When you hear the word "psoriasis," what do you think of?

Dry skin? A little redness? Kim Kardashian freaking out about not being able to do photoshoots?

Turns out that the disorder is a lot more serious than that — and one sufferer is speaking out in a powerful way.

Actress Ciena Rae Nelson, who suffers from severe psoriasis, took to Instagram to share what the condition REALLY looks like — and why people need to stop dismissing it as a purely "cosmetic" condition.

This is Nelson before and after makeup, and WOW.

She describes these pictures as what psoriasis looks like versus what it feels like, a sensation she describes as "constant, widespread itchiness that feels like I'm being stung or bitten."

"Most people looked at the left in person and didn't notice much but dry spots here and there, not noticing what was really underneath," she says, noting that this is why psoriasis is so often an invisible illness. "Not everything is as bad as it looks and sometimes things are actually much worse."

She says that because sufferers can hide the most visible symptoms with makeup, people don't realize how serious psoriasis actually is.

"Skin conditions are not cosmetic issues," she writes, adding that there's a hell of a lot about the illness that you never see. "They cause physical pain and suffering and oftentimes a feeling of being trapped in your own body, on top of the social anxiety many people face because of them."

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that has also been linked to arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and chronic fatigue. Ciena has even been hospitalized during her flare-ups.

She shared this photo from 2014, taken before she was hospitalized with a fever and dehydration — both directly related to her condition, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.

And even on "good" days, her skin is often so dry that it flakes off.

"I use Puremedy "psoriasis and eczema relief" from Whole foods as an all natural reliever for those extra dry spots that just won't stay moisturized," she says.

Ciena hopes that by sharing her story, she'll promote psoriasis awareness — and encourage the destigmatization of skin conditions in general.

"We need to continue to educate people and support one another and BE HONEST!" she says.

We think she's totally badass and brave. Love u, Ciena!