Sunday, August 19, 2012

Return of the elephant elbows.



Yes the scales are coming back with a vengeance.  From the one shot of Humira my psoriasis had improved quite a bit.  It was still visible in all the normal places, but it wasn't cracking, itchy, and flaking.  My elbows, knees, hands and feet have started cracking and everything itches like crazy!

I've tried just about every lotion, cream, voodoo magic, holistic cure, and quackabarrel concoction out there to get relief from the constant yuk.  One of the most frustrating things about psoriasis is above and beyond the actual discomfort is the lack of a cure all.  It seems that no one thing is universally applicable for everyone.

That being said, here are some things that have worked for me and a few people who I know who also have psoriasis.

Occlusion:  This is the process of moisturizing or medicating the affected area and covering it.  I have used this method on my hands and feet, and have found it to provide some comfort.  A friend of mine can't say enough great things about this method.  Basically you apply the lotion/medication, cover the area with a warm cloth, and then wrap in saran wrap.  One note on this method especially relating to topical medications, you should discuss this with your Dr.  Some steroids are not safe to apply with this method and can actually cause severe rashes.  I have done this with nut butter when my skin gets especially raw and it does provide comfort for a day or two.

Soaking in oil:  I use a combo of olive or coconut oil, sea salt, and honey in a hot bath.  I generally soak for about 20 minutes in this combo, and then use a loofah mitt to exfoliate.  Remember that exfoliating can actually increase the production of psoriasis, but an occasional scrub can give you immediate relief.

Dry brushing:  Basically this is using a brush (natural fiber brush is recommended) to slough off the skin.  You do this when your skin is dry (hence dry brushing).  There is a lot of information on this technique here...Natural Health Techniques, Dry Brushing ... It even claims that it reduces cellulite, SCORE!

Tanning:  I know that the sun has become public enemy #1 because of skin cancer.  I won't even talk about the evils of fake n baking.  However exposure to UV is known to help psoriasis.  One of my dermatologists suggested I spend at least 20 minutes in the sun every day and to expose as much affected area as possible.  As much as I love being naked my neighbors don't appreciate my nakedness in the name of treating my psoriasis.  My Dr said at that point that tanning for 10-15 minutes a few times a week would be a acceptable substitute.

These are just a few that I personally have tried with some success.  I'm pretty sure I will soon be naked sunbathing, then dry brushing my whole body, followed by a soak in a sweet smelling oil bath, then slathering head to toe with Brazil nut butter and wrapping myself like a freaky mummy in saran wrap for the night.

No, there will not be any pictures of me wrapped in saran wrap head to toe.