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I Once Successfully Joked That I Was a Demon, Thanks to My Psoriasis

Meet Josh Cumming. Young, charming, witty… and living with psoriasis.

Anyone who lives with psoriasis will tell you it’s not the greatest. The symptoms are inconsistent, sometimes painful, and not particularly funny… unless you’re Josh Cumming.

He’s managed to turn his condition into the butt of many amusing jokes. In fact, he’s pretty well-known for his humorous riffs on , a social network that connects people who have psoriasis.

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I think if you own something, no one else can use it against you.

But Josh wasn’t always able to chuckle about living with psoriasis. We asked him how he learned to laugh about it and why he’s decided to share his sense of humor with others.

How long have you had psoriasis?

I first got psoriasis when I was 17, so 10 years now. It started off on my elbow, and then after a pretty stressful incident at work, spread across my whole body.

I definitely couldn’t laugh about it at first. I was 17 years old, not far from hitting 18, the age where you want to go on nights out, meet new people. I would worry about weird things, like leaning with my elbows on a bar or table and then lifting them off to find half of my elbow was still on the surface or simply scratching my head causing a little blizzard!

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I recently traveled to Scotland with my housemate. Seven hours in his car and the poor bastard had to buy a handheld Hoover to clean me out.
Josh Cumming via Flaym

But over time I stopped worrying about it. Me and my friends basically communicate through insulting each other. Most things aren’t off limits, and my psoriasis was definitely not off limits — which I guess sounds quite mean, but it’s actually the opposite. Getting little jokes from people I know who are only messing about it helped me to see a funny side to it, and it wasn’t too long before I started making jokes about it myself.

You really do have a great sense of humor when it comes to living with psoriasis. What made you decide to share that with others on a social network?

Thank you! I never really had any intention of sharing stories or jokes about psoriasis. My friend kept tagging me in different psoriasis-related things on Facebook, and one day he tagged me in this post about Flaym. I didn’t have any interest in a support group or anything like that, but I thought, I’ll check Flaym out.

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When I signed up, the first thing I noticed was there were some seriously upsetting posts — there was even one poor girl who posted saying she felt like dying. I just wanted to try and make people feel better — hopefully I have!

How has humor been helpful for you in living with psoriasis?

I think if you own something, no one else can use it against you. Unfortunately, from the moment you get diagnosed with psoriasis, it becomes a part of who you are, and you have two choices: Try and hide that part of who you are or embrace it, or show people that this is you — and if they don’t like it, that is their problem.

Being able to joke about it is really just a first step to being confident with it. That’s how I feel about it, anyway. I’m sure others may feel differently!

When threatened, I use my psoriasis much like a hedgehog uses its spikes. Come near me and I will flake on you!
Josh Cumming via Flaym

Some of your posts address specific situations, like the one about people mistaking Flaym for a dating site. Are these based on things that have happened, or is this you taking creative license?

Most of what I post is based on things that have happened to me, and some are just exaggerations of everyday things most people with psoriasis can relate to. For example, changing the bedsheets and causing a snowstorm. It does genuinely feel like that sometimes!

The dating website one was a bit of a combo. The first part of the post came about because I had a couple of messages from girls asking me what I was looking for on the site and things like that. Then I noticed some women on the site were getting bombarded with messages from guys who all thought it was a dating website.

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It would only take five seconds of scrolling through the feed to notice it’s not a dating website. I’ve never known anyone on a dating website to say something like, “I’ve cut out red meat and now I’m flake-free,” so I don’t know how people were mistaking it.

So many people mistaking this for a dating website! Do you like regular trips to the dermatologist and a bathroom cupboard full of different creams no one has heard of? Then you’re in the right place.
Josh Cumming via Flaym

The second part of that post is something everyone with psoriasis can relate to: the constant trips to the doctors and all the creams, endless creams, SO many creams! I just thought it would be funny to combine the two and poke fun at the people mistaking it for a dating website and give them a little insight into what they had signed up for. It’s still happening though — maybe some people do just have a flaky fetish!

What do you enjoy most about posting and interacting with the Flaym community?

Making people laugh, mostly. If anything I post can cheer someone up that was feeling down, even if just for a couple of minutes, then it is worth doing.

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It’s nice to get comments and messages from people saying thank you for making me laugh and things like that. And I enjoy seeing other people putting on their funny stories and jokes. If anything I have posted has inspired someone else to share a funny story, then that’s brilliant!

It seems like the majority of your Flaym followers respond well to your posts, but there are always exceptions. How do you deal with people who get upset about your sense of humor?

It really doesn’t bother me. Nothing I say is aimed to upset anyone living with psoriasis, exactly the opposite in fact. But I understand that some people will not appreciate jokes about it and those people do not have to look at or read my posts.

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But I would advise anyone to try and find a sense of humor about any issue they have. It really does make it easier.

Which of your posts is your favorite? Why?

This one: “I worked in a kids’ camp one summer, a little boy saw my elbows, tapped me on the leg, and casually asked me, ‘Are you a demon?’ …Little sh**.”

I think this might have been the first thing I posted, but I love this post. It’s 100 percent accurate to what happened and it makes me laugh how brutal kids can be!

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But it’s also a perfect example of why having a sense of humor is important. While I know the little boy didn’t mean any offense, it can easily be an adult pointing a finger or a horrible comment, and the best thing you can do is show that it does not matter to you.

Remember when you could take a really hot shower without looking like Red Skull after? Those were the days!
Josh Cumming via Flaym

What I missed out of that post was my answer to the little boy’s question, which was, “Yes.” I thought it would be funny, but he cried and I had to spend 20 minutes explaining what psoriasis is and the fact I’m not a demon.

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Thanks, Josh, for taking the time to speak with us. If you loved getting a glimpse of Josh’s jokes and want more, head over to Flaym and follow him for more hilarious status updates.


rena goldman

Rena writes about healthy living and design. She holds a BS in English and has been working as a freelance writer for five years. In her spare time, she grows an organic urban garden and helps plan activities for children in a low-income community in Washington, D.C. You can follow her on .

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