Lingering Skin Discoloration
from Francesca A.
Dear Ed: I've had psoriasis since I was eighteen
(am turning 34 this year) and I can definitely attribute it to
extreme stress and depression. For one thing, the first bout
I had was when my dad died. I also had it when I broke up with
a boyfriend (which was, actually, the best decision I ever made).
I just cleared up recentlythis time, it was caused by
mother-in-law troubles, but that's another story. Anyway, I've
had about six bouts in all. Despite everything, I think I'm
better off than others who have it all the time.
Since I know what triggers my psoriasis, I now realize that I
should learn to control my emotions. But that's easier said
than done. I've tried going to a shrink, but I'm the type who
likes instant gratification, and I felt that I was just wasting
my time. The bumper sticker that goes, "God, give me patienceright
now!" is so me. Alas, the problem is really in my
head, and not in my skin.
I've gotten to the point of having it on 90% of my body, but
once I cleared up, I went back to normal and there was no indication
whatsoever of the former skin trauma. I could wear a bikini
again. however, during the bout previous to this last one, I
was left with dark blotches where the lesions had been. My doctor
can only speculate as to why this happened. She prescribed a
cream (which I now forget) that was supposed to lighten the blotches,
but didn't. I've learned to live with the discoloration, but
my husband isn't very happy about it. after all, he looks at
my legs more often that I do.
I now have blotches again from this recent bout and what makes
them worse is that there are many small ones. This is so because,
for once, I sought treatment just when it was startingto
nip it in the bud, so to speak. Methotrexate and Dovonex (it's
called Daivonex here in the Philippines) are the best for me!
I only need 4 to 6 weeks of treatment and I'm clear.
Anyway, what I'd really like to know is if there's anything I
can do to even out my skin colorsome cream, ointment, laser
treatment, anything! I'd like to hear from others out there
who've had the same experience.
I feel rather embarrassed to bring up something as superficial
as this. Compared to others' experiences, I mean. But I'd appreciate
any advice that I might discuss with my doctor. Maybe there's
something out there that we haven't heard of here in Manila.
Thanks for the support and keep it up, man. -Francesca A.
Ed's Response: I don't often hear from flaker's
who can so directly correlate their flare-ups with emotional
stress, Francesca. Your story is fascinating and your P sounds
uniquely predictable (and controllable). Now, if you could just
get a handle on that lingering skin discoloration!
I've never had a lesion do that, exactly.
They wane, sometimes, to barely noticeable pinkness, but I've
never associated that with a lesion gone away. I've always
associated that with a lesion that's still there, just graciously
inactive for awhile.
I imaginethough have no real knowledge
to back this upyour doctor is concerned that some possible
remedies for the discolored skin could cause the P to flare again.
Chemicals could irritate the skin; laser or other surgical procedures
could traumatize iteither could cause what's called Koebner
Phenomenon (trauma-related lesion formation). You might want
to (if you haven't already) do a wide area web search on "dermatology
and skin discoloration" and see what crops up.
And, as always, experiences, ideas and insights
from other FLAKE HQ readers is invited! Thanks for sharing with
us, Francesca. -Ed