Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Effects of Psoriasis

As I write about this, please understand that I feel the need to educate people on this disease because I suffer from it.

About 6 months after my son was born, I noticed an itchy spot on my hip that would not go away. Me, assuming it was a bug bite, went to the Dr. She too, thought it was either a tick bite ( not a Lyme disease tick) or spider bite, and I was just really sensitive to it. So she give me some cream to rub on it, and about 4 months later it went away. As soon as that spot went away, I had a spot on my shin come up. Bigger this time. So back to the Dr. I went. At that point we realized it was Psoriasis. My mother has it, so that explains it.

That small spot eventually got bigger. More spots popped up on my shin. All the creams and lotions I tried, even tanning (this method is recommended by alot of Dr.'s) did not work. Now 70% of my shin bone is covered, along with elbows and 1 knee cap.

Summertime is embarrassing. I wore ALOT of Capri's this past summer. That covers most of it. I work in a professional setting, so I have to dress nice. I like pantsuits, and skirt suits. Very rarely do you see me in a dress / skirt now. Pantyhose help, but once you start itching, you have snags, and dry skin coming through them. So, on days I am brave enough to wear them, I keep an extra pair of pantyhose in my vehicle.

My hubby picks on me---in an innocent way. He is the ONLY one that can pick with me about it, he knows where to draw the line. Plus it helps me lighten up about it. Marriage therapy. lol... He helps me control the itching, by bringing my attention to it. You can't help it. you don't even think about it. It's like a habit, you know chewing your nails, twirling you hair, sucking your teeth (yes, people are guilty of this).. You itch and itch, but it feels soooo good. Then you bleed. I have alot of stock of band aids. It's a vicious cycle.

Psoriasis can have a much worse effect than itching. It can cause Arthritis. I was shocked to hear that. Psoriasis is also an immune disorder in the digestive system. Psoriasis causes your skin to produce more than 10 times the amount of normal skin cells, in the affected area. So you can't "catch it" from someone. It is not like a cold or STD, it is inherited. I got mine from my mother. Hers came and stayed for 20 years, and now is gone. No therapy needed. As long as mine does not get worse, I am OK with it staying. It has not spread anymore in the last 1.5 years.

To say the least, it is not pretty. Or something you want to show everyone. So if you see someone with red, scaly spots on their skin, it just might be Psoriasis. It does not mean you are dirty, or have poor hygiene. You can not help that it is there. Truthfully, there is hardly any treatments available to people with this disease. Psoriasis affects millions of people, and you would think they would have found something that truly fixes it.

I just wanted to bring some awareness to Psoriasis today. BTW, if someone has found a treatment that worked for them, please let me know. Have a good one everybody.

Average Girl.


blutojthetotmom said...

It is an autoimmune disease and so far no cure but a friend of mine tried tanning in tanning beds and it helped-It speeds up the "sloughing off" of dead skin cells,which is what those crusty patches technically are-the skin doesnt "shed" properly.It is nothing to be ashamed of,alot of people suffer from it!