Communications (September, 1997)

Treats On (not IN) Saran Wrap
from Mary Ambrose

I just happened on your page. This is really a worthwhile page! Thanks for giving it to us! I'm sorry to hear that you are having to experience the "BIG P." I was diagnosed at age 11. I'm now 43. I still have vivid memories of those wonderful angst-filled teen age years: Being kicked out of a department store changing room at the age of 16 for being "diseased" does have an effect on you! I was sent home from school one fine day when the dean of women saw my legs, covered with psoriasis, and determined that I would be a distraction to other students, and probably contagious! Kids always gave me a break, but adults, never. They were always scared of me! There isn't much that could have happened to me that didn't happen! But, like most of us, I decided to be a survivor. I learned to accept a lot of things, but mostly I guess I learned to be glad that although I have psoriasis on my legs, arms, head, torso, (and the list goes on and on) I at least have legs, arms, head, torso, etc. on which to have psoriasis.

Like others, I've done everything from tar to Methotrexate, and everything in between. Nothing works very well, or for very long. I gave up on dermatologists for over 15 years and self-medicated by personal research and trips to Mexico to buy pharmaceuticals; but finally went back to a doc a year ago. Limited success, but it could be worse. At least I don't have to wrap myself in Saran Wrap when I go to bed anymore! (It wasn't kinky, just really uncomfortable!)

Anyway, thanks again for a great page! I'll keep checking in! I've bookmarked you! -Best regards, Mary


Ed's Response:

Ah, Mary! ... YOU'RE the one who made me think "kinky" by pointing out it wasn't. Now, of course, I think of it (smiling) as very kinky, indeed!

For the benefit of readers not attuned to Mary's and my Saran Wrap inference, we're talking about a form of occlusion therapy often recommended by derms who have minored in home economics. There are two points behind the therapy. The first is to find a bona fide answer to the plaguing question, "What ELSE can you do with Saran Wrap?" The second is to increase the potency of a topical steroid by inhibiting the evaporation of its base. This is accomplished by "sealing" the lesion and its topical potion from the environment—much like you seal leftovers before interring them in the fridge. Though a number of medical supplies manufacturers have products specifically designed to "occlude" medications on skin, Saran Wrap remains at the top of the heap, especially for large lesions, and because wrapping oneself in it IS kinky, and because it does answer that question....

Mary, you MUST email back and tell us about some of your Mexico-jaunt experiences in search of contraband remedies. (All I ever brought back from Mexico was an appalling memory of a woman and a donkey ... but that story's for some other web site.... Unless we turn this Saran Wrap thing into a dedicated thread....)

Your growing-up stories about the retailer and the girl's dean are, unfortunately, all too common. I was lucky by not manifesting P until later in life. (I had other problems in school, like being the last kid in my gym class to grow pubic hair.) As adult psoriatics we can bulk up our defenses against malicious ignorance, but kids are unprepared—unless we prepare them. I feel very compassionate towards parents of P-kids who, not having P themselves, feel inadequate to the task of teaching self-esteem to their afflicted youngsters. I am saddened by some of the correspondence I receive from parents whose own lack of self-esteem hobbles their attempts to help their children....

Anyway, YOU survived, Mary ... and we're grateful in anticipation of your Mexico sortie stories. With regards to the Saran Wrap experience ... well ... you may be grateful it's over, but you've managed to get me thinking it might be time to try it again! -Ed

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