At the beginning of last year, I developed an itchy, dry scalp. Shortly afterwards, my skin started to breakdown with small patches of intensely inflamed skin appearing in the strangest of places. This was subsequently diagnosed by a dermatologist, as being part of a condition called inverse psoriasis.
One weird aspect to having psoriasis is that nobody ever enquires about it except of course, your prescribing doctor. People would rather not know about difficult and embarrassing conditions so it’s rarely discussed. Many people think of psoriasis simply as an unpleasant skin condition but it’s much more than that. Psoriasis is a chronic immune system disorder, it’s non-contagious and it affects about 100,000 people in Ireland. There are many different types of psoriasis. Eight out of 10 sufferers will develop plaque psoriasis, which involves red scaly and often itchy plaques. Other types include guttate psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis, nail psoriasis, scalp psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
I wrote about my own situation shortly after diagnosis when I was literally itching for a solution and I received a great response from readers. It’s now exactly a year since I first started to itch and I’m no closer to finding a lasting treatment. I had hoped to be able to identify a contributing factor but other than finding out that I’m in the high risk bracket, I’m none the wiser. I recently weaned myself off using the prescribed treatment for my scalp and and lo and behold, my scalp is showing signs of improvement. My skin, alas, continues to break out in patches of intense inflammation no matter what I do or try, and it’s continuous battle to keep it under control. However, I know that things could be a lot worse especially when you consider some of the other forms of psoriasis but I still long for normal skin again.
The Psoriasis Association of Ireland in collaboration with Abbott, are running a campaign called Psoriasis Uncovered. The campaign aims to increase the understanding of psoriasis, the impact it can have on quality of life for people with the condition and the need for effective treatment. A new survey has been launched which is designed to find out the effect psoriasis has on people. If you suffer from psoriasis and would like to take part in this survey (it runs until March 2009), click here to complete a questionnaire. It only takes a few minutes to answer the questions and your answers are totally anonymous.
So, the next time you hear mention of psoriasis, please don’t drop the subject like a hot potato. Living with this condition is difficult enough. Your understanding would help a lot.
Information Source: Psoriasis Association of Ireland; Psoriasis Uncovered.