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So the other day when we were ta ...

Posted Jan 27 2009 7:42pm 2 Comments

So the other day when we were talking about stripping I admitted that I doubt I would do that as I have severe psoriasis over 90% of my body including the very rare place psoriasis is found, my face. I received e-mails and comments about my psoriasis and thought now would be as good a time as any to do a post on all of the crazy ways I have tried to help my psoriasis and how I have finally come to live with it, even on my face (which makes wearing make-up difficult). I know that many of you are bringing home children with dry skin or skin issues - I hope NONE of them must suffer through this crazy disease but if so and they need someone to talk to just send them my way! I am not afraid to share and I can totally understand when others sometimes cannot!

The discovery of my psoriasis happened when I was 15 and it appeared on my forehead. (And highschool was a nightmare thanks to that discovery - has anyone noticed how mean teenagers can be?) According to the doctors I had psoriasis long before that on my scalp, elbows and knees, I just didn’t know it. I HATED my initial dermatologist and don’t go to dermatologists much because of that dermatologist, but the last dermatologist I consulted indicated that I had the worst case of psoriasis he had ever seen (what a way to make me feel good right????), and then told me that the chances of me ever having clear skin were about zero….so I told him thanks as I was not interested in treatments that could kill me when psoriasis, while still not easy to live with, could not. I have always hated that wearing anything black is an issue for me - I am always wiping off scales from my arms, my neck, my scalp, my face etc….I prefer light colors but feel as if I look washed out in them (and if I itch too much I will bleed and stain the light colored clothing - I have become good at getting blood stains so let me know if you need some help there), so I wear dark colors and just try to keep up with the scales. As I have grown I have been told I have in some form all the types of psoriasis and been told it has had other effects on my body, fortunately I do not have arthritis and hopefully I can continue with that trend! While I was in Hawaii it cleared up pretty well and I loved it, one of the reasons Aaron tries yearly to get me to move there. (Compare the pictures on the us page - the upper one no treatment you can see my psoriasis on what skin you can see but in the wedding picture not so much and neither have been retouched) We talk a lot about moving somewhere with less harsh winters (as that totally is the worst time for me) BUT never do much about that (mostly because I do not want to take another bar unless I have to - in May I will be able to get reciprocity in some states but not all).

Looking back the treatment was pretty funny, I have slept while wrapped in saran wrap to try and keep the moisture in (I didn’t like that one); slathered in more creams and lotions than I can count; I have had tar treatment (not fun either); taken steroids (though not for long - Thank God!); for a short period of time we tried antidepressants - they worked the best but talk about having to explain about why you are taking something, just another reason to take the antidepressants hehe!!! I have tried MANY home remedies, one my mom ordered was supposed to be great and it really worked but it was later pulled as it was found to have toooooo high amounts of steroids. The treatment that really works for me is sunlight or uvb light. I have recently decided that I can live with it and those around me should be able to as well! My husband HATES the extra dusting and the fact that the dogs love to lick the scales off what ever they are on!

I have become an expert at answering the questions - sometimes though I cannot help but use a smart answer with those who are just annoying me. I want to SCREAM most of the time that I cannot give it to them nor will I blow up if you touch me but usually I am pretty nice. I live with it every day!

So there is really long rest of the post after the jump and is ALL about psoriasis….

                Psoriasis is an immune-mediated, genetic disease manifesting in the skin and/or the joints. According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis. In plaque psoriasis, the most common type, patches of skin called “lesions” become inflamed and covered by silvery white scale. Psoriasis can be limited to a few lesions or can involve moderate to large areas of skin. The severity of psoriasis can vary from person to person; however, for most people, psoriasis tends to be mild. Psoriasis is not contagious. It is not something you can “catch” or “pass on.” The psoriatic lesions may not look good, but they are not infections or open wounds. People with psoriasis pose no threat to the health or safety of others.

