Psoriasis is more than just a skin irritation. It’s actually something that can dramatically reduce your mood levels, increase your anxiety and make you never want to leave your house ever again.
A few years ago I met someone who told me they would probably never wear their hair down again after being plagued with the skin condition Psoriasis. In my head, that equated to an entire
lifetime of your hair being scraped and slicked back into a ponytail for what would be the rest of your days, whilst you spent copious amounts of time praying those dead skin flakes weren’t poking through the cracks of your hairline. For me, I could not even begin to imagine how I would cope with such an issue. Realizing how completely devastated and exhausted this girl was having tried every prescribed cream and hair shampoo under the sun, I could see this skin disease could knock more than a few hairstyles from your agenda. It was a confidence zapper too. I felt awful and walked away thinking, ‘gosh, I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with all of that’. Until one day, I did.
Following a short bout of extreme stress, I suddenly found that I was itching my left hand more than normal. This wasn’t just an itch. This was the most extreme irritation I had ever experienced in my life. This itch was so intense I would find myself staring at the sharp edges of shop counters with heart shaped eyes convinced they might just do the trick, quickly scouting to see if there were any onlookers before smashing my hand against the help desk, I’d continue the daydream where I’m now grating my hand on a giant cheese grater, ah the pain relief – seriously, a grated hand – that’s what I would end up with once I was done scratching it any way that I knew how.
So now it’s bleeding, it’s gross and I feel a bit sick at the sight of it. The itch would be with me for most of the day, a drop of alcohol and give or take ten minutes I’m back searching for the grater. It stressed me out so much that I would even reach for a cigarette but oh hell no – you can’t even do that unless you want to re-light that psoriasis fire. I started getting self-conscious when I would sit on the tube and catch someone looking at my hand whilst I typed away on my phone. This is the surest way to feeling like you’ve been on crack cocaine for half your life and verging on looking like the women from the Ben-Hur/Jesus films that were suffering from leprosy. I felt hideous. How could I conceal it? Make-up only irritated it more, gloves in the summer was just too weird, I even tried buying a hoodie that had those thumb holes in so half of my hands were covered. It got so bad in fact that, I began to hate leaving my house.
The flare up on my hand had now been with me just over a year and the pictures above barely depict how severe it really was at this point. It had moved from the palm of my hand, up to my fingers, it was under my nails and even started to disfigure my bone structure. Itch. Scratch. Ooze. Weep. Puss. Dry. Flake. Shed. Itch. Scratch – you get the picture. It drove me insane! I had been to the doctor’s so many times I’d lost count of all the skin specialists I had seen. I spent three months in a hot country sunbathing with one hand straight up to the sun, bathed it in olive oil on a daily basis and endured a million sleeps in aloe Vera drenched dental gloves. More than anything I was embarrassed, ashamed and now getting paranoid that my own girlfriend would leave me because it was that unsightly. I didn’t realize then how much she had become the support network I desperately needed offering tips, regimes and calming solutions to aid me during such frustrating times. Yet still, nothing, and I mean nothing was working for me. What had started as an itch, now ruled my life. Patches then began to crop up all over my body. That was it for me. I actually wanted to die. I felt as if it was getting out of control, I had no control and no one or nothing could help me. Well and truly depressed, reclusive and exhausted by it all, I decided – something’s gotta give.
Frustrated by the fact that no one could tell me what type of skin issue I had at this point I was getting pretty desperate. I had nothing. In a desperate attempt to find answers I went to Instagram. Don’t ask. I decided to type #psoriasis and trawled through a few thousand posts until I found one detailing four different types of Psoriasis in a picture. Immediately, from the illustration in this tiny box, I knew I had Pustular Psoriasis. Possibly the most disgusting word, image and type of psoriasis I had ever seen and I definitely had it. To further extend my search I then took to YouTube. A frantic type of, “How to cure pustular psoriasis before you go temporarily insane” lead to the discovery of Dr. John Pagano who I’ve aptly renamed ‘The Skin God’. This man changed my diet, my mind, and my skin – for good.
Here I would learn all about a group of plants/vegetables called ‘The Nightshades’ and discover that if I could cut out them out in their entirety – my psoriasis would be cured. Two weeks after cutting out the following vegetables, I am Psoriasis free. Yes. Totally true story and worth the wait right? OK, so allow me to introduce you to the evil family that is The Nightshades.
Potatoes – Don’t worry, you can still eat sweet potatoes and yams.
Tomatoes – Unfortunately, that means no tomato ketchup, hot sauces, salsa’s, certain soups, anything tomato based, simply get rid!
Peppers – Bell peppers, Jalapenos, Habaneros, Cayenne pepper and Paprika – Say goodbye to the spice in your life.
Eggplant (aubergine) – Don’t even touch it.
Goji & Other Berries – Just cut them out.
I will admit, it was not easy to say goodbye to my hot sauces, love for spicy food and I do miss a good spaghetti bolognese but I am 100% OK with that knowing I have complete control over my Psoriasis. Now, this may not work for everyone, and I am in no way suggesting this is the key to your cure, however, after trying almost everything – altering my diet has been by far the most incredible, powerful and life-changing decision I have ever made and at a point where you have nothing to lose, you might as well give it a try!