bezzy Psoriasis is a place to find medically-backed condition management information and community support. The app version also features 1:1 messaging and even matches users to others based on personal interests, treatment, and diagnosis.
It’s like getting a new friend who instantly understands parts of you that others don’t.
— Joni Kazantzis, Bezzy Psoriasis Community Guide
There are also nightly live discussions hosted by a guide who leads conversations around a wide range of topics.
“Sometimes, when you to talk to people who don’t understand your condition, it can make you feel like something is wrong with you,” says Jenny Parker, who lives with both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and is a guide for another Bezzy community, Bezzy PsA.
“I often felt really alone before Bezzy because it was nearly impossible to connect with anyone my age who could relate to losing mobility, morning stiffness, or having psoriasis rashes on my scalp and body. Bezzy makes me feel like I belong somewhere and it validates my experiences and struggles,” says Parker.
Diane Talbert, a psoriasis advocate and ambassador for the nonprofit Patients Rising, agrees that the overall sentiment behind Bezzy is that it’s a strong community that’s nourishing and uplifting.
“It brings tears to my eyes, because most of the time people don’t get this condition,” she says. “When someone can actually see you beyond your skin — to really see you as a person — it’s amazing.”
Each weekday evening, Bezzy Psoriasis features live discussions moderated by a guide living with the condition, Joni Kazantzis.
Live discussion topics include:
Because the condition can feel so isolating, having access to these groups is refreshing and valuable, says Reena Ruparelia, who shares her experiences on Instagram at @psoriasis_thoughts.
“This is such a great way to connect with others who are facing similar issues,” she says. “That definitely makes me feel less lonely. For example, the group on mental and emotional health lets me feel like I can be very honest about what I’m going through and get support.”
There’s also an “Escape From Psoriasis” forum where you can share details about other aspects of your life, which Ruparelia finds especially helpful. She also appreciates the “Diet and Nutrition” forum and the “Alternative Therapies” forum that features topics like exercise and meditation.
“I used to think my only goal was to cure my skin,” she says. “But here are people living well with the condition and that gives me confidence to do the same.”
Because forums are organized by topic, it’s easier to know where to go when you have a specific question, says Parker. This saves her time if she just wants to talk about a particular aspect of her psoriasis, such as alternative therapies or symptoms like joint pain or fatigue. Like Ruparelia, she’s also a fan of the “Escape From Psoriasis” forum.
“It’s really cool to have conversations around anything but your condition,” she says. “Sometimes, you just need to take some space from it all, and that forum is fun, lighthearted, and super interesting. I love learning about the other members’ likes, dislikes, and personalities.”
If you are a Bezzy Psoriasis app-user, the platform will match you to other members of the community each day. Users can also browse member profiles and request an instant match. If someone has made a request to connect with you, you’re notified right away. If you accept, you and the other member can swap messages and photos.
“I’m really enjoying meeting new members of the community and learning about their stories,” says community guide Kazantzis.
“It’s like getting a new friend who instantly understands parts of you that others don’t. You likely have a lot of similar stories, but there’s also something unique about every psoriasis journey, so you’re always learning,” says Kazantzis.
With the daily matches, just like with the forums, she feels like it’s easy to find support in a judgment-free way.
In addition to connecting with others, the Discover section of the platform offers articles all about psoriasis. The articles cover a wide range of topics including news about treatment options, diet and exercise tips, and advice for handling symptoms. All articles are fact checked or medically reviewed to ensure accuracy.
There are also stories about how to nurture your body and mind, with tips on self-care and insights about emotional health. You’ll even find personal stories written by people living with psoriasis.
“The articles are great, and I especially love the ones written by people who live with the condition,” says Ruparelia. “It’s always nice to get that first-hand experience.”
The Discover section also speaks to all the different aspects of psoriasis, adds Kazantzis.
“There are so many ways that psoriasis impacts your day-to-day life, and on Bezzy, there’s a resource for everything,” she says.
Bezzy Psoriasis is available for free on the web and as a mobile app. The app is available for iOS and Android and registering is fast and easy.
“I felt comfortable right away,” says Talbert. “I really like how everything is structured.”
Ruparelia agrees, adding that it seems like there’s so much to discover right away, and she even loves the photos that are used.
“When you open up Bezzy Psoriasis, there are pictures of real people who have psoriasis, and that put me at ease immediately,” she says. “I could tell right away that this was made for people like me.”
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