Hi and welcome! If your’e reading this then thank you. Thank you for taking the time to read what I would like to share.
This post will be covering all things Psoriasis.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which comes out on the skin in red flaky patches often on the elbows, behind the knees, scalp, lower back and armpits but can appear anywhere on the body. There are 7 types of psoriasis but 8 out of 10 people including me suffer with what’s called ‘Plaque Psoriasis’.
The beautiful skin condition that decided to enter my life when I was 14 years old. Year 9 in Secondary school.. the perfect time to be suddenly covered in red flaky spots that I couldn’t do anything about (so I thought). My chest was covered, my hair line, my back, arms, legs, I think actually almost everywhere except my face. Luckily I only ever once got it on my face and that was because I accidentally put a cream on it that said: ‘DO NOT PUT ON FACE’. So that’s the first tip, always read about and do your own research with new treatments.
I remember every night putting olive oil on my scalp and waking up super early before school to wash it out so that it was less dry. I remember not taking my jumper off even if I was at melting point because my arms were covered. I remember wanting to wear a hat all the time to cover up my hair line or trying to do it with make up. I don’t have any photos from then because at that time I was disgusted. I was so upset and ashamed that I suddenly looked like I had a disgusting disease and was different to everyone else.
As the years have passed I have become more at peace with the fact that I have Psoriasis and that it is actually going to be with me my whole life. I have tried different medicines and home remedies and have discovered a lot about psoriasis some of which I hope can help others.
What i have discovered about Psoriasis:
(I am not at all a doctor just someone who wants to share their experience in the hopes that someone can relate and feel less alone).
⦁ Creams and oils! Putting creams on it will NOT get rid of it. Even though it is called a skin condition, it is a chronic disease of the immune system. The creams and oils will make it less dry (which is good) but no cream, that I have tried anyway, will get rid of it. Coconut oil is very smoothing on dry sore skin.
⦁ Nutrition and well-being. Keep your immune system as well as you can by fueling your body with nutritious food and moving your body. Its no secret that eating and sleeping well helps the whole body, so try to look after yourself as well as you can.
⦁ Steroid cream. My experience is that it will make you think you’ve been cured for a couple of weeks and suddenly its back. Probably even worse than before. (If you find one that works for good, let me know). Not everyone reacts the same but this is my experience.
⦁ Stress. For me this is THE main cause. After a stressful situation I often wake up to new spots so try to do things that reduce your stress levels. (Easier said than done I know).
⦁ It is not as disgusting as we think it is. It takes a lot of courage to go out in public in shorts and a T-Shirt if your arms and legs are covered in red spots. Most people will see the bravery and courage over the bad skin and if they think its disgusting, well then, those are the exact people we don’t need in our lives.
⦁ It is our own alarm clock. When you see an area getting bad or a flare up is coming you know something needs to change. I know exactly when I need to stop and think about what is happening in my life. Am I really happy? Is there something that is on my mind? What is that is stressing me? Its quite a special thing to have your own alarm to show you when somethings up.
⦁ Acceptance and sharing. Allowing others to help makes a huge difference. For years I would hide it, no-one was allowed to see it and they most definitely weren’t allowed to touch it. I remember when I was living in Copenhagen I had the worst flare up I have ever had. My friends asked me why I was always wearing so many clothes even though it was so hot. I cried. I showed them and told them how I was experiencing my worst ever flare up. They listened, hugged me and asked me if they could help by putting oil on my back. At first I was reluctant but feeling their love and support on a part of me that I hated so much was beautiful and very healing. I felt like the huge weight of carrying this around by myself had gone. So next time someone asks to help, take it. You’re not alone in this.
⦁ Sleep and alcohol. Not getting enough sleep and drinking alcohol can be fun but your Psoriasis does not agree. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever drink, its just important make sure to drink lots of water and catch up on your sleep.
⦁ VITAMIN D! I tried taking 20,000ui vitamin D and 2 X ‘K2’ for two months during the winter months and the results were amazing. Compared to other winters I was amazed at my skin. HOWEVER its also important to do it just for two months and then get a vitamin D test. I stopped taking it after two months and had a feeling it was getting bad again and so i carried on, but after I had a vitamin D test they told me I was so far over I was off the chart! so, I had to stop. I do recommend doing this though, it really helped me – but of course do your own research too.
⦁ Sunbed/light therapy!! During the winter months I use the sunbed once every 10 days. It helps to keep my Psoriasis and my soul happy. This is if your psoriasis likes the sun. I’ve heard that some don’t so double check that before you do it.
⦁ Treat your skin with respect. Like anything, if you don’t show respect you’re unlikely to get respect back. So try and be kind to your skin. Don’t hate it. Hating it will cause stress and stress will only make it worse. Your Psoriasis is not who you are, it doesn’t define you, but it is a part of you and most likely will be for the rest of your life.
1. Keto Diet. No sugar / Carbs / Fruit. I lived off vegetables (not night shade vegetables such as, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes), fish, meat, nuts, eggs and sweet potato. I did this for about 2 months and the results were incredible. I was also living very calmly. I stayed with family, gardening during the days, talking, writing and working on myself.
2. No wheat. I haven’t eaten wheat since 2014. Many people say that wheat is not so good for Psoriasis so I tried. I guess it did help because I haven’t had it so bad so often since, however its hard to say because its been so long. I guess you have to try and see. There are so many alternatives to wheat and my body feels much better without it.
3. Cured meats or Dairy – Cured meats definitely have an impact – on me anyway. I felt my skin straight after eating salami and would say ‘OK, I have to stop this now’ and usually failed to do so. But recently I stopped with processed meats and it feels a lot better. Dairy I feel also has an impact, however I think both processed meats and dairy have a bigger impact if you are in the middle of a flare up. In the summer time when my skin is not too bad I eat them and it seems OK, but I think if you feel your psoriasis getting worse, its best to take a break from them.
Psoriasis is with us for life. It is not something that goes away, however you can manage it using the points I have written about. It is not the same for everyone and these are just some of the things that have helped me.
The photos below were taken 2 months apart. I was eating on a very strict Keto diet because as you can see it got pretty bad. I didn’t drink any alcohol, just a lot of water, good food, lots of sleep, sea swimming when I could and being in the sun.