                No one knows exactly what causes psoriasis, but it is believed to have a genetic component. Most researchers agree that the immune system is somehow mistakenly triggered, which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. A normal skin cell matures and falls off the body’s surface in 28 to 30 days. But a psoriatic skin cell takes only three to four days to mature and move to the surface. Instead of falling off (shedding), the cells pile up and form the lesions.   No special blood tests or diagnostic tools exist to diagnose psoriasis. The physician or other health care provider usually examines the affected skin and decides if it is from psoriasis. Less often, the physician examines a piece of skin (biopsy) under the microscope.  

                There is no cure, but many different treatments, both topical (on the skin) and systemic (throughout the body), can clear psoriasis for periods of time. People often need to try out different treatments before they find one that works for them. The unpredictable nature of psoriasis makes treatment challenging for many people. A wide range of treatments is available. No single psoriasis treatment works for everyone, but something will work for most people. It is hard to predict what will work for a particular individual.

                 There are various forms of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is the most common. Other forms are: Guttate [GUH-tate], characterized by small dot-like lesions; Pustular [PUHS-choo-ler], characterized by weeping lesions and intense scaling; Inverse, characterized by intense inflammation; Erythrodermic [eh-REETH-ro-der-mik], characterized by intense shedding and redness of the skin. Psoriasis can range from mild to moderate to very severe and disabling.   Psoriasis most commonly appears on the scalp, knees, elbows and torso. But psoriasis can develop anywhere, including the nails, palms, soles, genitals and face (which is rare). Often the lesions appear symmetrically, which means in the same place on the right and left sides of the body. Psoriasis often appears between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can develop at any age. Approximately 10 percent to 15 percent of those with psoriasis get it before age 10. Some infants have psoriasis, although this is considered rare.   Psoriasis occurs nearly equally in men and women across all socioeconomic groups. It is also present in all racial groups, but in varying rates.

                The skin, the largest organ in the body, plays an important role. It controls body temperature and serves as a barrier to infection. Large areas of psoriasis can lead to infection, fluid loss and poor blood flow (circulation).   Psoriatic arthritis is a specific type of arthritis that has been diagnosed in approximately 23 percent of people who have psoriasis, according to the Psoriasis Foundation’s 2001 Benchmark Survey. Psoriatic arthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis but generally milder. In psoriatic arthritis, the joints and the soft tissue around them become inflamed and stiff. Psoriatic arthritis can affect the fingers and toes and may involve the, neck, lower back, knees and ankles. In severe cases, psoriatic arthritis can be disabling and cause irreversible damage to joints.   Approximately 10 percent to 30 percent of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis, although it often may go undiagnosed, particularly in its milder forms. It can develop at any time, but for most people it appears between the ages of 30 and 50. Having psoriasis does not guarantee that you will eventually develop psoriatic arthritis.

                Psoriasis can be mild, moderate or severe. Three percent to 10 percent of the body affected by psoriasis is considered to be a moderate case. More than 10 percent is considered severe. The palm of the hand equals 1 percent of the skin. However, the severity of psoriasis is also measured by how psoriasis affects a person’s quality of life. Psoriasis can have a serious impact even if it involves a small area, such as the palms of the hands or soles of the feet. Psoriasis triggers can include emotional stress, injury to the skin, some types of infection and reactions to certain drugs. Stress can cause psoriasis to flare for the first time or aggravate existing psoriasis. Psoriasis can also be triggered in areas of the skin that have been injured or traumatized. This is known as the “Koebner phenomenon.” Vaccinations, sunburns and scratches can all trigger a Koebner response. The Koebner response can be treated if it is caught early enough. Certain medications, like antimalarial drugs, lithium and certain beta-blockers, are also known to cause people’s psoriasis to flare. Other triggers may include weather, diet and allergies. Triggers will vary from person to person and what may cause one person’s psoriasis to flare may produce no reaction in another individual.   Itching that is associated with psoriasis arises when certain chemicals stimulate nerve fibers just below the outer layer of the skin. Itch messages travel to the brain along the same pathways in the nervous system that carry pain messages. Itch messages trigger the urge to scratch.   One of the simplest ways for people with psoriasis to control itch is by keeping the skin moisturized. Dry skin can induce and aggravate itch. Many people also rely on simple, inexpensive measures, such as pressing a wet towel against the itchy spot. Others find cold showers and cold packs offer relief. Other treatments for itch include antihistamines, steroids, capsaicin, topical anesthetics, topical immunomodulators, antidepressants and aspirin.

