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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bunga_aj, 5 Oct 2009.

  1. bunga_aj


    Joined: 19 May 2009

    Posts: 126

    I've had psoriasis since I was about 4 years old (I'm 22 now) with varying degrees of severity but nothing like some of the serious cases you see on the internet and on TV. I only really have pretty tame psoriasis on my arms and legs (elbows, knees, back of my legs, forearms). That being said, it's a real pain living with this skin condition.

    I recently tried a cream for a period of time and it totally cleared up it was brilliant but now... it's all coming back again and no amount of this cream seems to work, in fact I'm pretty sure it's making it worse so I've ceased it totally now.

    It's quite a common condition (I believe something like 3% of people in the UK suffer from some form of it) and I'm just absolutely gutted that it's coming back because frankly, even though I don't have a severe kind, it's enough to make me very self concious and stop me from wearing and doing some things. It's held me back from countless stuff throughout my entire life because of the confidence it saps away from you - I mean, who really wants red blotches on their skin?

    Has anyone else got this bloody awful disease or know of a partner, relative, friend with it, and if so, how do you or they cope with it?
  2. Von Smallhausen

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 1 Aug 2004

    Posts: 12,626

    Location: Tyneside

    I can't offer any advice other than have you tried the Psoriasis Association ?


    Perhaps there are people you can talk to ?
  3. Kiyoshi

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 10 Nov 2003

    Posts: 1,669

    My mum has it reasonably bad. She's tried various creams and what not as far as I know, even spent some time in hospital wrapped up like a mummy for a week or so with some 'special' cream. It hasn't really improved unfortunately, I'm 30 now and she's had it for as long as I can remember.

    Sun seems to help it in her case, it all but almost cleared when we went to Spain once. It gets worse in the winter, and the colder weather can make it look quite painful when it gets bad.
  4. jakeke


    Joined: 8 Jan 2006

    Posts: 8,267

    Location: sheffield

    I had a few red spots appear when I was younger but there were never more than 2 or 3 at a time and they were small, so can't really relate to you as they didn't bother me at all! Lots of people have worse.
  5. Iraklis F.C.


    Joined: 16 Nov 2003

    Posts: 6,426

    Location: Thessaloniki

    i have a friend who has the same problem and worse than you , its spread on his face neck and arms. Its a very very difficult situation, he is taking some medicine but afaik doctors say psychology and healthy diet helps .
  6. Stev


    Joined: 10 Nov 2007

    Posts: 831

    Location: South coast

    I have it on my leg and back and some behind the ear...bloody annoying! the leg patch ive had about 4 years now and it all but dwindles then resurfaces ususally after im stressed out!
  7. JCBeastie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 28 Sep 2004

    Posts: 1,795

    Location: Deepest Cornwall

    I have a severe form of Atopic Eczema which is similar in some ways to Psoriasis. I hear though that Psoriasis is often effectively managed with UV treatment, you should ask your GP about it.
  8. zytok

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Feb 2004

    Posts: 2,325

    Location: Chesterfield

    I get something similar to varying degrees and have done for probably 15 years now. Mainly it affects my face (nose, forehead, behind my ears) but occasionally get it on my chest. It's not awful by any means, I see people with it much worse than me but like you say it's a pain and itches like hell at times.

    I find mine is stress related but moisturise alot to keep the dryness in check. I do find though that some creams (E45) made mine worse if anything. Best bet is to consult a GP or perhaps a skin specialist if your GP is not much help.

    The sun does seem to help so maybe there is something in the UV claims. Shame to have to get skin cancer instead :p
    Last edited: 5 Oct 2009
  9. LizardKing


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 7,742

    Location: The Land of Roundabouts

    The wife has it and the only thing that has really helped her was using sun beds, or sun bathing but that's kinda hard in this country!
  10. AHarvey


    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 10,004

    Location: Stoke area

    Yes, i've got it, as did my dad.

