National Psoriasis Awareness Month + A Special Announcement!


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:
As you know, we spend a lot of time on articles designed to raise awareness of various health issues, sex and our relationships, as well as various safety bulletins to provide necessary information for our subscribers. I try to present our blog articles as educational, without always promoting our own product.  (Even though I want to!) We are a marital aid, providing help for a legitimate and pervasive problem.
 
We want to provide an exciting update for Le Snuggle.  Our original Le Snuggle was so well received, that we are in production for The Ultimate Le Snuggle.  The original version of Le Snuggle will remain available.  We have made some very delicate and precise tooling changes to Le Snuggle, to further enhance the overall experience. We will keep you informed as our timeline gets closer. 

 

Adding to that excitement, we are so pleased to announce our collaboration on a joint project with a private FDA approved laboratory for the arrival of The Ultimate Le Snuggle. Complete details and explanation of our subtle changes will be provided at our unveiling. Le Snuggle will be offering a free gift with our unveiling in conjunction with this promotion.  There is an ongoing joint collaboration for a series of blog articles with this amazing facility nearing completion. Sorry, no more hints! 

Meanwhile, back to our article for National Psoriasis Awareness Month.  Earlier this year, I wrote that only two articles this year would be personal in nature. This is one of them.  I have had debilitating psoriasis since I was 8 years old. Psoriasis research at the time was virtually nonexistent.  As a child that age, to be treated as if I had a mental condition versus a medical and incurable one was extremely traumatic.  I could fill this story with the horror stories, and trials and failures over the years.  I am not going to do that.  I want this to be a positive and informative article. 

There are multiple types of psoriasis and associated arthritis or corresponding issues such as Koebner Phenomenon. I personally have plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and Koebner Phenomenon. 

Plaque, guttate, pustular, inverse, and erythrodermic are the various forms of psoriasis.

If you have had psoriasis for any amount of time, you have probably heard about infections flaring up your psoriasis.  Throat infections, mainly strep, are notorious for worsening psoriasis symptoms. 

Sometimes, for people that have Koebner Phenomenon, these reactions are more severe.  Koebner can activate with something as little as a mosquito bite or, a small cut. Our immune systems are hypersensitive.  Being overtired and stressed are also predictors for a flare-up.  

With the march of time and thankfully, the progression of medications and technologies, there is a tremendous amount of attention being paid to the research and treatment of psoriasis.  Hopefully, a cure is in the future. 

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) has been a guiding and powerful force in bringing awareness of psoriasis. The amazing amount of research being performed to eradicate this terrible disease is unsurpassed. The community and resources created by the NPF has been a part of my life since I was a little girl.  I would wait for my psoriasis news to come in, always hoping for something I could possibly try or, to learn something new as a coping mechanism.

Their Inspire community is a forum allowing psoriasis sufferers to bond with people who TRULY can understand the difficulties that other person experiences living with psoriasis.

I no longer believe in the heartbreak of psoriasis.  For too long, I allowed psoriasis to take the joy out of just about everything.  I did not like the relentlessness of ALWAYS having to accommodate this disease.  I also did not like not having control over psoriasis.

It took forever to realize that while psoriasis requires constant maintenance, it could be manageable.  I had to learn what the triggers were for my condition and immune system.  It took an innate understanding of my own body to finally achieve a place of almost total remission for over 10 years.

The path to remission has been a lifelong struggle.  I have had to learn the triggers that flare up my skin, and they are many.

My personal journey has taken me all over the world trying to just help my psoriasis. 

We have all tried strange and unusual tricks in our struggle to manage our skin. 

If trying something new helps you in any way and causes no harm, I am usually the one willing to try anything. I am extremely careful to not do anything contraindicated with my daily use of necessary medications.  Here are a couple of examples: 

It would seem logical that if your plaques are thick and dry, that you look for something to increase moisture and break the barrier beyond the plaques. Baby oil (lanolin) made total sense to moisturize with, until it flared my skin worse than ever before. 

Or, a diet in the summertime of way too many homegrown tomatoes sending me to the hospital. I could keep writing for days about the trial and error portion of managing psoriasis, as well as all of the crazy things I tried for the past forty years. I am persistent and try to be as relentless as this disease. 

As a psoriasis patient, you have to learn to read every ingredient of every product you use, both internally as well as externally.

Keeping a journal detailing your treatments (both prescribed and alternative remedies), any side effects, and your various responses will help you when communicating with various physicians for years to come. 

