(June/July, 1999)

Definitive List of P Triggers
from Jeff H.

I am a fellow flaker. In addition I suffer from periodic joint and muscle pain, recurring prostatitis, internal resorption in two teeth, so far, and occasional fungal infections on my skin. One of my blessings is that my psoriasis is only on a very small portion of the palm of my hands, and a couple of toes. I had psoriais on my knees and elbows as a child, but not any more. I recall having fungal or yeast infections on the back side of my knees but that was treated with antifungal creams and the psoriasis, I guess, went away with it.

In 1992 I was treated at the Sepulveda VA in Sepulveda, California. At the time I had just graduated from law school and had passed the bar. Unfortunately I was suffering from a yeast infection the size of a dime which was determined to travel around my mount over a period of a year. My Dr. diagnosed it and told me that the cell life [yeast life?] was a little over a year. She was correct. After the year was up it went away. In addition to this problem she told me that my skin was missing a protective layer that was part of my problem with yeast, fungus, and psoriasis outbreaks over the years.

I think most of my psoriasis is trauma related, and maybe that's why I don't have the psoriasis on my knees and elbows any more. Fortunately I am a fan of water sports and water doesn't cause as much trauma to the skin surface as dirt and rocks.

I was charged $50 per visit (Dr. is a research physician) and diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, psoriasis, and too much TNF alpha molecule production, which the Dr. thought was a result of an infection on my skin (strep). (Later on I found out that I had internal resorption going on in my upper left bicuspid. As soon as a dentist diagnosed the tooth, my Dr. suggested I have it removed immediately as it might be the cause of the abundance of TNF alpha molecules in my body.) She prescribed six months of penicillin (for the suspected infection) and Trental (to stop the production of TNF alpha molecules), even though I've been allergic to the former since birth.

She also told me to avoid black and brown dyes, polyesters, black rubber (on cars), petroleum products, leathers, perfumes, and a few other products that she says trigger psoriasis. I have found that perfumes are especially hard on my skin, and have woken with flakes coming out of my hair after a night of sleeping on a piece of my girlfriend's clothing that had her perfume on it. Moreover, when someone is in the room with a particular cheap perfume my speaking abilities crash. I am similarly affected by night blooming jasmine, and I live near the Santa Monica Mountains of all places!

As a 33 year old male I have also suffered from prostatitis over the past 13 years. My most recent infection was in November of 1998 and was cured by taking some pretty strong antibiotic called Noroxin. The previous medicines I took for this recent outbreak were unsuccessful, including tetracycline. My urologist recently prescribed Diflucan to treat a suspected fungal infection in or near my prostate, after an ultrasound of my prostate was negative.

I am currently suffering from chronic pain in my muscles and joints, but one wouldn't know it due to my build and muscle tone. I am currently suffering from an increased soreness and fogginess, especially in the mornings. I believe this is a result of taking Diflucan for three months, and some type of fungal cell die-off.

Unfortunately over the past 8 years I have been without insurance. However, I now have Blue Cross Insurance's Prudent Buyer Plan which allows me to see any specialist I want. I live very close to UCLA and would like to see some specialists there about my mysterious problems. The most recent affected tooth was removed about three months ago.

I hope my situation has enlightened you, and if you can shed any light on my situation I would certainly appreciate it. Regards, -Jeff H.

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Ed's Response: Yours is certainly an interesting story, Jeff!

Your doctor's observation that your skin was missing a protective layer is one I hadn't heard before. I have been told to go sparingly with soaps and scrubbing because I would "remove some natural protections from my skin," but this was NOT advised in connection with my P, or with fungal problems in mind.

The P/fungus connection has been suspected, I guess, forever, and I do not believe it has ever been DISproved that fungal activity may trigger or exacerbate P. Also, for the latest on possible yeast involvement, read "Yeast Therapy Argued" in this month's mail.

"TNF alpha molecules" are something else I'm going to have to look up. They are new to me. (Were they invented in southern California?)

I was also interested in what your Dr. recommended you avoid: black and brown dyes, polyesters, black rubber (on cars), petroleum products, leathers, perfumes, and a few other products that "trigger psoriasis." This is the first time I've seen such a definitive list of P triggers. I am most interested in what other readers have to say about this list!

Thanks for sharing your story, Jeff. -Ed

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