as always it makes some pretty obvious observations about the nature of psoriasis and then briefly acknowledges the range of factors that are triggers:
Certain genes have been identified as being linked to psoriasis. It appears, however, that a genetic tendency needs to be triggered off by such things as injury, throat infection, certain drugs and physical and emotional stress. Research is under way into all aspects of the causes of psoriasis.This reminds me of what most GP's and even dermatology consultants have to say.
They then go on to list the treatment options: Dithranol, steroids, moisturisers, sunlight, coal tar and methotrexate.
But what about that throat infection? And what about the antibiotics we were all given to treat it? Was that rash I got around the same time really a reaction to penicillin or the early stages of psoriasis? Why did I have all those lumps on my head at the same time? Glands I'm told. What's the connection?
What is this research they mention above?
And what about the emotional stress? They tried to convince me at the age of 14, when I was in hospital doing the Singing Detective thing with all of the creams above and a 3 week course of PUVA, that I must have some emotional trauma. Other than the puss oozing out of my chest and month in hospital that is.
"Far from it" I kept telling them. " life is great". So they let me go eventually.
But now, when I try to suggest to my various professionals that some kind of psychological approach may help me get to the bottom of the emotional triggers that I, as a more mature and self reflective adult, can now recognise, they look at me as though I am a crank. The closest I got to achieving this kind of treatment was a letter from a locum consultant to my GP saying that I found visiting the hospital very stressful. This was not what I had said at all.
All I know for sure is that the cure for me as a teenager - after two years of serious flare ups and two long hospitalisations - came when I started to experiment with magic mushrooms and cannabis.
The psychological insight (I believed?) this had given me allowed me to stare at myself in a mirror and convince myself that I would not have psoriasis that year. This moment came as my third annual flare-up was well on the way.
I was standing in front of a mirror applying dithranol at the time. I had an even distribution of patches across my body and the creaming took a long time. I stared into my own eyes until it got a bit trippy, and asked "what is it? what is the stress that causes this?" my only answers were "the fucking cream" and "the fucking spots". So I saw it was a vicious cycle and convinced myself that it was over. I would not worry about it and it would not come back.
Within weeks I was almost clear. I had a few minor patches here and there but nothing like the previous two years and significantly less than before my mirror hypnosis.
I have never had another major flare up and from the age of 16 to 32 I refused all treatment other than coal tar shampoo and a bit of E45 now and then.
I would say after the first 5 years, so over about 10 years, my psoriasis started to get slowly worse. Always worse in winter of course but each year a little bit worse than the one before. As if the magic was wearing off.
A couple of years ago I started to notice signs of psoriatic arthritis; swollen toes and distorted nails (actually the nails had been around a lot longer, but they got worse) so I re-engaged with the medical profession....
...Do I want to go onto a drug that will make me impotent, damage my liver and knock out my whole immune system? (O.K. so I exaggerate a bit but that's the direction it's heading in)...
But I don't want to be hobbled by arthritis either so I better find a new mystic cure before too long....
Roll out the quacks....