A Lifetime of Psoriasis

psoriasis

Testimonial from Ron F

I was in college the first time I got psoriasis. Since then I’ve had it for many years and have tried many different treatments. Throughout my life, psoriasis was always there as an emotionally troublesome and physically uncomfortable disease.

My psoriasis has always occurred in isolated places such as my legs, scalp, and fingernails. I’m a businessman and grooming is very important. Psoriasis on your scalp can look like dandruff. I can’t tell you how uncomfortable it is to sit in a business meeting with a skin condition that makes your scalp itch like crazy, and you don’t want to touch it for fear of exposing yourself. Psoriasis can also make your fingernails unattractive. To this day I am embarrassed to shake hands with a client when my psoriasis is active in my fingernails.

If you don’t have any experience with psoriasis it’s easy to dismiss concern over your appearance as superficial and shallow. In reality, as much as everyone would like to pretend otherwise, appearances are important and affect someone’s first impression of you. People try and tell me that no one really cares what my skin looks like. That statement is simply not true. Our society has a stigma attached to unsightly appearances. All things being equal, the attractive person will get the nod and step ahead.

I’m an avid golfer, and too often whenever I went to the practice range wearing shorts someone would ask me, “what’s that rash on your legs?” It would make me want to hide. Over the years I have developed habitual actions to hide my psoriasis. I brush off the collar of my shirts, avoid wearing dark colors, hide my hands, and cover my legs. These actions have become a pattern of the way I live.

I’m also very much aware of other people who have psoriasis. Although everyone handles it differently, I never bring the subject up. I don’t even like the term “psoriasis.” I don’t like to hear it, read it, or say it – it just harbors too many uncomfortable memories.

Fortunately, there have been dramatic improvements in the way psoriasis is treated. In the beginning I used to get a cortisone injection in the area that was infected. These injections were painful and not very effective. I was lucky, however. Those who had most of their body affected by the skin condition had to resort to strong and sometimes dangerous drugs.

Recently, I’ve had two very effective treatments. I received a weekly injection for sixteen weeks. If the symptoms persisted I had the option to continue for two more sets of treatments for six and twelve weeks. I did this. This treatment, together with topical creams, can keep your psoriasis suppressed for six to twelve months. Mine lasted the full twelve months. It was a wonderful, carefree feeling to be symptom-free for so long. New research has discovered a treatment where I just have to get an injection in the arm once every three months. I just started this treatment and am encouraged with its positive results.

I want everyone to know that psoriasis is not a reflection of anything that someone did wrong. You can’t control whether you get it. If you do have it, I recommend seeing a qualified doctor whom you trust on a regular basis. In addition to better treatments there are many more resources available today for people who suffer from psoriasis than when I first got the disease. For so long I felt like I didn’t fit in because I wasn’t like other people. It’s comforting to know that I’m one of millions.

Published on 09/10/2010 | Last updated on 12/20/2016