Mail (November, 1998)
My P Regimens in Oz
Dear Ed, What a great site. I'm glad I finally checked out psoriasis on the WWW.
I have suffered from psoriasis since I was 19. I know I am luckier than other sufferers as mine has only been mild. I was interested in reading letters about why some treatments work for only short times and would like to share some of the temporary treaments I have experienced.
The first was on my honeymoon. the next during my second pregnancy (the psoriasis reappeared within days of giving birth). T-Gel cleared my scalp for about 3 months. Echinacea worked for about 6 months. I started using a crystal deodorant earlier this year and the P in my armpits has improved, though not disappeared. I used Betnovate 1/2 gel for over 20 years and it worked extremely well, but it is not available any more. I was upset when I discovered that this year. I haven't been back to my GP to find another treatment. I have used sorbelene cream as a moisturizer for about 11 years (since I discovered what a cheap and effective moisturizer it is when it was prescribed as part of the treatment for my baby's eczema). At the moment it's all I use. It nearly controls the P on my scalpthe flakes seem to be smaller and not as dry, but is very messy to use. I look forward to being a regular visitor to your site. -Sallyanne P. (Australia)
Ed's Response: And we look forward to having you visit regularly, Sallyanne. Some of the brand names of medicines you have used are new to me. They may be formulas marketed under other names in other countries (or I'm letting my slip show, here). Among them: Echinacea, Betnovate and sorbelene cream....
You are the second person to report positive results from use of a deodorant (see link at end). I find that extremely interesting. What I know about deodorants wouldn't fill a thimble, but I do remember a physical education teacher in junior high telling us to use them sparingly because it "isn't safe to block the sweat glands." Since that was many moons ago, I rather doubt that contemporary deodorants simply seal the sweat inside, but they do something, and apparently for some people it helps P, too. I can't help but recall comedian George Carlin's famous line: "Be truthful. How many of you thought you had to WEAR those Five Day Deodorant Pads?" (But maybe you didn't have that product in Oz.)
You are among the majority of women who have said their psoriasis improved dramatically, or disappeared altogether, during pregnancy, only to come back after giving birth. I find that a remarkable phenomenon, too. My mother suffered near-debilitating allergies prior to her first pregnancy (me), but they did not return for nearly two decades. When they did return, they were different. Instead of reacting to environmental agents (dust, pollin, mold, animal dander) she reacted to certain foods and medicines.
The bad news is I inherited those near-debilitating allergies to environmental agents. I still have them, but when I moved out of my birth state and into a different climate at age 17 they subsided. Since then I have been on the move and the last allergist who tended me suggested I have a "three year latency" to new environments. That seems to be correct as symptoms creep back usually in my fourth contiguous cycle of seasons in any climate.
Interestingly, I've been in the Blue Grass region of Kentucky for eight years (also known as "the allergy capital of the world") and, this time, instead of the usual severe allergic reactions, I've manifested psoriasis. Which is why I've always been suspicious of derms who poo-poo any psoriasis/allergy relationship. Psoriasis may not BE an allergy, as an allergy is strictly defined, but might it not be triggered by an allergy? But, Sallyanne, I'm tired of moving around. At the moment, I'd rather sit here and flake than leave this beautiful place. Stay in touch! -Ed