There’s the itch, that non-stop unrelenting itch. You can scratch until you bleed, scratch until your nails wear out, you can use a rough surface, a scrubbing brush, wire wool, it still wouldn’t be enough to stop that itch. You scratch for a bit and you feel relief so you stop and it’s back again. It’s like someone playing postman’s knock. The itch knocks at your door so you answer and it runs away, only for it to knock again as soon as you shut the door.
I think a lot of people get a kick out of scratching that itch too. I mean it is pretty amazing when you scratch, especially when you’re peeling and the skin comes of. Oh and that moment where you find a big piece of skin to pull off. Wow, it’s almost orgasmic as you pull the skin down, revealing fresher healthier skin below it. I’m sure a lot of you have been there, even if you don’t have psoriasis. It’s the same effect as peeling off skin after sunburn.
But sometimes that itch is too much, it makes you scratch too much and then you get sore and the soreness burns, it stings, it tells you off for scratching but you don’t care. You’re the naughty school boy getting caught by teacher but it doesn’t stop you doing it again the next time that itch comes calling.
Occasionally there’s relief. Having a soak in a soothing bath with emollient in it. Not a hot bath, just warm enough hat it still cools your body down. Yes, that heat, what a pain in the rear that is. The blood rushing to your skin, making your skin feel like it’s cooking. So the relief of a bath or cool shower is just like you get on a hot summer’s day but it doesn’t last. You don’t dry yourself off so you continue to cool as your skin dries naturally then the heat returns. But sometimes you’re lucky, it’s just a mild heat and the soreness has passed, one of the nice feelings, you feel refreshed, relaxed and then you see the ointments, the creams, your skin crawls at the thought of having to grease yourself up again.
The biggest relief is clear skin. What a feeling, it’s euphoric. I’ve been lucky enough to feel this a few times after courses of light treatment. Totally clear skin. It feel strange, it’s not a feeling you would normally get to experience. Before psoriasis I had clear skin, I don’t remember ever thinking, wow I have clear skin, that feels amazing. Now it does when it happens. Psoriasis does make you appreciate how good it is to have clear skin.
There are highs and lows, your feelings are on a rollercoaster, your nerves often on edge. You’re ratty, irritable, loving and kind. When you get these feelings is a lottery, one day you’re on top of the world, your skin is clearing, you feel amazing. The next day you have a flare up, your skin is sore, you haven’t slept and the first person who says one word out of line will have their head bitten off. Like today, I had a restless night, my legs are itchy and sore even though they’re clearing up. Even clear parts of my skin feel like they are itching, have a slight stinging burning sensation. My skin is tight despite moisturising. I just want to sleep, I don’t want to itch and the last place I want to be is at work when I’d rather be able to sit in shorts at home with a cool breeze coming in from the window. Now you just try and tell me not to scratch, go on I dare you.
That was just a few brief thoughts of the emotions and feelings we go through with psoriasis. I am sure there are a lot of other conditions out there that people have and can relate to also. I wish you all well and if anyone wants to swap skin, I’m up for that.