By Nora Hakaramaj @norahakramaj
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Videographer / Director: Fermin Franco Garcia
Producer: Nora Hakramaj, Ruby Coote
Editor: Sonia Estal
Celia Martinez from Guadix, Spain, was diagnosed with psoriasis aged 16 when she discovered small red dots on her stomach that eventually spread everywhere, including parts of her face.
But rather than airbrushing or Photoshopping away her imperfections, Celia has amassed an online following of more than 10,000 followers on Instagram by confidently displaying some of her worst outbreaks to help encourage others to be comfortable in their own skin.
And her self-confidence and beauty has led to a number of partnerships with clothing stores and natural skincare products.
The 27-year-old told Barcroft TV: “In the beginning, the psoriasis made me feel really bad because I’d go out and I looked like a freak.
“To give you an idea, it felt like a drop of oil had fallen on my skin and it had burnt me.
"From there the marks kept getting bigger, it hurt more and got itchier. After two or three days it usually starts to bleed, it starts to dry out and of course it starts feeling even more painful and even itchier.”
Although the exact cause of psoriasis is not yet fully understood, weather, stress and certain foods can all trigger outbreaks.
One of Celia’s worst outbreaks was the most recent one which lasted for about a year and a half and eventually caused her to leave her job as a mechanic.
She said: “I suffered from a lot of fevers, a lot of pain and I felt awful. I also had problems with my nerves, anxiety, and everything came all at me at once. It was the worst it’s ever been for me."
Growing up Celia had to deal with constant comments about her skin, but having her boyfriend Jose Antonio Jimenez by her side helped her cope with her symptoms.
Celia said: “People when they usually see it, everyone is surprised especially when I’m having a bad outbreak because I can imagine that it’s shocking to see.
“The worst comments that I get, that I think annoys me the most and affects me the most, is when they ask if I have a contagious disease, or say ‘how disgusting’ or ‘don’t touch me.'
“The first time my current partner saw my psoriasis, he wasn’t my partner at that point because we’ve known each other for most of our lives. So he already knew I had it before we were together.
"However the first time my partner saw my psoriasis up close as a couple, he simply saw it as something very normal.”
Jose, 32, added: “ When Celia has an outbreak she just gets on with it. Every time a sore appears, it feels like a burn and of course she reacts. She doesn’t cry, but it hurts her a lot.
“Most people, including me, we couldn’t stand it like that, so she endures it really well. Obviously the itching and the pain is really tough, but if she was someone else they wouldn’t be able to stand it like her. She bears it really, really well."
Celia's passion for modelling helped her overcome her insecurities to wearing certain clothing - despite often being rejected for photo shoots due to her skin condition.
She added: "In terms of my work as a model and in photo sessions, it’s true that sometimes they’ve even said, 'Celia we can’t work with you because of your skin condition. You don’t have the requirements, you need to have perfect skin and it’s going to be a lot of work to edit it'.
"I think that the thing that has really made me more confident and has made me grow as a person has been the criticism and feeling bad when I’m in the street and people look at me badly, when they said horrible things.
"In that moment I said, 'I’m going to be on top of this, I’m not going to let any one humiliate me, or let anyone speak badly about me.' I think that this has made me accept it even more and to cope with it better."
While psoriasis is a chronic condition, Celia hopes that her career as a model and social media star will allow people to see first hand that you can still be beautiful while having a skin condition.
She said: "In the future I hope and I believe that I’ll finally get the right treatment for me. Of course it’s a disease that lasts forever, but if some of the symptoms that really make me feel bad can be reduced a bit, it will allow me to fully live the normal life that I want.
“It’s gotten to a point where I really don’t care. It irritates me and it hurts but physically it’s not something that bothers me at all.
"When my doctor said that this would be for life, I made a promise with myself that I would love myself more than ever."