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
Read more real-life stories from people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.