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Gone for 10 Years — It’s Back
from Kathleen D.

I can’t believe it took me so long to find your great site.  I have had a guttate eruption only for about 3 weeks (I am going to a dermatologist this Tuesday for the 1st time).   I am 47 and did have a couple of bad sore throats this winter.  It is well over more than 50% of my body, but not terribly itchy — just very unsightly.  I am 47 and had a mild case of plaque P in my 30’s that eventually went away completely.  I haven’t had any P for about 8-10 years.  Now this!  I did have several bad sore throats this past winter. 

It really frightens me to hear about people developing severe arthritis.  How common is this?  I was hoping the dermatologist would give me something great that would make it go away.  Now that sounds stupid! Any information you have would be helpful. –Kathleen D.


Ed’s Response:  The good news in your email is that the plaque P you had in your 30s went away entirely.  So many of us have experienced permanent flaking — with periodic waxing and waning — the prospect of a quiescent period lasting over a decade is like a promise of nirvana.  Perhaps your constitution — whatever it was that made you beat it that first time round — will help this time, with the guttate.   Optimism isn’t expensive, so you might as well spend a little on it, eh?

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation’s booklet on Psoriatic Arthritis, between 10 and 30 percent of the people with skin psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis (PA), typically between the ages of 30 and 50.  So, you have a 1-in-10 to 3-in-10 possibility of developing it.  Perhaps, says NPF, more may have it but it goes undiagnosed because of its mildness. 

Your best source of information about P and PA is the National Psoriasis Foundation and, since you’re a cybernaut already, your best method of getting that information is to go to http://www.psoriasis.org and, if you haven’t already, join the organization.  Becoming a member lets you into other areas of the web site — all of their booklets and most of their periodicals are available on line and there are chat areas for informal as well as scheduled chats and events.  And joining is relatively painless: there is no set annual fee, you pay what you can and what you want (as long as it’s something).  You can, if you wish, join right on line.  Once that’s done you’ll find hours of browsing available to you.  I learned early on that the best way to cope with our condition is through knowing everything I could learn about it.  And, though it seems I learn something new everyday, I certainly jump-started the process by joining NPF.

Good luck and stay in touch with us, Kathleen.  -Ed

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