    He was covered in thick red sores and flaky skin all over his body. Mine luckily is only in a few places:

    Scalp: very rarely red sores, more just flaky skin and I've had people before say comments about dandruff, i've had to educate them as to what it really is. I find keeping my hair short really helps as it allows the sunlight to get in and any flakes to get away easily. I'd shave my hair really short but the wife told me she wouldn't have sex with me if I did as I'd look a **** with my eyebrows and no hair :D

    It seems to appear in other areas where I am hairy. I've got constant patches on my chest that are red sores and can weep if itched. I've had cream for them, it does help but its horrid having to apply it all the time and the cream doesn't smell nice. I get red patches on my face (that one doctor told me that it wasn't Psoriasis, "it just wouldn't be" however the cream he gave me did nothing but the Psoriasis lotion for my scalp helped). I rarely wet shave now, but its 5-7 days between trimming it back to stubble, psoriasis can get bad. Use facial scrub and moisturise with Nivea for Men rehydrating face cream

    I find that I also get it in my ears as flaky skin, behind my ears as sore red patches, I can appear around cuts/spots (I was really worried about my tattoo but no issues :) ) Got a small patch on my foot and the last place is that once in a blue moon I get some red patches on my tackle. The missus is great, doesn't bother her and i find sex really helps with it.

    It really gets you down when people can see it, you worry about how it comes across, whether you have flakes on your top etc. I know on the grand scheme of things its not a serious ailment, but it can still effect your life. A friend from school was scaley from head to toe and was bullied for it, he also had a very bad stutter which made things worse.

    As for what helps, creams and lotions from the doctors do help but seems short term to me and some you can't take for long. As has already been mentioned, sunlight is great for it, UV lamps aren't something I've tried yet but I am going to be looking at getting one I think. Trying to remove any stress from your life, I very rarely feel stressed but my body shows the signs even if I don't, its the worse cause of it.

    Other remedies are eating certain foods, I missed the 'Spa of embarrassing illnesses' show on diet but I was told it worked. A really odd one is sitting in a bath with fish, they eat the flakes :eek:. Not tried that either.
    Last edited: 5 Oct 2009
  11. Andy90

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 5 Feb 2008

    Posts: 2,207

    I've suffered from Psoriasis for about 10 years. I've got patches about the size of a 10p on each elbow and just to the side of my knees. Every now and then a small patch flares up just on the hair line.

    They've never really figured out what causes it. Personally I think its a combination of stress on the body and some form of allergic reaction to something in the environment. The skin cells then go berserk and start creating cells like mad, which die off and cause the flakes of skin (interestingly enough they now think that many of the Lepers in the Bible actually suffered from Psoriasis rather than Leprosy!)

    A healthy diet with plenty of fruit, nuts, cereals etc., is advocated, but I think that just helps the body in any event.

    Sunlight is good, I've found that it does clear up slightly in the summer months.

    I also use a shampoo called T-Gel which is available from most Chemists without a prescription. It is coal tar based - which oddly enough was the standard treatment for Psoriasis years ago - until some bright spark found out that in very high concentrations Coal tar is actually carcenogenic! Most coal tar creams etc nowadays tend to be prescription only for this reason.

    I find it odd though that it tends to be the same places on people, knees and elbows being the main ones. I've always wondered if it is a vestigal thing from millions of years ago - bit like scent glands, which tend to be on the limbs of most animals. As for the coal tar thing, it is an antisceptic so perhaps it kills off whatever is causing the irritation?
  12. MattTheTall77


    Joined: 23 Dec 2008

    Posts: 849

    I first started getting it when I was around 20, well that's when I first remember it. Have it on the knees, elbows, shins, patches on the side of the chest, arms and legs, and more recently behind the ears and eyebrows. It does really affect your confidence, only a few years ago I started wearing t-shirts, very self conscious. Doctors prescribed me some steroid creams to use, but they'd ease things off for a bit but then it would get worse, making the skin very thing and causing infections. He then gave me something even stronger but I really didn't want to try it. I now use Dream cream from Lush (hope that's allowed as they're not a competitor), pure organic natural cream. Again it helped to begin with but now just keeps it in check.

    A friends sister who has it use sunbeds which apparently keeps it down. Would try it but I hate them, feels very claustrophobic.

    My cousin in Canada has it quite bad. I do worry how bad it will eventually get, it has got worse over the past few years :(

    So yeah, you're not alone, it sucks big time.
  13. AHarvey


    Joined: 6 Mar 2008

    Posts: 10,004

    Location: Stoke area

    Try a UV lamp, just a small version of a sunbed.
  14. bunga_aj


    Joined: 19 May 2009

    Posts: 126

    Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone.