                For the most part, people with psoriasis function normally. Sometimes people experience low self-esteem because of the psoriasis. Psoriasis is often misunderstood by the public, which can make social interactions difficult. This may lead to emotional reactions such as anxiety, anger, embarrassment and depression. Psoriasis can affect the type of work people do if it is visible.   Psoriasis is a chronic (life-long) illness. Most people need ongoing treatments and visits to the doctor. In severe cases, people may need to be hospitalized. About 56 million hours of work are lost each year by people who suffer from psoriasis, and between $1.6 billion and $3.2 billion is spent per year to treat psoriasis. While there is no cure for psoriasis, researchers are studying psoriasis more than ever before. They understand much more about its genetic causes and how it involves the immune system. The National Psoriasis Foundation and the federal government are promoting and funding research to find the cause and cure for psoriasis.

                Psoriasis gets better in the summer it is speculated because of the greater availability of natural ultraviolet light (sunshine). People usually wear fewer layers of clothing and expose more areas of skin by wearing short sleeves, short pants, and swimming suits during the summer months.   People with psoriasis often do respond well to exposure to natural and/or artificial ultraviolet light. However each person is different. Overexposure to ultraviolet light can trigger a flare-up of psoriasis symptoms. It is best to start with very low exposure times and build-up over several weeks.   In general, tanning beds are not considered as effective as UVB phototherapy that is administered in a doctor’s office. However, it can serve as a good alternative for those who have difficulty getting to their doctor frequently or have no health coverage. Use common sense when trying light treatment. Gradually increase exposure time to help avoid burning.

                Many people find that pool or hot tub water helps to soften and clear crusty, hard areas and flaking. Be aware of very warm water or long soaks in hot tubs as heat can increase itching and irritation. Water pulls moisture out of the skin. Water that has chlorine or other pool sanitizing chemicals added to it will pull even more moisture out of the skin. When pool or hot tub water is allowed to dry on the skin it can continue to draw moisture out of the skin and can cause additional irritation. The best way to avoid this irritation is to shower as soon as possible after pool or hot tub use. Using chlorine-removing shampoos and/or soap can help to further reduce chemical irritation. The shower should be followed with a generous application of moisturizer.

                There is no magic location, climate or vacation spot that can clear psoriasis. Many people tell find their symptoms will clear while they are on vacation. There are several possible reasons for this. In general, there is much more time for relaxing and recreation. Worries and stresses are often left behind. The person may be spending the days in the sun and/or the water. Other indulgences or changes such as foods, spa treatments and an increase or decrease in physical activities can all contribute as well.   Vacation is about more than the destination, it is about a change of pace: taking a break from every day life. It’s about relaxing and having fun. If your idea of fun is several nights at a luxury hotel and the royal treatment, a weekend at a spa may be the best vacation for the sufferer.

                A combination of dry air, decreased sunlight exposure, and colder temperatures all contribute to psoriasis getting worse in the winter. Frequent moisturizing and using a home humidifier can help alleviate some of the symptoms.   For some people, moving to a new location can be helpful.

                When psoriasis is not actively flaring and a sufferer can get the attenuated or “non-live” version of the flu vaccine. However, not all vaccines are a good idea for psoriasis sufferers. For example, the smallpox vaccine is one that may not be recommended to psoriasis patients. This is because the smallpox virus can be passed from person to person through an open wound.   Anything that can affect the immune system can, in turn, affect psoriasis.

