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Affording only OTC Means Living With It
from Lil’Kim

I'm a 25 year old black female with psoriasis and I have had psoriasis for 13 years.  I have tried everything over the years to get rid of my spots:  cocoa butter, which stinks a lot;  bleaching cream;  Ambi Cream and skin discoloration cream; none of it has worked over the years.  My entire body is covered with big spots and even some of the spots are connected together.  I use Elocon cream for my sores that only really come in the winter time.  I can't wear what I want to wear — shorts, tank tops, skirts, sleeveless shirts....  Dressing basically fully covered all year round, I have really gotten use to being very hot, which doesn't bother me anymore. 

A doctor at Kirklin Clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, where I'm located, decided that I should take some light treatments twice a week for about 2 months, but my insurance wouldn’t cover it, so I was out of luck. 

I could use any help or advice I could get.  Please do publish my email address, which is, [email protected]. 

*****

Ed’s Response:  It sounds as though you’ve tried the over-the-counter (OTC) remedies that jump out at us at the stores.  You know that, among these, what might work, even a little, usually doesn’t work for long.

However, not going the prescription drug route (or the light treatment route) does not mean your situation is hopeless.  The next best step you could take (if you haven’t already) is to join the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), get a copy of their book, The Best of It Works for Me: 1991-1999, then keep up with their periodical literature.  For membership and publication information, you may call toll-free to 800-723-9166.  There is no set membership fee at NPF.  You may join by donating any amount you can afford.

Once you get your hands on the It Works for Me book you will be amazed at the assortment of things people have tried successfully through the years.  In addition to OTC things to apply to your skin, you will read about things to put in your bath, things to apply and wear over night, even things to eat and not to eat.

At the same time, don’t roll over on pursuing better results from your insurer, or finding a better health insurance.  Flakers have always had insurance problems — partly because the disease typically isn't debilitating, and partly because the treatments known to work well are also the most expensive (surprise-surprise!).  But most large and well-known health insurance companies do provide coverage, even if limited. 

Stay in touch, Lil’Kim, and let us know how you are doing.  –Ed

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