Feb Photo 24 – Inside My Bathroom Cabinet
For a number of years now, I have suffered from Psoriasis. I have posted about it many times here and here. At times, it can be under control, but other times, it becomes almost an embarrassment to leave the house. I tend to get it on my face, scalp and occasionally my feet. Having Psoriasis on the face is simply horrible; it is the first impression someone gets of you when meeting you, it’s the one part of you that strangers will see if you are buying a coffee or a meal at a cafe, and its the part of you that best shows people what you are thinking and feeling. Having Psoriasis on the face causes self-confidence issues to come in, meaning I might not smile as much as I would normally (the Psoriasis can come and go, so it’s not something that is permanent, and I end up ‘getting used to it’ like a scar or something.) This might give off the signals that I am unimpressed, or even in a bitchy mood.
Some of the worst experiences of my facial psoriasis have been when either sitting through an interview, or temping at a new site. I can see the person opposite me staring at it, which makes me nervous and insecure, yet I won’t mention it, as it’s not the time or place. Of course, if it is mentioned, I am happy to explain it all to them. A few people have openly asked me either “How were you burnt?” or “What happened to your face?” which, although slightly rude, addresses the elephant in the room, so to speak.
Another classic comment I get a lot is “Oh, I had dandruff once, I used ‘Product-X’ and it cleared right up”. Let me explain something on the record. Psoriasis is NOT dandruff. Dandruff is a dry scalp, usually caused by increased oil production, oily skin, increased skin secretions, and increased numbers of normal skin yeasts. Occasionally it can also be caused by poor hygiene and infrequent shampooing and washing.
Psoriasis is caused by the over-production of skin cells by my body. Basically my body creates skin quicker than ‘normal’ people, meaning that it cannot shed it quickly enough, so it flakes off, or in some cases, peels off. The Psoriasis actually gets worse and flares up after I wash it with fresh water. Salt water is great for it though, so it can be a great excuse to go to the beach… This can be good if I cut myself on something, as it heals rather quickly, however that seems to be the only perk I know of.
For those of you who don’t know, Psoriasis is a dermatological (skin) condition that would usually fall under the eczema tag. If left for a few days to air out (honestly, one of the best treatments to do is often to do nothing) it can resemble a burn. I usually get it on my forehead, chin and around my nose. It can be very prominent, and at times, it flares up rather quickly, sometimes only giving me 20-30 minutes notice, before my skin starts peeling. (gross, I know!)
My bathroom cabinet shows almost everything I use to battle my psoriasis.
Coal Tar Soap (Black) – although this doesn’t prevent psoriasis, it is better than the standard perfumed soaps on offer at most supermarkets, and so I use it simply so it doesn’t inflame any existing outbreaks.
Olive Oil Soap (Large square block) – given to me by a friend who runs a soap store, this is claimed to clean the skin up completely naturally and leave it baby smooth. This particular range comes from the Middle East, handmade by a gentleman whose family have been making the soap in the same manner for 3,500 years. I figure he knows what he is doing!
Tea Tree Oil Shampoo (Green) – I switched to this after I had a serious run-in with the Coal Tar shampoo from the same company (which doesn’t actually contain coal-tar!!). I was told that Tea Tree Oil was actually really good for my skin and the psoriasis, so I gave it a go. This clears my scalp psoriasis, which is rather hard to treat, due to my hair.
Not pictured, there is also a product called “Moo Goo” which I have posted about in the second link above.
A guy’s bathroom cabinet is usually a lot less cluttered than this. But for the sake of self-confidence, and smoother skin, I am willing to take a few snide comments, funny looks and even slightly rude questioning of my skin condition.
So that you can see what I am talking about, regarding the ups and downs of Psoriasis, here are two bonus photos, showing you a ‘before’ treatment, and an ‘after’ treatment.