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Hand P
from Jon G.

Just got on your site for the first time.  I've been suffering with mild psoriasis for about 12 years, but in the past 3 years it has spread to both of my hands, completely.  Flare-ups mean multiple fissures, stiffness, bleeding ... basically tons of fun, you know. 

Anyway, your site is great, it's nice to know that so many people go through the same crap dealing with the ignorance and shunning and fear of this disease.

God Bless psoriatics everywhere.  –Jon G.

*****

Ed’s Response:  Glad you found us, Jon.  Welcome.  As one who suffers from severe hand flare-ups, I know exactly from whence you speak.

Thinking only about skin P for the moment (not P arthritis), I would be inclined to suggest severe hand P is the most personally stigmatizing.  You simply can’t hide your hands.  When the flare is terrible, in addition to looking gross it usually hurts like hell (the cracks) and itches something awful.

Thankfully — and I’m knocking on wood — I haven’t had a really bad flare-up on my hands for several years.  Not since I started on the systemic regimens in 1999.  But I recall some of the incidents I encountered in the years before that, and they still make me shudder.

The all-time worst was a case about which I’ve written before (in my book, Flake: Confessions of a Psoriatic).  I had to demonstrate, at the keyboard, the use of a piece of customized software before an assembly of people, all people employed by a client company.  My hands were at their worst, doing all those things you described: fissures, stiffness, bleeding.... Just having to look at my hands put pained expressions on the faces of my audience.  It was awful.

One other experience was unforgettably awful.  I was in a jewelry store buying a gift for my wife.  A female client was discussing men’s rings with a clerk and they both came to me requesting I try on a particular ring.  What could I do?  No need to elaborate.  It was a very short-lived modeling experience and both the client and the clerk were more distressed than me.

Enough retrospection.  Hope to hear from you again, Jon.  -Ed

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