(December, 1998)

Roundup On: Allergies, Itching, Flaking, Swimmer's' Ear, &tc.
from Kathy Z.

Hi Ed. I found your Web site for the first time yesterday and think it is great!

I have been a psoriatic (isn't the name they give us appealing?) for 42 years and have a few tidbits (ha-ha) to add to the (for)mat.

Re. Allergies and P: I also come from a family with severe allergies, had them myself before I was diagnosed with P at the age of 14, and continue to have allergies (to inhalants such as pollens and molds and to foods such as fruits and nuts, to some laundry detergents as well as to cats, wool, and other stuff I am still trying to figure out).

Re. Itching: I have found that since I have been taking allergy meds (including OTC Benedril), I do not itch nearly as much as I did before I took them.

Re. Leaving piles of scales after a good scratch: I used to do this but I don't anymore. What I do is: soak daily in as hot a bath as I can reasonably tolerate (I would never recommend having the water too hot because it will injure the skin, and points of skin injury are where we get the lesions). I lie back and put my hair in the water, too, because I have scalp involvement) and add some kine of OIL (bath oil, Vaseline Intensive Care Hand Lotion for Dry Skin, or even cooking oil) making sure that whatever I add soothes my skin rather than irritates it. I soak for hour a day like this. After soaking, I gently wash my body with a synthetic body scrubbing pad and some mild antibacterial moisturizing bath gel. After I began this regimen (about 10 years ago) my plaques began to shrink and the crusties became thinner and then disappeared. I also use a little OTC topical cortisone cream but not in my hair.

For shampoo, I use as little as possible, with neutral pH and moisturizers, AND I use a scalp massage brush GENTLY after soaking my head (daily). I used to have p all over my body, really thick and sore all over my scalp, on my face and in my ears (actually all but my palms and soles) but now I have very little. It is weird, though, that I still feel itchy sometimes, although have very few spots and no scales. I think for me, the itching is related to: using certain laundry detergents, scratching (which makes everything worse), not using antibacterial body wash, eating certain foods such as a lot of tomatoes, and believe it or not, letting myself get very frustrated.

Re. using "Swimmers' Ear" drops for P in the ears: I also have found that this stuff gave me a lot or relief.

Re. misc. other stuff: I feel much better when I gently stretch and exercise moderately 5 times a week. Not only do my joints stop aching, my itching seems to subside. Really (plus there are all those other benefits we all know).

Well, enough for now. I think it is great to communicate to "those who understand" and plan to visit the site often.

And Ed, Thanks Very Much for your great humor! I laughed a lot! -Kathy Z.

*****

Ed's Response: Kathy, I think your "roundup" speaks admirably for itself. Thanks for sharing! -Ed

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