Spring is here and it’s been a year since my official diagnosis with psoriasis. It’s time to look at how my condition has progressed.
Areas with psoriasis
During the first and second trimester of my pregnancy, there was no change to the psoriasis plaques I had developed prior to falling pregnant. However in the third trimester, the plaques in my scalp became fewer and the other lesions were not as red or scaly. I thus began to psychologically prepare for a post-partum flare.
When Bubby turned 3 months old, a number of psoriasis lesions have turned up in new areas. I now have:
- One lesion on each eyebrow
- One large lesion between my eyebrows
- Several lesions on the right temple
- Two lesions on the left side of my chin
- Lesions on each sideburn
- Lesions on each elbow
- One lesion in my left ring fingernail
- One lesion in my middle ring fingernail
- One Australian 5cent coin sized lesion on my right breast
- One Australian 20cent coin sized lesion on the back of my left shoulder
- Two Australian 10cent coin sized lesions on my right butt
- Multiple lesions on my scalp, genitals, outer calves and back of the thighs
My scalp and genitals itch the most, while the lesions on my calves and back of the thighs are currently small enough that they look like bug bites.
I have also learnt the hard way that I can suffer from Koebner Phenomenon – a reaction that causes new psoriasis plaques to form wherever you experience a skin infection or injury. There is no guarantee a scratch might heal with no issues or develop into a plaque.
As the Brisbane spring weather warms and I’ve taken to morning walks to increase my exposure to sunshine, my plaques have reduced in redness without the application of topical creams the last 2-3 weeks. Maybe it’ll make a turn for the better?
So what am I trying to do about it?
Advantan Fatty Ointment
Prescription corticoid topical cream. I rub the tiniest amount of this gel into the facial lesions once a day with a q-tip when the facial lesions look particular inflamed. This is really effective in reducing the redness and scales of the plaques.
Prescription corticosteroids topical cream. I use this when I’m not using the Advantan Fatty Ointment on my facial lesions. It is not as effective in reducing the scales, but it does reduce the redness some.
Prescription corticoid topical lotion for my scalp psoriasis, and it stings when the lesions are particularly raw and inflamed. Used once every two days instead of the ointment (ie. when I’m lazy).
Cost: AUD$19.99 for 30ml
This is the same prescription corticoid topical as the one above for my scalp psoriasis, but in a different formulation. It is a thicker gel formulation and doesn’t sting, but it is harder to apply. I usually put some on a q-tip to avoid my fingers from having excessive contact with the steroid. Used once every two days between the lotion.
Cost: AUD$19.99 for 30ml
Moo Goo Eczema & Psoriasis Cream
This is one of the first products I bought from the chemist and it provides relief from the itching. Unfortunately it leaves a lot of white on the skin if I don’t take the time to really rub it in, so I tend to use it in small areas.
Cost: AUD$18.95 for 120g tube
Alpha Keri Gentle Cream Cleanser
I was generously given some Alpha Keri products by a friend. This is my go-to shower cleanser as it is not scented and doesn’t dry out my skin. It also doesn’t sting any broken lesions, which is a huge plus.
Cost: AUD$17.69 for 1 litre bottle
Alpha Keri Rich Cream
I liked the Alpha Keri Rich Cream so much, I bought a litre bottle of it after I finished the bottle my friend gave me. I use this over my body after every shower to keep my lesions hydrated. It soaks into the skin quickly without leaving white streaks and my skin feels hydrated almost all day.
Cost: AUD$17.69 for 1 litre bottle
Alpha Keri Ointment and Lucas’ Papaw Ointment
I use Alpha Keri Ointment and Lucas’ Papaw Ointment interchangeably. Both are thick ointments, providing a lot of relief to severely dry and cracked skin. I use these for the worst of the lesions as it can feel very greasy, and there’s almost a tube of Lucas’ Papaw Ointment in my bag.
Lush’s Big Shampoo
My scalp lesions are some of the worst and because I tend to scratch them open, I had a hard time finding a shampoo that would clean and not sting. Lush’s Big Shampoo is a sea salt shampoo, but it surprisingly doesn’t sting open cuts in my scalp and it smells amazing. A little goes a very long way with this product.
Cost: AUD$26.95 for a 330g tub
Organic hemp oil
I apply half a tablespoon’s worth of warmed hemp oil to my scalp and left it in there overnight, sleeping on a towel over my pillow and then washing it out in the morning. This helps remove scaling and reduces itching.
Cost: AUD$29.95 + delivery ($9.90)
Lush’s Herbalism Cleanser
Lush’s Herbalism Cleanser is an exfoliating facial cleanser, so helps remove the scaling on my facial lesions gently. Last thing I need is something to aggravate the lesions, but I use this everyday without issues.
Cost: AUD$16.95 for 100gm
Vitamin D is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases, like MS and inflammatory bowel disease. Although I live in sunny Australia, I have been tested with a Vitamin D deficiency, especially in winter. This is apparently quite common. Appropriate sun exposure is the best way to optimize your vitamin D levels, but when you’re more susceptible to skin cancer (as we are in Australia) and . The recommended dosage for adults is 1,500 to 2,000 IUs per day. I’m taking 1 capsule per day and walk the SO to work every morning.
Cost: AUD$14.00 for 250 capsules and 45 mins every morning
Clipping my nails short
I still keep my nails short to avoid scratching myself raw while I’m asleep. They’re also easier to maintain with a baby to look after.
Cost: 5 minutes every 2 weeks
Cutting my hair short
In the same vein of keeping things simple, I’ve kept my hair short to make it easier to maintain and apply medications to my scalp.