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I was diagnosed with my first psoriatic flare at age 8

I have a congenital immune disorder that causes me to have CF-like conditions (poor lung function, several auto-immune disorders & allergies, and digestive and reproductive problems). I also have had psoriasis for 44 years. There have been many ups and downs in this journey. I was diagnosed with my first psoriatic flare at age 8, after I had chicken pox, mumps and then strep throat that became Scarlet fever. I remember that I was one large cracking, peeling scab, all over my body from scalp to feet (alligator-like) and my doctor would bring in dermatology students to look at me, importantly telling them that they were witnessing someone in the medical journals of the time. It was dehumanizing.

At that time, I would go weekly, lying nude on the examination table except for tiny, purple plastic eye coverings, for UV treatments that would sometimes leave me sunburned and hurting worse than when I arrived. My mother was instructed to give me baths as hot as I "could stand them" with coal tar in them ( I turned out to be very allergic to the CT) to soak , and then scrape the plaques off of my scalp and body, applying baby oil ; and to soak me in a wading pool in the sun for as long as possible each day during the warm months, so as to loosen the plaques (strangely enough, none of my friends or cousins wanted to get in the pool with all the scales floating on top like so many little silvery water-bugs!).

I was found to be allergic to many of the "solutions" of that time period like the coal tar and salicylic acid. Other topical salves would work for short periods of time and either cause such thin skin I was always tearing it and/or they would stop working and cause a "rebound effect", leaving me even worse off than before.

I had plaques over most of my body, and always on my scalp, for my whole life, until I was 25 and became pregnant. Then it all (except for the scalp plaques) went away and I felt better than I could ever remember feeling, despite the fact I had terrible morning sickness!

Submitted by a 52 year old female living outside of the UK.

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