Stories

Diane

When I was a couple months from turning 19 I developed psoriasis.

I had, what I thought, was a bad case of dandruff. My scalp was very itchy and flaky, like dandruff would be. My mother advised to go to see the G.P. because it was so bad. He informed me that I had psoriasis and that it was a skin condition. He made arrangements for me to see a skin specialist in Dunedin. So I travelled by train to Dunedin (from Invercargill) and saw the specialist. He confirmed my psoriasis and gave me a big bottle of special shampoo. I was to wash my hair with it three times daily. (The shampoo was similar to a fish oil (in my opinion)). I took a week off work while doing this. It helped clear my scalp immensely, but by then the rash had spread to my face. Then I was given some ointment by my GP. It took several weeks to clear most of it away. While it was doing its job my face looked like I had spent some time in the sun. Meanwhile the rash had started to spread over other parts of my body (from my knees up), especially on my arms. Not so good while being a teenager in the summer time and covering up. I was, and still am, self-conscious of my skin being seen.

Over the years I have been given several different creams or ointments to use, mainly to keep it under control, also to keep my skin moisturised as it so dry and can be itchy at times.

I have had parts of my body clear up (after being in the sun and getting sunburnt and peeling), but several years later it reappeared.

Almost 50 years later I am still anointing myself, especially my lower arms. I also have it back on parts of my face. I still have to be careful of the shampoo I use.

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