Inspirational People: Dara Torres

Dara Torres is a USA Olympic medalist who is the only woman to have represented America five times. Shortly after the 1993 Games, Dara was diagnosed with the condition Psoriasis. Psoriasis is a condition that causes red flaky patches to develop on the skin. Psoriasis is a chronic condition which means that it is long term but the condition often involves periods where symptoms calm down followed by periods where symptoms flare up. The condition is caused when there is an increased in the production of the skin cells. The results in a build up of cells which create patches. The full cause of the condition isn’t fully understood but problems with the immune system are said to be linked.

Although Dara has spent a lot of her time in a swimming costume she spent years feeling ashamed to bear her skin. She told the Daily Mail: “You just feel embarrassed, I dreaded putting on my bathing suit – and I work in a bathing suit! The worst was going to the beach and feeling like people were scared to touch me. Lots of people thought it was contagious, even though it isn’t. But I just had to get on with it and work with my dermatologist to keep it under control. It is possible, but so many people still don’t know that.” Despite the condition Psoriasis being around for centuries, it is still a poorly understood condition. Dara however, hopes to change this by starting a campaign to explain the condition.

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