Doctors said that my recent weightloss or stress (caused by being mother to two young children) was probably to blame for my outbreak. Regardless of what triggered my psoriasis, knowing I had a skin condition that had no cure was devastating.
“As fellow sufferer Cara Delevingne proved, even if you’re among the most genetically-blessed women in the world, it doesn’t matter how pretty or how slim you are, psoriasis can still leave you feeling awful.
I first noticed a rash on my chest when I was getting ready for a night out with friends. Within two weeks, it had spread and I was covered. I was diagnosed with psoriasis.
After being diagnosed with psoriasis, I was prescribed Dermovet steroid cream, I also popped all manner of vitamins and minerals, from vitamin C powder to a daily teaspoon of chia seeds, in the hope that I could cure myself. I was also given a course of UV light therapy at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, which involved me going to the hospital three times a week for the therapy. I had to stand there in my underwear while dermatology nurses inspected me from head to toe.
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In all honesty, I have felt more down and depressed during the last nine months trying to fight my psoriasis than at any other point in my life.
You feel like an outsider with psoriasis; people don’t want to go near you. Since being diagnosed with psoriasis, I have only seen two fellow sufferers out and about. I found myself hiding my figure under layers of clothing – sweltering in the summer in skinny jeans rather than my favourite shorts – because I was too scared to show off my legs.
My insecurities sky-rocketed as a result of the skin condition. I hated being intimate with my husband as I saw the red angry patches all over my body and didn’t want him to touch me.
I was in despair and nothing I was using from the doctor, nor the light therapy, was having the desired effect. While I’d seen small improvements, the difference wasn’t enough and I worried what the long-term damage of putting so many steroids on my skin might be.
I do some health writing and was sent some information on Oregon Grape Root products. They weren’t on prescription and were natural but contained ingredients that can help manage psoriasis. What I liked about them was that they could be used between flare-ups, the idea being to try and manage and strengthen the skin between flare-ups rather than only treating them once they arrived.
At the time, the psoriasis in my scalp was really bad – I would leave flakes of skin wherever I went. Within a few weeks of using the Oregon hair products, my hair was so much better – the thick scales behind my ears were starting to disappear and the flakes of skin became less and less.
A few months on and my hair is more or less back to what it was. I have almost no psoriasis in my scalp, ears, or back of my neck. My skin has also cleared up dramatically. I started using the Oregon body products after I saw what the products had done for my scalp and they have really helped.
I have still got patches on my legs but my skin is about 80% better than it was and my psoriasis is the best it’s been since I was first diagnosed.
This, of course, could just be a fluke coincidence as I know psoriasis goes in cycles, but I have undoubtedly seen a dramatic improvement and my confidence levels have soared – and that’s priceless.”