So the other day when we were talking about stripping I admitted that I doubt I would do that as I have severe psoriasis over 90% of my body including the very rare place psoriasis is found, my face. I received e-mails and comments about my psoriasis and thought now would be as good a time as any to do a post on all of the crazy ways I have tried to help my psoriasis and how I have finally come to live with it, even on my face (which makes wearing make-up difficult). I know that many of you are bringing home children with dry skin or skin issues - I hope NONE of them must suffer through this crazy disease but if so and they need someone to talk to just send them my way! I am not afraid to share and I can totally understand when others sometimes cannot!

The discovery of my psoriasis happened when I was 15 and it appeared on my forehead. (And highschool was a nightmare thanks to that discovery - has anyone noticed how mean teenagers can be?) According to the doctors I had psoriasis long before that on my scalp, elbows and knees, I just didn’t know it. I HATED my initial dermatologist and don’t go to dermatologists much because of that dermatologist, but the last dermatologist I consulted indicated that I had the worst case of psoriasis he had ever seen (what a way to make me feel good right????), and then told me that the chances of me ever having clear skin were about zero….so I told him thanks as I was not interested in treatments that could kill me when psoriasis, while still not easy to live with, could not. I have always hated that wearing anything black is an issue for me - I am always wiping off scales from my arms, my neck, my scalp, my face etc….I prefer light colors but feel as if I look washed out in them (and if I itch too much I will bleed and stain the light colored clothing - I have become good at getting blood stains so let me know if you need some help there), so I wear dark colors and just try to keep up with the scales. As I have grown I have been told I have in some form all the types of psoriasis and been told it has had other effects on my body, fortunately I do not have arthritis and hopefully I can continue with that trend! While I was in Hawaii it cleared up pretty well and I loved it, one of the reasons Aaron tries yearly to get me to move there. (Compare the pictures on the us page - the upper one no treatment you can see my psoriasis on what skin you can see but in the wedding picture not so much and neither have been retouched) We talk a lot about moving somewhere with less harsh winters (as that totally is the worst time for me) BUT never do much about that (mostly because I do not want to take another bar unless I have to - in May I will be able to get reciprocity in some states but not all).

Looking back the treatment was pretty funny, I have slept while wrapped in saran wrap to try and keep the moisture in (I didn’t like that one); slathered in more creams and lotions than I can count; I have had tar treatment (not fun either); taken steroids (though not for long - Thank God!); for a short period of time we tried antidepressants - they worked the best but talk about having to explain about why you are taking something, just another reason to take the antidepressants hehe!!! I have tried MANY home remedies, one my mom ordered was supposed to be great and it really worked but it was later pulled as it was found to have toooooo high amounts of steroids. The treatment that really works for me is sunlight or uvb light. I have recently decided that I can live with it and those around me should be able to as well! My husband HATES the extra dusting and the fact that the dogs love to lick the scales off what ever they are on!

I have become an expert at answering the questions - sometimes though I cannot help but use a smart answer with those who are just annoying me. I want to SCREAM most of the time that I cannot give it to them nor will I blow up if you touch me but usually I am pretty nice. I live with it every day!

So there is really long rest of the post after the jump and is ALL about psoriasis….

                Psoriasis is an immune-mediated, genetic disease manifesting in the skin and/or the joints. According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis. In plaque psoriasis, the most common type, patches of skin called “lesions” become inflamed and covered by silvery white scale. Psoriasis can be limited to a few lesions or can involve moderate to large areas of skin. The severity of psoriasis can vary from person to person; however, for most people, psoriasis tends to be mild. Psoriasis is not contagious. It is not something you can “catch” or “pass on.” The psoriatic lesions may not look good, but they are not infections or open wounds. People with psoriasis pose no threat to the health or safety of others.

