Saturday 12 March 2016

Living with psoriasis - five years on

It's by all means not the worst thing I could have, but living with psoriasis can be really hard.

I've written before about this delight of a skin condition, from struggling to deal with it to going through light therapy, and I've realised that it's been five years since I found that first patch of red, scaly skin.

I thought a picture of my face would be preferable to starting with a photo of my psoriasis

And today? Well, it's as bad as it has ever been - although my scalp isn't quite as bad as it has been in the past, there's more / bigger patches on my body than before.

My arms aren't too badly affected, just a few small patches on my right upper arm, as opposed to both arms this time last year, but my legs have very large patches and one leg mirrors the other, as psoriasis bizarrely is known to do.

I have several patches, growing in size, on my body and a persistent patch on my chest, and my ears can get quite inflamed too.

For someone with quite an itchy disposition too, it can really get to me. It's something I am aware of, most of the time, consciously or otherwise. I'm not too embarrassed by it, if it shows, but I don't uncover my legs and wear thick tights, leggings or trousers every day - even when the weather gets warmer.

It's hard to forget about it and it's also hard to tackle, as no-one knows what causes it and there's just a huge range of topical treatments to try and help with the symptoms and reduce flare ups.

Everyone who has psoriasis finds different things that work best for them, and I'm always looking for new ways to treat my sore, red, flaky skin and give me some relief.

In all honesty, light therapy has worked for me in the past and I would definitely look at doing this again, although there's only a certain number of treatments you can have in a lifetime (I believe I have around 150 left - with around 30 sessions in any one period of treatment).

At present, I am swinging between leaving it to its own devices or being rigorous using lotions and potions to reduce the intensity of it. I wish I could stay on top of things more but having it in so many places takes time to apply moisturisers and then steroid creams, and if I'm going to be wearing tights, I just can't use them beforehand.

There is a new range that I have discovered which has helped me get into better habits and I have stuck to for a few weeks now - so much so, one of the items has run out.

Skinfix is a new skincare range just launched in Boots and I have been really pleased with the balm (£14.99 for 60g) and the lotion (£17.99 for 370ml), which I was kindly sent to try out.

The range is completely natural and is  an active treatment for problem skin; from sun burn, eczema and dry skin patches to tricksy psoriasis. It's fragrance free and the balm has a really rich consistency, with both the balm and lotion being packed with kind ingredients that are gentle enough to soothe the skin of little ones, even newborns.

I've used the lotion a couple of times myself but like how topical I can be with the balm and you don't need much of this either to feel a difference instantly. The lotion I have been using on Ethan, as he seems to be getting a few dry patches or rashes, which we think could be eczema or just mild dermatitis, and he's terrible for scratching (like his Mama, sadly).

There's also a soothing wash in the range, which I'm keen to try, particularly for Ethan, and a hand repair cream too.

Please excuse me sharing these photos - I just wanted to show what it's really like to have psoriasis and show how there has been a visible improvement since using Skinfix (see bottom right photo, taken a week after the first three)

I do feel that the balm in particular has helped improve the general condition of my affected skin, whilst being a good, targeted moisturiser elsewhere. Psoriasis is a skin complaint that has no rhyme or reason and I do need to use my prescribed steroid creams (Dovabet is the most effective for my skin and works quickly to reduce skin build up) to really improve the intensity of my condition, but coupled with Skinfix, this is a routine I am keen to keep up.

To look better, and feel better.

Here's hoping!


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