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Triggered Her Devastating Experience
Ed: I have been a reader and
admirer of your site for over two years now and I thought (for some
reason) that now would be a good time to share my little story with you.
the age of 4 I have had psoriasis, though in a very very
mild form. It amounted to no
more than the occasional spot on my body and some flaking of the scalp. It
never in any way played a role in my life. This all changed when I woke up
on a bright morning in late August 2002. I found an unusual rash had
started on my shoulders and neck; it got worse and uglier looking by the
hour. I was very alarmed by its appearance and visited my GP that
afternoon (by this stage the rash had spread to my stomach, back etc. and
was making it's way toward my legs). I was assured by the GP that it was
nothing — "a severe allergy" or perhaps "a virus." I
went home, not convinced. Three
days later I was covered head to toe in the most ugly, hideous stuff I
have ever seen. There was not
a patch of normal skin left. As a 22 yr old female, recently new to the
dating scene, it was, as you can imagine, soul destroying to see.
saw a new GP who was quick to diagnose me with guttate P, a “very severe
case,” he said. I had a case of strep throat/tonsils at the time and he
was quick to prescribe antibiotics for them. He also strongly advised me
to have my tonsils removed. I was given a very expensive prescription for
a cream (I have forgotten the name) which did nothing and sent off on my
way to wait for my derm appointment in a couple of weeks.
can not describe the feelings of despair I felt during those two weeks.
More tears than I ever thought possible were shed and I have never felt so
hopeless in my whole life. I know these are strong sentiments, but for a
22 yr old female with little else to worry about, something like this is
didn't venture out apart from work for the whole two weeks. None of my
clothes were suitable as they displayed my back, chest area, arms etc and
I simply could not face the stares of others. I had to amend my work
wardrobe as any tight fitting trousers or tops affected my skin and caused
it to bleed and turn even redder and even rawer. (At this stage I didn't
know what a huge difference dollops of moisturizer can make!). My face was
affected by pale pink lesions and I had to endure the stares of work mates
and colleagues, all quick to offer words of "advice."
I got my derm appointment and it was a life saver. I was immediately
booked for a tonsillectomy and UVA light treatment. It was another two
weeks before I commenced treatment and further four weeks after that
before I saw any improvement in my skin. I am pleased today that for me
UVA treatment worked and within 2 or 3 months of starting it my skin was
100% clear. I had a fabulous
tan to boot!
was over two years ago now and apart from a slight flare up after my
tonsillectomy I have been clear ever since.
don't really know why I am writing all this, perhaps as a sign of hope for
any sufferers like myself. I know that after my diagnosis I read
everything on the topic from cover to cover, willing to read someplace
that there was hope for me out there. I guess I have never ever forgotten
the feeling of stepping out from the shower and catching sight of my
ruined skin in the mirror. Or waking up in the morning and forgetting the
horror of the situation until a scabby hand or bleeding stomach served as
do not know if my Psoriasis will ever return and I hope every day that it
won't. No-one realizes how despairing a situation it can be until they
experience it themselves.
the plus side, I believe it is one of those things that is character
building and educational. I,
too, was guilty of staring at or feeling horror at lesions on other
people's bodies before my own first-hand education! I
can vividly remember for a good six months after I cleared spending hours
at the mirror admiring my clear skin and feeling panic welling up inside
me at the most minor of blotches or signs of change.
my own recovery, my father has been diagnosed with PA and he has taken
methotrexate for the past year or so for this with excellent results. Interestingly,
the P in his scalp, which he’s had all of his life, has also vanished
under the MTX regimen.
don't know how far we are from discovering a total cure for Psoriasis but
for me it would seem to have definite hereditary links and also strep
anyone out there reading this, including yourself Ed, still waiting for
their own personal cure or discovery of what works for them, I wish you
all the best of luck.
if I have waffled on for too long, I really just wanted to share my story
with you all. –T
Response: I’m glad you
shared your story with us, T. Lot’s
of flakers got their first taste
of P when it was triggered by a strep infection.
In some respects, and given the hereditary probability that you had
a susceptibility, I suppose you were fortunate the hormonal changes of
puberty and adolescence didn’t trigger your P. As devastating as your
severe involvement was for you at 22, imagine how much worse it could have
been as a teenager.
glad to read that UVA light treatment is working for you.
Recently Enbrel was approved for P treatment by the EU and is now
being prescribed in
Now that you’re part of the family, I hope you’ll stay in touch with us. -Ed