Click here for COVID-19 (coronavirus) advice for people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Deanna was diagnosed with psoriasis when she was 33 years old. After being hospitalised when her skin was at its worst, she is now determined to find an effective treatment in time for her upcoming 60th birthday.
I am Deanna and I am going to be sixty this year. Right until I was 33 I had lovely clear skin. In fact everyone remarked on how soft it was. Like baby skin. Exceptionally soft in fact. I was married with 3 boys under 3 years old. One day I took a short cut walking home through a long grass grain field. The next morning I was covered in a red angry rash. It was probably a coincidence but after 3 days and lots of calamine lotion usage I visited a GP thinking it might be chicken pox. He looked at my elbows and diagnosed plaque psoriasis.
I started off on steroid cream. It did not help. Saw a consultant and had PUVA light treatment and more steroid cream. Nothing helped. I discovered Exorex lotion and persuaded my GP to prescribe it for me. So began full journey with the lotion. Stank of coal tar and it stained everything but it worked. Not completely but I could wear a skirt and tee shirt and was not leaving piles of dry skin everywhere. It helped the itch too. However for some reason it stopped working but I carried on for the next few years.
My wakeup call happened 4 years ago when I went to a family wedding in Las Vegas. I had carefully selected long sleeved clothing and very thick tights. I used a special foundation to cover it up as per usual as my arms and legs were always very bad. By this time my breasts, torso and face and other parts are of me were being affected.
Whilst in Las Vegas I was taken ill and had the hotel doctor come to see me. I had a serious infection which turned out to be sepsis which I got through the skin. I was terrified of being treated abroad and got the next flight home and was admitted to my local hospital for over a week. I could not claim anything on my insurance as I had not declared psoriasis as a medical condition as I was so used to it. Had I have been hospitalised in Las Vegas I would have had to sell my house to pay the bill.
Whilst in hospital I saw a new skin specialist. He prescribed methotrexate for one year. Sadly it did not work. Next, a biologic called Cosentyx. Months of self-injections again did not work. I am soon trying another biologic and hope to be clear for my 60th birthday. I long to stop itching and have clear skin. These biologics are expensive and are only used when all else has failed. They are not without risk either. I have to weigh up the pros and cons. Blood tests are vital and other screening. It had affected my life in many ways, however it’s not a terminal illness and I am grateful for that.