                No one knows exactly what causes psoriasis, but it is believed to have a genetic component. Most researchers agree that the immune system is somehow mistakenly triggered, which speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells. A normal skin cell matures and falls off the body’s surface in 28 to 30 days. But a psoriatic skin cell takes only three to four days to mature and move to the surface. Instead of falling off (shedding), the cells pile up and form the lesions.   No special blood tests or diagnostic tools exist to diagnose psoriasis. The physician or other health care provider usually examines the affected skin and decides if it is from psoriasis. Less often, the physician examines a piece of skin (biopsy) under the microscope.  

                There is no cure, but many different treatments, both topical (on the skin) and systemic (throughout the body), can clear psoriasis for periods of time. People often need to try out different treatments before they find one that works for them. The unpredictable nature of psoriasis makes treatment challenging for many people. A wide range of treatments is available. No single psoriasis treatment works for everyone, but something will work for most people. It is hard to predict what will work for a particular individual.

                 There are various forms of psoriasis. Plaque psoriasis is the most common. Other forms are: Guttate [GUH-tate], characterized by small dot-like lesions; Pustular [PUHS-choo-ler], characterized by weeping lesions and intense scaling; Inverse, characterized by intense inflammation; Erythrodermic [eh-REETH-ro-der-mik], characterized by intense shedding and redness of the skin. Psoriasis can range from mild to moderate to very severe and disabling.   Psoriasis most commonly appears on the scalp, knees, elbows and torso. But psoriasis can develop anywhere, including the nails, palms, soles, genitals and face (which is rare). Often the lesions appear symmetrically, which means in the same place on the right and left sides of the body. Psoriasis often appears between the ages of 15 and 35, but it can develop at any age. Approximately 10 percent to 15 percent of those with psoriasis get it before age 10. Some infants have psoriasis, although this is considered rare.   Psoriasis occurs nearly equally in men and women across all socioeconomic groups. It is also present in all racial groups, but in varying rates.

                The skin, the largest organ in the body, plays an important role. It controls body temperature and serves as a barrier to infection. Large areas of psoriasis can lead to infection, fluid loss and poor blood flow (circulation).   Psoriatic arthritis is a specific type of arthritis that has been diagnosed in approximately 23 percent of people who have psoriasis, according to the Psoriasis Foundation’s 2001 Benchmark Survey. Psoriatic arthritis is similar to rheumatoid arthritis but generally milder. In psoriatic arthritis, the joints and the soft tissue around them become inflamed and stiff. Psoriatic arthritis can affect the fingers and toes and may involve the, neck, lower back, knees and ankles. In severe cases, psoriatic arthritis can be disabling and cause irreversible damage to joints.   Approximately 10 percent to 30 percent of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis, although it often may go undiagnosed, particularly in its milder forms. It can develop at any time, but for most people it appears between the ages of 30 and 50. Having psoriasis does not guarantee that you will eventually develop psoriatic arthritis.

                Psoriasis can be mild, moderate or severe. Three percent to 10 percent of the body affected by psoriasis is considered to be a moderate case. More than 10 percent is considered severe. The palm of the hand equals 1 percent of the skin. However, the severity of psoriasis is also measured by how psoriasis affects a person’s quality of life. Psoriasis can have a serious impact even if it involves a small area, such as the palms of the hands or soles of the feet. Psoriasis triggers can include emotional stress, injury to the skin, some types of infection and reactions to certain drugs. Stress can cause psoriasis to flare for the first time or aggravate existing psoriasis. Psoriasis can also be triggered in areas of the skin that have been injured or traumatized. This is known as the “Koebner phenomenon.” Vaccinations, sunburns and scratches can all trigger a Koebner response. The Koebner response can be treated if it is caught early enough. Certain medications, like antimalarial drugs, lithium and certain beta-blockers, are also known to cause people’s psoriasis to flare. Other triggers may include weather, diet and allergies. Triggers will vary from person to person and what may cause one person’s psoriasis to flare may produce no reaction in another individual.   Itching that is associated with psoriasis arises when certain chemicals stimulate nerve fibers just below the outer layer of the skin. Itch messages travel to the brain along the same pathways in the nervous system that carry pain messages. Itch messages trigger the urge to scratch.   One of the simplest ways for people with psoriasis to control itch is by keeping the skin moisturized. Dry skin can induce and aggravate itch. Many people also rely on simple, inexpensive measures, such as pressing a wet towel against the itchy spot. Others find cold showers and cold packs offer relief. Other treatments for itch include antihistamines, steroids, capsaicin, topical anesthetics, topical immunomodulators, antidepressants and aspirin.

