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Angry About Being Stuck With It
from Mark F.

I have had psoriasis for 10 years.

One of my colleagues keeps saying "Will you stop scratching? It makes me feel itchy."

I so want to punch her.

I so want to say "How do you think it feels for ME?"

It makes me so angry.

Recently, for no apparent reason, my psoriasis on my genitals disappeared. I cried because I'd forgotten how beautiful my skin could be. It lasted less than two weeks. God though, it was beautiful.

I'm a 40 year-old man. I seem to have the perfect life but I can't comb my hair without giving a crime lab a field day. When I explain to people they don't understand. It's like, "It won't kill you.  It's not like you have cancer."

What made me write this mail? I watched the film Shallow Hal.  The film makes it seem that even if you are hugely overweight, at least you don't have psoriasis.  Except that I do — and that makes me angry — and the suggestion seems to be:  "Hey — they can diet, why can't you do something about your problem?"

I last visited Flake HQ 3 or 4 years ago. I decided to skip the medicine (I'm from the UK and have to pay for each dose of each drug they are trying this month) and see what happened and I said I'd report the results. Here they are:

  • I saved money and it got no worse or better.

  • I gave up beer but it made no difference.

  • I changed my diet and again — no change.

Guess we're just stuck with it.

Good luck, -Mark

*****

Ed’s Response:  Well, we ARE stuck with it, Mark, but we need not be resolved to the symptoms.  Medicines are improving all the time.  When I first “got P,” it was 1990 and the treatment options were (a) goops, (b) light treatments, (c) a handful of pills with side effects and “preconditions” before you could use them.

I tried them all.  Some worked — for awhile.  None worked PERFECTLY or COMPLETELY   .

Then, at the turn of the millennium, the so-called “biologics” came on board and represented an entirely new KIND of treatment for P.  Again, no cure; and again, they don’t typically work PERFECTLY or COMPLETELY.  But they’re an option, and for some people they’re the best thing to come along so far.

But meanwhile, there have been improvements in the old standby categories of treatments, too.  The goops now come in combos (Dovobet, Taclonex) that work better for some.  Some goops have gone to spray and foam and liquid forms that perform better on scalp, ears, and that place you were so happy to see clear.  Even light treatments have gotten better:  so-called “narrowband UVB” is said to work more precisely and faster than conventional light therapy.

Having P is maddening — none of us would deny that.  But when it’s time to get angry, to growl at inconsiderate smooth-skins, you’ll feel better knowing you’re pro-active, doing everything you can to curb your own misery.  -Ed

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