The Physical Feelings

So a couple of weeks a go, my cousin and I were watching a documentary on psoriasis and they were talking about the physical pain psoriasis can cause. And my cousin mentioned that she would have never realised that psoriasis could cause such discomfort. So I thought this would be a good blog post. I’m guessing many people think it just sits on the skin and that’s that, and how it makes people feel (besides emotionally and psychologically) is not commonly spoken about, but having psoriasis can actually be very discomforting. However, everyone has different experiences and the discomfort of the disease varies from person to person. But I’m guessing for most people the discomfort increases with the severity of the flare up, which has definitely been the case for me.

Through my experience, I can tell you that psoriasis is extremely itchy, and for me the itchiness is insane at night, which leads to loss of sleep and feeling fatigue the next day. Itching causes the skin to become very sore and sensitive, often getting a “burning” sort of feeling. And then wearing certain clothing adds to that irritation. I used to have patches over my elbows and my knees, and because the skin dries up quickly I would find that movement of my joints would be restricted/my skin would tighten, and sometimes it would even end up cracking and bleeding. Last year when my psoriasis was severe, it would constantly itch; burn and I’d have this tingly feeling, all through the day and all through the night. It would drive me insane and it would completely exhaust me!! And you just want to rip your skin off. I used to have to soak myself in Dead Sea salts daily to help calm down the irritation and burning. I’ve actually found this blog quite difficult to write. It’s really difficult to actually explain and describe the physical feelings, and it’s probably equally difficult to understand where I’m coming from if you don’t have psoriasis.

The Changes

 Hello all!

I just wanted to make a quick post, sharing a few simple changes that I have made over the past 9 months, which seem to be keeping my Pso under control.

  1. So the first one has definitely got to be controlling my stress levels. Stress is my biggest trigger and I always used to let stress get to me, which just results in nothing but outbreaks! I still definitely stress, especially with university, but I have now learnt to control it better than I used to and keep it to a minimum.
  1. I’m a lot more open about my Pso now, which I feel has helped my skin clear up, as I’m no longer stressing about what people think, about being judged, hiding it or avoiding having conversations about my Pso and that has also helped boost my confidence levels.
  1. Diet! I’ve been increasing my intake of anti-inflammatory foods, such as lots of different veg, leafy greens, avocadoes, fish and many more! And a lot of green teas too!
  1. I use natural products as often and as much as I can. So this means all my creams, soaps, shampoos and conditioners. And still using my aloe vera products too (mentioned in my earlier blogs). Even using aloe straight from the plant!
  1. Just generally being an overall happier person! 😀 xx

My Summer Top Tips

So here are 5 of my summer top tips:

1. Wear comfortable clothing made of soft, natural fibres such as cotton. So clothing that is less likely to make you itch and also loose clothing, to reduce irritation.

I think my biggest advice for the summer is wear what makes you comfortable. I know many people have issues or are uncomfortable showing more skin during the summer and I certainly used to be and sometimes still am. So definitely don’t wear something that makes you feel insecure.

I’m quite comfortable having my arms out, so that’s not a problem, but having my legs out is still a big no no, so I stick to maxi skirts/dresses on hot days, that way I’m still with the summer fashion, but also wearing something I feel comfortable and secure in.

2. I find chlorine water helps my psoriasis. So I usually go swimming during the summer.

Some people may find that chlorine helps their psoriasis, others may find it makes theirs worse, or some may even see no difference.

I think swimming also helps me de-stress, which is why I’ve also noticed it makes my psoriasis better.

3. Soak up some UV rays! I think every psoriasis sufferer has been told that the sunlight is good for their psoriasis. Even if its just 10-15 minutes, it’ll do wonders for your psoriasis.

(Exactly how much sunlight you should/can take should be discussed with your doctor)

Obviously don’t take too much sunlight, as that can cause your psoriasis to get worse.

4. Drink plenty of water and keep your body hydrated. Extremely important during the summer.

5. Keep moisturising as much and as often as you can

Confidence in the Summer…

Well it’s that time of the year in the UK that most psoriasis sufferers hate… SUMMER! As I was growing up I always dreaded summer, as it meant I could no longer hide behind long-sleeves!

I personally used to find summer a battle, because I liked sitting out in the sun and I knew the sun was good for my skin but then I would go through phases where I would feel really insecure about having my skin on show.

I struggled with my confidence as a child. But as I have gotten older it’s become slightly easier with the whole confidence thing during summer. I think I just got to a point where I got fed up of having my arms covered and wearing long-sleeves. One day I just decided to go out shopping in a t-shirt. I was scared at the reactions and stares I would get, but I was committed to do this and get out there. At first I did feel uncomfortable and petrified, but once I was out and about and doing my thing I completely forgot about it and I realised that no one was even paying any attention to my skin. And I think from that point onwards my confidence slowly started coming back. Someone once told me that instead of focusing on the people who notice and stare at your skin, focus on the people who haven’t noticed, and you’ll realise there’s actually a lot of people who don’t actually care or look.

I have come a long way with my confidence and now I enjoy summer a lot more now than I used to. I guess it’s hard to understand where I’m coming from if you don’t have psoriasis or any other skin disorder. And I know this probably sounds stupid to a lot of people, but simple things such as being able to wear a t-shirt and have my arms out means so much to me and the feeling is so indescribable.

However, even though I have come a long way with my confidence, a little part of me is always going to be fragile and insecure. I can’t remember the last time I wore a short dress, skirt or had my legs out in any way, due to the scarring I am left with on my legs. I do walk through shops and see loads of cute summery outfits and think, “I wish I could wear that”. But I won’t give up the fight!

Beauty is not skin deep. Psoriasis is not going to shine, personality is.