When my psoriasis did not improve during adolescence and I became responsible for my own health choices, the journal was just a copy of my ongoing medical records. 

…...As a side note, ALWAYS review insurance policies for pre-existing verbiage prior to changing carriers. 

I had a permanent pre-existing condition for over ten years for psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and kidney failure.  All while paying a fortune for insurance, with two rate increases per year.  Psoriasis treatment can be cost prohibitive for many, causing delays in seeking treatment and slowing a clearing from a flare-up.  Do your research before you change carriers. 

I have been lucky with my physicians over the years. Several recommended the ongoing health record, but I have had several doctors request that I keep track of foods, new products, changes in anything like laundry detergents or lotions.  This information allowed us to refine things that were flares for my skin, and eliminate those triggers.  Sometimes, without the process of elimination, it is difficult to determine exactly what is causing your reaction.

Psoriasis patients tend to try anything to relieve symptoms when they are in a flare-up. Many times, we try something expecting immediate results one way or the other and when that does not work only THEN do we head to the dermatologist.  Dermatologists and rheumatologists need a precise description of medications you are on for other conditions, vitamins and supplements, alternative therapies, and previous medications used for psoriasis. 

There are a few things to keep in mind if you are considering new medications for your psoriasis treatment or, participation in a trial study.

  1. Make sure you are comfortable with your dermatologist. Make sure he or she understands all aspects of your personal history with psoriasis, and the impact on your life, both physically, emotionally and sexually.  A great dermatologist works with you as an individual, and tailors a plan designed to improve your symptoms, and not affect your quality of life.

 

  1. If you are considering any of the drugs designed specifically for psoriasis that are all over television, do your homework. Make sure you are aware of the necessary criteria that have to be met to take certain psoriasis drugs such as TB tests, biopsies, and very frequent blood work. Be sure you can commit to follow-up appointments to correctly utilize the medication.

 

Also be aware of ALL side effects of the drug you are considering taking. Be aware of any long-term side effects, and read any information available concerning future pregnancies. 

The severity of your psoriasis and associated conditions determine eligibility for many treatments for psoriasis.  Those who have previously experienced reactions to certain ingredients in the popular drugs may not be eligible for that class of drug. 

If you are participating in a drug trial, be aware that you may be receiving a placebo. Read your paperwork and the fine print thoroughly. Depending on the severity of your psoriasis, you may not be able to go the length of the trial without any form of treatment.  And, always question both short and long-term side effects. 

Emotionally, psoriasis can impact your body image, self esteem, family and partner relationships, not to mention, the impact on our careers. 

Children do not understand any better.  You expect them to ask about your “BO BO’s”. Adults are finally learning about psoriasis and its devastating effect. By now, most people realize that psoriasis IS NOT CONTAGIOUS! It does not stop some people from being cruel or rude.  Use that as an opportunity to turn it around, and provide a little information about psoriasis with the hope that that person might actually learn something and do better next time.

For most of my life, I have been contacted by family, friends, strangers, business associates, grandparents, parents, children and many others all for the same things! 

How bad is your psoriasis, and what are you doing to treat it? What has worked, harmed or had any impact whatsoever on your condition? And the list goes on.  People that live with psoriasis are always reading, researching and searching. 

Next Avenue.org’s motto is “where grown-ups keep growing”

In their article entitled: “Nothing Funny About ‘the Heartbreak of Psoriasis’” Psoriatic arthritis is a serious condition, but the outlook has improved. 

Psoriatic arthritis is associated with psoriasis. About 20 percent of people who suffer from psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. 

Many times, it is hard to diagnose as it does not show up on blood tests.  Swelling of the fingers and toes are symptoms, as well as swelling of the joints.  There are several types of psoriatic arthritis, that affect different areas, as well as the extremity of treatment required. 

As a very special physician from Mexico once told me:

“What you visibly see on the outside of your skin is a manifestation of what is happening on the inside of your body to your immune system”.

He went on to explain to me that by treating your immune system directly and overall improving lifestyle habits, you can make positive changes to your skin and keep it that way with proper maintenance.

Never hesitate to reach out and ask questions or, suggest ideas for articles you would like to see us address.  We personally answer each email and truly value our customer and subscriber input.  We plan to continue this for as long as we can. 

Be safe and cautious for the Labor Day weekend.  Designate a driver! There are many of transportation options such as Uber and Lyft available for the Labor Day weekend. 

Happy Labor Day!