Following UVB light treatment last summer, which unfortunately only gave me about a month’s clearance, the last 10 months have been all about control of my condition with varying degrees of success. The first few months were fine but then a slight flare up around February this year led to more patches appearing and the fight against flaking starting again.
I went through numerous creams and ointments, trying new things, bathing and so on. Then came the idea to move house (which annoyingly still hasn’t happened yet) so there has been added stress since April. Add in a health scare, which has turned out to an infection of which I am now clear, May and June were particularly stressful.
Some who read the blog will know I tried a new product, Philips BlueControl LED. I had high hopes for this and have to admit defeat. That is not to say that it does not work, it just didn’t work for me, As the name suggests it controls psoriasis and if you add stress and bad health into the equation it could prove not to be as effective as it should be. I did go through a couple of weeks not using my topical steroids whilst using it and my skin got no worse. Effectively it kept my condition stable so this does show that is has some kind of effect.
I do feel I may have been a little unfair to BlueControl as I have quite a few patches, 7 on one side and six on the other side of my body (plus other spots here and there. With each treatment session taking 30 minutes this could mean trying to find up to three and a half hours each day to take the treatment. So this just didn’t fit into my work and home life. It should not discourage others from looking into it and giving it a go though.
So how have I managed to start clearing my skin. Well the stress levels have certainly not dropped. We have not yet moved and are becoming increasingly frustrated with how long everything is taking and I was only given the all clear by the hospital yesterday that there was no serious underlying issue with my health.
My routine has been this:
Shower every day, bath 3-4 times a week. I know, water dries your skin out and people with psoriasis often shy away from showering or bathing too often. When showering I have been washing my hair with Alphosyl 2in1 shampoo and also using it as a body wash on alternate days with Dove deep nourishing body wash. Yes, Dove that you buy off the shelf and isn’t medicated.
When I bathe I put a drop or two of Alphosyl in the running water along with a good squirt of Aveeno body wash, also using Aveeno to wash with. Once or twice a week I will also slather on an emollient before getting in the bath. Generally this will be Diprobase or Boots Derma Care moisturising cream, something thick and rich. In the bath I regularly add in a mix of dead sea and Epsom salts.
Once out of the bath I put a light lotion on so I don’t feel too sticky and currently have been using Aveeno moisturising creamy oil as this soaks in really well. After that goes on either Dovobet Gel (Ask for the gel, it’s so much better than the ointment) or Dovonex although usually Dovobet at the moment. Also applying the same in the evening a couple of hours before bed At the weekends I do something that I am not sure is right but it is working. I will put on the cream, then Dovonex and follow this an hour later with Dovobet. It was using the two products in conjunction lie this which really started to make a difference.
Now I am not sure if using a shampoo as a body wash and using two prescribed treatments together is correct or would be approved by my derm. The thing is when nothing else works, we become desperate and from desperation comes invention. This is nothing really harmful in Dovonex and it is not a steroid so I thought, what the hell. I am sure I am not the first psoriasis patient to use treatments in places they are not meant for. Please note though that as I ma not a doctor, I cannot recommend you do the same, I am writing this to make a point. The lack of effective treatments leads to us making or own.
I may as well add for my scalp I am using Betnovate and dab a bit on my fingers to do the inside of my ears. So there you have my current routine. Sounds like a a lot but in the morning I am showered and creamed up in half an hour. I always have a moisturiser and dovonex with me in case I need a top up during the day. The difference it has made is this:
The picture about is from the 9th May, you can see flaking and scaling which has been constant up until three weeks ago when I changed to the routine above. Below you can see the same leg is still red but has no flaking or scaling.
This may not look like a massive change but to a psoriasis patient it means a lot. No flaking means a lot less itching and no itching means restful nights, reduced stress and much less discomfort. I still won’t wear shorts but at least I’m not spending all day scratching, feeling tired or worrying about the pile of flakes I am leaving under my desk at work.
Money saver notes:
You can get this in double packs and my GP found he can then give me two of these on your NHS prescription so you get four bottles instead of the normal two.
Look out for offers in Boots if you want to try the creams I mentioned, they are often on 3 for 2 or other deals. Bulk buy when on offer.
The most cost effective bath salts I’ve found are Westlab, £4.99 for a kilo bag. They also do Himalayan as well as Dead Sea and Epsom. .