    Andy90, I used to have it on my scalp a little and did actually use T-Gel for some time, completely cleared it for me and haven't had problems for years thankfully. I too had to explain the flakes of skin in my hair so I know what thats like. Kinda get the feeling they don't believe you anyway! lol. I've also used all manner of crazy creams for it. I had one that dyed my skin a feint yellow colour!!

    Aharvey: "I know on the grand scheme of things its not a serious ailment, but it can still effect your life"

    Very, very true. I don't know how people with the really bad psoriasis, you know, the ones that are absolutely head to toe, under their nails etc. survive. I know a lot of them are clinically depressed anyway..

    Many of you mention the causes of psoriasis. I've heard loads of theories... diet, stress, even chest infections. My dad also has psoriasis but his is really well controlled now and really only has little patches on his elbows and knees at this point. My parents say I had a chest infection when I was young and that started it off. I cleared up substantially over the years following that then got another chest infection and it sprung up everywhere for a period.

    Has anyone ever been to the Dead Sea? Supposedly lying in the salty water and the unique climate of the area (apparently it's super exposed to UV rays or something like that) can completely clear really bad psoriasis in three-four weeks and keep it gone for 6 months, even a year. I know I don't have severe psoriasis at all but even a small amount can affect you mentally quite a bit (as many of you will know) and I'd be interested to try going out there sometime, maybe even pick up a nice tan ;D
  15. timbob


    Joined: 27 Nov 2002

    Posts: 3,097

    As has been said already, I'll chip in with the sun bed suggestion.

    My ex girlfriend or 3 years suffered relatively badly with the condition, and tried to get a sun bed session every once in a while to keep it at bay. After a week or two on holiday in the sun, she'd come back virtually blotch-free, and it would gradually re-appear after a month or two back under the clouds.
  16. person


    Joined: 28 Jul 2008

    Posts: 561

    Location: lake district

    I get this on my scalp which makes buying shampoo a pain .. only certain shampoos are ok for me to use and also when the weather is cold it seems to flair up more.
  17. MattTheTall77


    Joined: 23 Dec 2008

    Posts: 849

    will have to look into the UV lamps! And the Dead Sea sounds lovely, albeit possibly expensive to be there for 3-4 weeks :) OCUK field trip!!

    Funny you should mention chest infections, I get them quite often!
  18. bunga_aj


    Joined: 19 May 2009

    Posts: 126

    I think weeks and weeks of being there is for the chronic sufferers really Matt.

    Something smaller, like guttate psoriasis (mine) could be cleared relatively easily in comparison I would have thought.

    A lot of suggestions of sun beds interestingly. I've seen a lot of horror stories about over-use (for tanning and the like). How often would a psoriasis sufferer go?! Any ideas?
  19. tedaC


    Joined: 26 Apr 2006

    Posts: 659

    I have had it for 24 years now and have tried pretty much everything

    apart from Dead Sea already mentioned - may have to try this soon though
    Psoriasis eating fish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM1YsNiSEs0 - google it , quite interesting

    90% of the creams used are steroid based which is why they will work for a short amount of time, then start not working as your body gets used to the steroids.

    2 years ago i got put on cyclosporine - the results were unbelievable, cleared me up 99%, three 100mg tablets a day and I am pretty much psoriasis free
    Cyclosporine, was originally used for organ transplant patients. It suppresses the immune system, and as your skin is part of your immune systems stops it re-generating so quickly.

    could rattle on for ages about psoriasis, but my only advice to anyone who has moderate-serve psoriasis, tell your doctor you want to try cyclosporine.

    They may want to get you on methotrexate , this wasn't as good for me personally (and also they recommend you don't drink on it, which was a killer).

  20. MattTheTall77


    Joined: 23 Dec 2008

    Posts: 849

    not sure how often it would take, I suppose it depends on how bad it is. Just found a UV lamp on a certain site and someone reviewing after buying was saying it was an hour every other night, only about 15 seconds over each spot though and building up.

    I'll try and catch my friend and see how often her sister goes to the tanning place.

    cyclosporine looks a bit severe o.O