Linzi - Pustular psoriasis
A severe flare of pustular psoriasis left Linzi needing a stay in hospital for treatment. Five years on and she is in a much better place with her skin.
I am Linzi, 35 years old and I live with my husband and 3-year-old
daughter, Isla, in Scotland. My psoriasis started in tiny patches just over 10
years ago when I started as a primary teacher. My pustular psoriasis did not
appear until a few years later with a particularly severe flare that took
several GP visits and consultant appointments to be properly diagnosed.
When it first appeared, winter had set in, I had a very
challenging class that year and suddenly my body was 60% covered in red,
inflamed, broken skin, and on top of that, little whitehead spots had joined
the madness from my chest down to my knees. I went back to my GP but unfortunately,
was at the end of the queue because I had previously been discharged as an
outpatient. The wait for an appointment began. But I could not wait.
My Mum paid for me to go private. A 15-minute consultation
with a dermatologist and I was diagnosed with pustular psoriasis. I had never
heard of this before and was told to stop using all steroid treatments immediately,
only emollients to soothe. I was given a letter for my doctor to be seen
urgently by an NHS dermatologist.
When I finally got an appointment at my local hospital, I
was admitted to the dermatology ward that same day. A mixture of relief and disbelief
hit me simultaneously; finally, I was getting some help, but I could not
believe I was going to stay in hospital because of a skin condition.
to the raw nature of my skin and the need to stabilise my body, I could not try
most of the normal avenues for psoriasis treatment like light therapy or coal tar.
My consultant recommended Ciclosporine, a heavy-duty drug originally prescribed
for transplant patients which can be effective in treating severe psoriasis. After
9 months on Ciclosporine, 3 months longer than my consultant had hoped, my skin
was stable enough to move to an at-home coal tar treatment, which smelled foul
a period of clear skin, I had a flare that was nowhere near the levels
previously reached so I was offered light therapy. This worked wonders and
although disruptive for 8 weeks, having to visit the hospital three times a
week, my skin responded very well to it.
years on and my skin is much clearer and manageable. I still have spots on
certain stubborn areas but no active pustules/whiteheads so, to my knowledge, I
no longer have pustular psoriasis. I have not needed or seen a dermatologist
since my last light therapy 2 years ago. I am now able to spot my triggers of
stress and diet and manage my flares with a balanced diet, exercise and
alternative routes for stress management such as breath work, yoga and meditation.
also believe an acceptance that I do not need to be completely clear to feel
content has helped my skin. Becoming a mother played a part in changing my
priorities and giving me a greater perspective on what matters the most to me.
Your worth and happiness are not defined by having clear skin.
Read more real-life stories from people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.