My first outbreak of Psoriasis happened in 2000, when I was thirteen. Even though the doctor gave me a general outline of what it was and how it happened; I was never really certain why it chose me. While I am reluctant to call this a disease, that’s exactly what it is – a disease. It developed and worsened as I went through puberty which, anyone who has gone through puberty will be able to tell you, is the worst time ever when you don’t fit in.
Although, the worst appeared during the winter months, where I could cover up with stockings, the outbreaks never healed completely before summer rolled around. They had chosen to invade my elbows, legs, back, torso and even my right ear during my six years in high school. I think those were the more severe outbreaks on my body. I’d tried everything under the sun to put a stop to it spreading. Prescription topical steroidal creams and ointments like Daivonex, Diprosone and Elecon as well as Endep 10mg (to dull the itching) worked for a brief period of time. There was little relief.
Next up, the dermatologist decided to try something different. He injected something – I don’t even know what – into my psoriasis and all I remember from that is screaming in pain from the multiple injections. For every breakout of psoriasis I was covered in needle bruising. I often liken the experience to one scene in the movie The Craft, where Neve Campbell has needles pulsating into her back. I returned twice to the dermatologist for the same treatment. It was too much pain and not enough gain to continue with it.
I continued using topical treatments for a few years, but felt it was best not to continue relying on them in the long-run. I have since begun to try different ‘treatments’ that I can get my hands on. The first I tried was rubbing aloe (the fresh kind as well as the bottled kind) over my lesions, but…I discovered my skin reacted badly to aloe; it didn’t work.
I tried rubbing Chinese herbal medicine on them twice a day, but that ended up doing more harm than good. The medicine would dry out my skin making it unbearably itchy.
All this happened in the final years of high school and the start of uni. Transitioning from school to uni worsened my psoriasis in a rather odd way. I’d only ever had breakouts where, for the most part, they could be covered with clothing. Now they were appearing on my face and scalp. I’d always been one to wear dark or black clothes but now thanks to my new scalp condition I needed to rethink my wardrobe and that would be the least of my troubles, but that’s a story for another day.
Fast forward to today and what am I doing to keep everything under control? Well, I use topical ointments only when it nears the end of winter (when my skin is at its worst) for a week or so. I use Cetaphil and soberlene creams, take Vitamin E and Flax Seed Oil supplements, and get as much sun as I can (although, that sends my skin into bouts of eczema). I try to keep my exercise up (but being lazy often gets the best of me) and I try not to stress as much as I used to, which is still very high up on the stress-scale, but I’d like to think well below what it’s been in the past. All you can really do is continue to try different things until one finally does it for you.