From misdiagnosis to building a support system: Royce Thomas’ experience living with psoriasis

March 24, 2022

When a new “rash” appears on the skin, many people may not associate it with psoriasis. That was the case for Royce Thomas when he noticed what he thought was rash or a bug bite. Royce, senior territory business manager, Oncology at Bristol Myers Squibb, was familiar with various immune-mediated diseases, but never expected to be diagnosed with psoriasis, a widely prevalent, chronic, systemic immune-mediated disease that can substantially impair patients’ physical health, quality of life and work productivity.

Royce's physician gave him a prescription for the treatment of dermatitis, thinking his symptoms indicated a form of dermatitis. However, when his condition worsened, Royce sought out a dermatologist who correctly identified his symptoms as psoriasis. 

Royce was shocked by his diagnosis. As an African American man in his thirties, psoriasis was not a condition he expected. He was worried about how the disease would affect his physical health, daily life and appearance.

During his journey with psoriasis Royce often felt alone, so he sought counseling for support and joined a patient advocacy organization to help others living with the disease.  

Royce sat down with Frida Dunger Johnsson, executive director of IFPA (previously known as International Federation of Psoriasis Associations), to share his experience and discuss the importance of supporting the global community of individuals impacted by psoriatic disease. Watch a video of their conversation to learn more about Royce’s story of living with psoriasis.