                For the most part, people with psoriasis function normally. Sometimes people experience low self-esteem because of the psoriasis. Psoriasis is often misunderstood by the public, which can make social interactions difficult. This may lead to emotional reactions such as anxiety, anger, embarrassment and depression. Psoriasis can affect the type of work people do if it is visible.   Psoriasis is a chronic (life-long) illness. Most people need ongoing treatments and visits to the doctor. In severe cases, people may need to be hospitalized. About 56 million hours of work are lost each year by people who suffer from psoriasis, and between $1.6 billion and $3.2 billion is spent per year to treat psoriasis. While there is no cure for psoriasis, researchers are studying psoriasis more than ever before. They understand much more about its genetic causes and how it involves the immune system. The National Psoriasis Foundation and the federal government are promoting and funding research to find the cause and cure for psoriasis.

                Psoriasis gets better in the summer it is speculated because of the greater availability of natural ultraviolet light (sunshine). People usually wear fewer layers of clothing and expose more areas of skin by wearing short sleeves, short pants, and swimming suits during the summer months.   People with psoriasis often do respond well to exposure to natural and/or artificial ultraviolet light. However each person is different. Overexposure to ultraviolet light can trigger a flare-up of psoriasis symptoms. It is best to start with very low exposure times and build-up over several weeks.   In general, tanning beds are not considered as effective as UVB phototherapy that is administered in a doctor’s office. However, it can serve as a good alternative for those who have difficulty getting to their doctor frequently or have no health coverage. Use common sense when trying light treatment. Gradually increase exposure time to help avoid burning.

                Many people find that pool or hot tub water helps to soften and clear crusty, hard areas and flaking. Be aware of very warm water or long soaks in hot tubs as heat can increase itching and irritation. Water pulls moisture out of the skin. Water that has chlorine or other pool sanitizing chemicals added to it will pull even more moisture out of the skin. When pool or hot tub water is allowed to dry on the skin it can continue to draw moisture out of the skin and can cause additional irritation. The best way to avoid this irritation is to shower as soon as possible after pool or hot tub use. Using chlorine-removing shampoos and/or soap can help to further reduce chemical irritation. The shower should be followed with a generous application of moisturizer.

                There is no magic location, climate or vacation spot that can clear psoriasis. Many people tell find their symptoms will clear while they are on vacation. There are several possible reasons for this. In general, there is much more time for relaxing and recreation. Worries and stresses are often left behind. The person may be spending the days in the sun and/or the water. Other indulgences or changes such as foods, spa treatments and an increase or decrease in physical activities can all contribute as well.   Vacation is about more than the destination, it is about a change of pace: taking a break from every day life. It’s about relaxing and having fun. If your idea of fun is several nights at a luxury hotel and the royal treatment, a weekend at a spa may be the best vacation for the sufferer.

                A combination of dry air, decreased sunlight exposure, and colder temperatures all contribute to psoriasis getting worse in the winter. Frequent moisturizing and using a home humidifier can help alleviate some of the symptoms.   For some people, moving to a new location can be helpful.

                When psoriasis is not actively flaring and a sufferer can get the attenuated or “non-live” version of the flu vaccine. However, not all vaccines are a good idea for psoriasis sufferers. For example, the smallpox vaccine is one that may not be recommended to psoriasis patients. This is because the smallpox virus can be passed from person to person through an open wound.   Anything that can affect the immune system can, in turn, affect psoriasis.

Comments (2)
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thanx for all the info
I have psoriasis all over my scalp and have tried numerous treatments, none have worked.
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