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Newly Diagnosed with Guttate P
from Joshua B.

Dear Ed: I'm a 20 year old student. I have now had Guttate P for a month now. Currently, I have it on 5% of my body. I had a wonderful experience with my derm who saw my case and determined it was P without missing a beat. I developed it after a case of strep throat, probably caused by smoking (I know... gotta quit).

As a new member of the club, I have been mulling over the web page, looking to see what to expect and how others deal with P. As I have discovered, anything can happen with this... like a good ball game.

Anyway, I have been assigned a topical steroid to start with and see what happens. Funny thing is I have already had a few interesting things happen to me since being diagnosed a flaker.

1) For your P quote list, here is one from a friend who picked me up after my visit to the derm:

"Isn't that a liver disorder?" (Thinking that psoriasis was cirrhosis.)

2) After the Derm told me about my condition ... one, two, three, he was more concerned about a mole on my chest and to treat it in case it was cancer. This made me feel that these lil' red spots lacing my body could not only be treated, but were nothing to really worry about.

3) I met a woman after the initial outbreak, who not only accepted these red mites, but when seeing me naked thought they were cute! We'll see what happens, but cute? I laughed out loud.

4) I now understand what my Dad has had on his leg for 20 years (even though he’s never had it diagnosed).

5) Yes, I'm a little nervous about my arms and I’d rather not talk about it. As my friends have said, "No one notices it except you, don't bring attention to it and no one will care."

6) When someone has noticed, I give them a simple statement... seems to work. "Psoriasis is a non-contagious genetic skin disorder." I try to sum it up in one quick sentence and then drop it. If you don't care, other people seem to not care because you are comfortable with it. I guess flaunt it if you got it!

Now a few questions:

A) What is the HPA axis? (Under Precautions for Temovate)

B) What is a axillae? (Same as A)

C) In using a medium strength topical corticosteriod, after application... can people have contact with your skin? How long does it take to seep into the epidermis? Can you get intimate with someone without risking their health?

Well all for now. I will keep you updated. Thank you for this site. It helped me discover what was going on with my own P as well as making it easier to say, "Hey, this is a life long partner ... take it in stride." -Joshua B.


Ed’s Response: Welcome to our club, Joshua. (I dreamed once that a Master Vampire emailed me to say he wanted to start an on-line community for the Undead and was going to pattern it after FlakeHQ. I was flattered but tried desperately not to blush!)

It sounds to me that you’ve got the ailment properly pigeonholed in your sense of self. Most importantly, its not redefining who you are. This is not a battle we either win or lose. It’s more a state of mind we either maintain or fail to maintain.

Your "A, B, C" questions are more medically-specific than this web site is prepared to answer. I’d recommend taking these directly to your derm.

Stay in touch, Joshua. -Ed

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