Healing psoriasis – understanding the rash
I have to admit I haven’t been enjoying my age lately. It really has nothing to do with the number on the calendar, but with physical symptoms that I’ve been experiencing over the past several months.
Up until a few years ago, I’ve been relatively healthy. There was nothing alarming from 20-50 except for PMS, and menopause took care of that. But being over 50 causes make me stop and think more seriously about health problems that arise. When I was younger, I felt immortal so a twinge in my back or a sudden rash was just an inconvenience, but now that I’m older, I think more seriously about recurring symptoms.
My body has finally decided to give me enough obvious clues that I have determined the root cause of the ‘dis-ease’ in my body.
I have psoriasis, an autoimmune disease.
Since my 20s, I can remember having times of rashes on different areas of my body; my ring finger, back of my knees, behind my ears but I could never determine the trigger for the flare up and I didn’t know that it actually had a name. In the past 10 years, it settled on the back of my neck along the hairline and was never bigger than a quarter. I would have occasional flare ups of itching, but nothing extreme.
Then about 10 months ago, I began to have more itching and it began to spread to my scalp. In the past three months, it has been raging and driving me crazy. Here’s a picture of what it looks like today.
In some ways, I was lucky that my hair covered it so no one else would see it. In reality, it became my downfall as I ignored the severity of what it meant for my body. I didn’t know what I was actually dealing with.
Auto Immune Disease
An autoimmune disease is where the body begins to see other areas of the body as an invader. Most people are familiar with rheumatoid arthritis. This is where the body attacks the joints. In multiple sclerosis, the body attacks the nerves. Even Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.
With normal skin cells, the body makes and sheds skin cells on a routine basis. With psoriasis, the body actually creates skin cells too quickly, the extra cells begin to build up, piling on one another, causing red, irritated patches which can sometimes look like silvery scales.
These outbreaks can appear anywhere on the body. The scalp is a prominent area, but patches can form on the arms, hands and torso. After spreading on the back of my neck, the rash has now broken out on my legs and back. It’s even in my ears.
Psoriasis is not contagious
While it may look a little scary, you cannot ‘catch’ psoriasis from another person. I’ve discovered that it can be hereditary, although no one has mentioned having it in my family. It’s easy to become self conscious with skin rashes and the tendency is to cover it up if possible.
Over 7.5 million Americans have some form of psoriasis. The tendency is to hide it and not talk about it, but with that many people suffering from the disease, we must share our stories and share what we’ve found to help heal inside and out so that others can find relief.
This disease is not going aware and I will live with it the rest of my life, but I am on a quest to find ways to help calm the outbreak, reduce the symptoms, heal the skin and find relief. Join me as I share what I learn in an effort to help others.
Do you or someone you know have psoriasis or an autoimmune disease? Comment below.
Disclaimer: Information found on this website or links to other websites are for informational purposes only and not intended for medical advice. You know your body and your physical, emotional and mental situation. Consult your physician before making any changes.
Kristy Klenk has reached the 56 (and counting) birthday and finds this stage of life and aging an interesting adventure. For over 20 years she has been on a journey of living a holistic lifestyle and continues to research its positive effects on aging.