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Best P Treatment: Don't Touch!
from Tim G.

Hello. I just want to say what a great site you have. I enjoy the stories people send in regarding their condition and it makes me feel better knowing that people are in the same boat as myself. Although I am not as affected as some I still have had a hard time dealing with the whole P thing my entire life.

When I was a boy I had it on my forearms, scalp, knee and armpit. It was a real bummer when I discovered it on my privates at the age of 3 or maybe 4.

Eventually my arms, knee, and armpit cleared up as well as my scalp, but my penis is still affected, and my scalp condition came back full force in the 9th grade. A bummer, especially considering the aspect of women. I suspect most women wouldn't want to see white cornflakes on their partner's shoulders let alone a flaking member. YIKES!

Here's a possible tip that might help others:

What I discovered is that periodically every so often I notice a small patch (size of pinky tip) appears somewhere on my body. I found that if I leave it alone and don't even THINK about scratching it disappears! How cool can that be! I think that is something most people don't know, yet it probably is worth mentioning.

Anyway ... I like the site. Please keep up the good work and hopefully we will all benefit from a cure one day. -Tim G.


Ed's Response: Well. We're not going to avoid sensitive issues this time, are we, Tim? Here are the subjects you have addressed, perhaps assembled somewhat differently by me.

1. Itching
2. Flaking penis
3. Don't itch (flaking penis?)

You are absolutely correct about the evidence that lesions not itched tend to improve. I've seen this myself dozens of times and noticed the subject was addressed on the NPF 30th Anniversary Conference videotapes. I've had lesions that I could not easily see and that did not itch. Because they were so unnoticeable, I didn't treat them, either—meaning I did not apply my topical corticosteroids to them. Yet they improved in tandem with—or sometimes even quicker than—the treated lesions! Derms seem to concur with you: This improvement is in good part attributable to the fact that we do not aggravate these lesions by scratching them.

I've been trying a little experiment for the last month. One of the derms on the NPF videotapes said scalp psoriasis is nearly untreatable so long as the patient continues to scratch, claw and dig at the effected scalp. He was quite adamant in his belief that the derm's most important first step in treating scalp P was to get the patient to STOP SCRATCHING the scalp. Until that could be accomplished progress can not be made. (I found this and a number of other statements made by this derm a bit too imperative for me to swallow unhesitatingly, but am willing to attribute my negativity to incompatibilities in interpersonal communications—at least for now.) Anyway, my experiment has been to aggressively curb my own scalp scratching and digging. I'm not always successful. A decade of experience quarrying scale in my scalp has made the behavior almost autonomic. But I have at least cut down. So far my scalp P hasn't changed much, but I feel I need to give the experiment at least three months.

I was sorry to read that you are a member of the flaky member club. Have a seat (just keep your pants on, please). I described my own experiences with this variety of P in the book, Flake: Confessions of a Psoriatic, and in the interests of keeping this web site off the family-filtered lists, I won't repeat those stories here. But this probably should be said: Lesions on the penis present unique treatment challenges. Elasticity of the skin on the penis is important. P lesions aren't notably elastic. I have experienced penile lesions going unnoticed until the skin there was called upon to stretch significantly. The stretching, compounded shortly thereafter by friction, caused tearing, bleeding, pain and one helluva requirement for excuses and fast talking. Fortunately, I have found my penile lesions respond well and quickly to mild topical corticosteroids.

Stay in touch, Tim. -Ed