- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Psoriasis: You're Not Alone
Psoriasis is a fairly common skin condition and is estimated to affect approximately 1%-3% of the US population. It currently affects roughly 7.5 to 8.5. How in the world did I get chosen to be in that small percentage of those suffering from psoriasis?! Here’s my story.
What happened in my life at the time those little red spots appeared on my legs? I experienced the most tragic break-up of a three-year relationship. And yes, my life of 39 years filled with stressful ups and downs certainly didn't help. When I went to see a dermatologist she diagnosed the condition as plaque psoriasis. When she showed me pictures of the more advanced condition, I freaked out! Why me? She said psoriasis is typically caused by extreme stress and also is common in patients suffering from various forms of arthritis. I know doctors had suspected symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, but tests had yet to confirm its existence. Also, psoriasis is due to an immune deficiency.
The doctor prescribed a cream called Dovonex. It certainly didn't take the psoriasis away. Then, I started light therapy three times a week. Sunlight is the very best treatment for plaque psoriasis. I would stand in a "tanning" booth with goggles on, head covered and receive high doses of UVB rays lasting about a minute. This treatment managed my condition the best.
However, after three years of doing this, I discovered a mole changing on my lower left leg. Sure enough that mole ended up to be a melanoma! Thank goodness we caught it in the early stage. However, this meant I couldn't receive UV treatments anymore.
I added a more expensive topical ointment to my daily regime called Taclonex. It can thin the skin, so it's important to stay out of the sun. When Taclonex wouldn't take the psoriasis away, I then trusted my doctor in trying a risky medication called Soriatane (Acetritin).
I started out on 10mg, and then increased to 20mg, then 30mg. Monthly blood work monitored my liver ALT levels. My skin peeled, especially the bottoms of my feet. My lower lip broke out in a sore that took a month to go away. I got scaly scabs on my scalp that caused bald spots in those areas. Though I didn't like those side effects, the psoriasis wasn't responding well enough to the dosage. The doctor then increased my dosage to the most common level of 50mg. The next month, my liver ALT level jumped to 10 times the normal high (360+)! I had to get off the medication immediately to keep my liver from severe damage.
This skin condition is unattractive and very hard on my self-esteem. I can't wear shorts, skirts, dresses, bathing suits, lingerie; it's something psoriasis sufferers must accept. Creams, ointments, even sea salts seemed to be the safest remedies out there. However, as of 3/19/09, I am excited to share that there may be some hope for us! I started drinking the acai berry juice mainly for weight loss (which wasn't happening, so I was discouraged). However, I surely noticed a substantial improvement in the appearance of my psoriasis far beyond what any medication or ointment has ever done!! Amazing! The claim of the acai berry juice is that it is effective in boosting the immune system, so it makes sense that if psoriasis is indeed an immune deficiency issue, improving the immune system would improve the psoriasis!
My advice to those looking to buy acai berry juice is to stay away from the expensive advertised products online. I found out on Oprah Winfrey's website that she indeed does not endorse any acai berry product out there and is taking steps to stop this false advertising. To add the acai berry juice to your daily diet, just check your local grocery stores or health food stores. I found that I can get a 30-32 oz. bottle for under $20. If you take it twice a day, it would only cost $40 p/month. One of the bottled acai juices sold online and by home-based distributors costs $45 for a 25 oz. bottle. Two bottles would cost you $90 p/month (and that's not even 60 oz. needed for a month's supply)!
I searched the internet about the acai berry and psoriasis and found other testimonies to the same effect. It's definitely confirmed. I'm going to keep using the acai berry juice, and will post my progress here!