Off Topic: The battle of Psoriasis

Allow me to venture into a personal health post. I do these every once in a while, well, because I can. 
I've been working up the nerve to write a post about this very private battle, that many many of us don't talk about often. It's psoriasis. The ugly, auto immune disease that leaves small flaky circles on your body.

Over the span of 8 years, I'd get a couple of spots here and there. Mostly on my scalp and occasionally on my arms and legs. Nothing really to fret about, and usually sunshine would really help. They were hardly noticeable.

In October, I had an extreme flare up. I panicked. I've always been fortunate enough to have pretty nice skin, so this was a total bash to me. It started out with many spots but when I'd scratch them, they'd become one big monster, a cluster of psoriasis  . Not the little manageable spots.

All brought on by stress. But the stress wasnt going anywhere, so I went into holy crap I need to stop this now, mode. Which, stressed me out even more. The spots I was used to were always small ( pencil eraser tip small ) flakey, and didnt have much color. THIS was a whole new ballgame. I felt like I had burns all over my body, they itched, burned and were red.

I was humiliated. It took a toll on my confidence and for the first time ever, I was insecure of my skin.

I tried:

Epsom Salt Soaks 
Lavendar
Oatmeal
All suggested Oils
Dr. Teals Aloe/Lavendar Oil ( helped relieve itch and pain, big time. 3x a day I applied )
Neem Extract ( only helped bring color down )
ItWorks lotion
Psoriasin
Taclonex
Nerium
2 of the strongest steriods on the market 
Coal Tars
Light Therapy 3x a week for 3 months ( did decrease the spread, but didnt take away spots )
Methotrexate ( I do NOT recommend this. I had to do it for insurance purposes to get on my current regimen, it's a wicked drug. )

None of these methods came close to aiding my problem.

It was time to consider shots. However, these shots were to the tune of $12,000 PER SHOT. Bring on more stress, panic and loss of hope. My insurance said no way.
My dermatologist fought on my behalf, and the insurance( Regence ) agreed to a deal, where I'd have to "fail" a treatment ( methotrexate ) in order to move to injectables. She also fought  to get every possible discount and after going through the motions with insurance, I paid a whopping $24 for the YEAR. 
I cried. The ugly cry.

This miracle drug, is called Stelara. You guys. I could be the poster child for this drug. I am beyond thrilled with how this treated me. After ONE shot, I was 100% cured within 2 weeks. I had psoriasis on 90% of my body before Stelara, and put up with it for 6 miserable months. Not wearing anything short sleeved, lots of concealing makeup to cover my face, and really no skin showing anywhere.
I wanted to tell the world about my experience because all the information I had ever looked up were old forums and just old school information.

So here, my friends, is the before and after. I'm telling you, Poster Child.

Left is a few months ago, Right is today.


Pretty crazy ugly right? Now you understand my ugly cry, and then my clicking of the heels when stelara actually worked.
You can see I AM scarred from the spots, and from all the steroid creams that took the pigment out of my skin, but they've faded drastically with time in the sun.

I get a shot 3 times a year, I can do it at home now, and have absolutely no side effects.

I know this is a weird post, to be talking about a drug, but I'm hoping that I'll encourage the hopeless.
If your insurance denies you the first time, try try again. Its WORTH fighting for.


I dont have any scars on my face, praise Jesus.


Its such an embarrassing battle, that I'm so thrilled that I've conquered with this miracle drug.
There is still no cure for psoriasis, and without these shots I would continue to have flare ups.
Feel free to email me and chat about it!

13 comments:

  1. Wow! Congratulations for lack of a better word that you found something that helps you so much. I have a very mild case and so far acupuncture has helped me manage mine. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Wow! Thank God for this working for you! I can't imagine how miserable you must have been!! And $12,000...that is INSANE! And what's even more insane is that the insurance wouldn't cover it for what was an obvious severe case that you had! Good for you and your doctor for not giving up!!

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  4. My adult daughter had mild psoriasis that converted to psoriatic arthritis and is being successfully treated with Humira. So glad the meds are working for you.

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  5. I have psoriasis which is now supplemented by psoriatic arthritis in my hand. I do the enbrel injections and they have helped so much.

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  6. I just started this med today. First shot this afternoon. I too have had to hide myself. All summer long I wear leggings with every dress and long sleeves. It sucks. I'm so hoping this drug works for me like it has you. Like I said, I just Google it and came across your blog. How are you doing now? Is it still cleared up? I'm such a stress case about all of this.

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  7. I just started this med today. First shot this afternoon. I too have had to hide myself. All summer long I wear leggings with every dress and long sleeves. It sucks. I'm so hoping this drug works for me like it has you. Like I said, I just Google it and came across your blog. How are you doing now? Is it still cleared up? I'm such a stress case about all of this.

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  8. Thank you for this post. I have been battling a severe outbreak for the past 4 months. Your blog could have been my story. It was exactly the same in the start and blew up with no warning! I have them all over my arms (elbows to wrist are the worse). They burn. They itch. It's embarrassing and I'm beyond sick of the questions, looks, and comments. I now have patches on my legs that a dollar bill could not cover. My back has started breaking out and my ears are scaling over. My PCP has done the high dosage of oral steroids as well as the lovely steroid cream. I have noticed some improvement but the cream will NOT remove it completely. I have scarred really bad on my forearms. Fortunately, I'm pale, pasty white so the scars are less noticeable. However, the horrible red patches are not! I'm being referred (FINALLY) to a dermatologist and will ask about Stelara. I'm a 40 year old single mom and refuse to let this control me! Again, thank you for the article. It's nice to know I'm not alone and there is hope out there!!

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  9. It is a great website.. The Design looks very good.. Keep working like that!.
    How to cure psoriasis

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  10. I just came back from having my first injection of Stelara...found your post because I am really frightened by all the internet has to say. I just had to try it- I am praying for similar results. You brightened my day, and lifted my mood.
    Thanks so much for sharing:)

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  11. I just want you to know reading your blog has given me so much hope in managing my psoriasis. I have been very skeptical about going the injection route and was going to try Otezla (the pill) out, but I think you may have just encouraged me to go with Stelara. Thank you so much <3

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    Replies
    1. I just started Stelara a little over 2 weeks ago. I have tried everything. I have also been on Stelara before. What route did you go with?

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