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Our second anonymous story comes from a lady who first developed psoriasis during a stressful period at work. Read about her experience of finding an understanding dermatologist and starting an effective treatment.
I am a 50 year old lady. I was not born with psoriasis. Nobody in my family has it. I guess I got it because I was bullied at work. It was a very stressful time and I was so unhappy. I had this colleague who was no good at her job but as she was insecure, she spent her days attacking me. My boss was friends with her and duplicitous. Looking back, I wish I had left the job but as I have never been in that kind of situation before, I did not have the courage to just up and leave.
Psoriasis developed very quickly with patches on my spine and over my body. Then it was on my scalp. It was itchy. My hair started falling out. I hurried to a big department store and bought a wig. It was expensive and it did not suit me. I wondered what my colleagues thought. Nobody commented but I hated wearing a wig. I was constantly worried that it would fall off and it was very uncomfortable in hot weather. A few months later, I graduated onto tailor made real hair wigs. That fitted better but was still uncomfortable.
I tried going to the Dead Sea. I went on my own to the Jordan side for about 10 days. That was not a relaxing experience as one had to spend quite a lot of time sunbathing or soaking in the sea. It did not work for me.
I was given lotions and potions, UVB therapy and methotrexate. None of that worked. About a year later, I developed psoriatic arthritis which made it hard to walk. I certainly could not run or dance. Those were the dark days. I had dull pain because of the arthritis.
After about 4 years and trying different drugs, one day I met a new doctor at the hospital who said that he would take over my case. His name is Dr Adam Friedmann. He encouraged me to try new drugs and when they failed, he encouraged me to try another one. I tried the biologic, Stelara, which did not work for me. He encouraged me to try Cosentyx which nearly cleared my problems. I now have over 95% clear skin and I can go swimming without being self-conscious about my appearance. My psoriatic arthritis has gone and I no longer have to wear a wig.
I am very grateful to Dr Friedmann for his care as my dermatologist. I was so fed up after the first biologic failed that without his encouragement, I would not have moved onto the next one (which did work for me).
I have been on Cosentyx for over two years now. I accept that it is a new drug and there is not a great deal of patient data as to its side effects. However, I take the chance as I would much rather take the risk and minimise the effect of psoriasis in my life.