Imagine waking up one day to discover not only one red dot on your body (thinking it was just a pimple), but many, and I mean many little red dots all over your torso. I thought I slept walked through a bee hive or something similar, because I was so unsure as to what had happened overnight. I started to question whether it was my clothes, did I have a reaction to a bathroom or kitchen product, did I finally have chicken pox, was it something I had eaten? I can’t admit I was too concerned, until a few days later more started to form, but worse.
I was oblivious to the fact that my torso was breaking out in a chronic autoimmune disease called psoriasis. What that is are thick patches of dry and scaly skin.
Other symptoms may include:
- raised red patches of skin covered in silver scales
- dry, cracked skin
- thickened nails
- pitted nails
- swollen joints
- stiff joints
I suffered from three of these symptoms – red patches, burning and chronic itching.
I will admit now, the itching drove me insane.
Luckily psoriasis isn’t contagious but it can be genetic. Getting it for the first time really got me wondering why I was caused this reaction. In my own family, only one other person suffers from a skin condition, which is also psoriasis, however it is on his scalp, which gets worse by increased stress (for my brother at least). After doing my own research – hello Dr. Google – I discovered it can also be brought on by a few other things such as poor immune system, poor gut health, chronic stress, infections/ bacteria and as mentioned genetics. If you know my story already, you’ll know that I already suffer from an unhealthy gut, suffering from a bacterial overgrowth and poor hormone health. Recently I also got blood tests back resulting my body to be suffering from chronic stress, inflammation and a shot immune system. As I write this blog post only now about my own experience and journey with psoriasis, this all just makes sense now. And I’ve been dealing with this for years, which is really scary to realize.
Psoriasis is known to have 5 different types, such as:
- Plaque psoriasis – the most common amongst sufferers. These plaques are commonly found on the elbows, knees, and scalp – this is what my brother suffers with.
- Guttate psoriasis – this type of psoriasis causes small pink spots. The most common sites for guttate psoriasis include the torso, arms, and legs. These spots are rarely thick or raised like plaque psoriasis. This is what I was suffered with.
(I’ve attached two images at the end of this blog post).
- Pustular psoriasis – it causes white, pus-filled blisters and broad areas of red, inflamed skin. Pustular psoriasis is typically localized to smaller areas of the body, such as the hands or feet, but it can be widespread.
- Inverse psoriasis – causes bright areas of red, shiny, inflamed skin. Patches of inverse psoriasis develop under armpits or breasts, in the groin, or around skinfolds in the genitals.
- Erythrodermic psoriasis – is a severe and very rare type of psoriasis.
This form often covers large sections of the body at once. The skin almost appears sunburned. Scales that develop often slough off in large sections or sheets. It’s not uncommon for a person with this type of psoriasis to run a fever or become very ill. This type can be life-threatening, so individuals should see a doctor immediately.
When I started to notice more form I started to become extremely self conscious. If you know me, I lived at the gym, I was always training in shorts and a singlet so you can only imagine my thoughts as to this. I ended up wearing a jumper to cover up my arms and neck but what I didn’t realize was that sweat acted as an irritant to the sores, which stung like crazy! It honestly felt like I was dealing with this for weeks.
I should probably mention that my doctor goes to my gym, so as soon as I saw her I had questioned about my reactions, which straight away she came back saying it was psoriasis. Guys, don’t be like me and leave it until a week or so later to understand what is going on with your body. Anyway, she told me it can take up to 8 weeks to calm down which was actually more bad news because my boyfriend and I were going to Europe for a month in 4 weeks time. My doctor did mention that the sun and salt water will be nature’s gift to my psoriasis, however that also meant I had to be in a bikini like this.
Between then and my trip I started to expose myself to more sun, which wasn’t as easy as it was mid Winter in Australia. But I was pretty lucky to be living on the ninth floor with a balcony facing North. Midday, everyday felt like Summer on our balcony and we could pretty much lie naked as we had nothing obstructing our view or facing us.
In terms of my face, this was probably the worst for me as I wore make up most days to work. I already don’t tan my face to not damage it, so my skin before this reaction was pretty amazing – and those aren’t even my words, the amount of compliments I used to get about my face was endless. Yet, psoriasis happened. The patches weren’t red but they were lumpy and dry so you could tell something was there. Make up was the worst thing for it and I didn’t have any creams that would help ease the reaction.
In terms of treatment for psoriasis itself – my doctor told me to use sorbolene to calm the itching down, reduce stress, get sun and eat a healthy clean diet and drink lots of water. She mentioned a steroid cream, which helped but still it wouldn’t go away just like that.
So as soon as we got to Europe I did what was told and jumped into the sea water and lay in the sun…. to only make these even worse. My face reacted that badly to the salt water and sun that my skin has never been the same again. In fact, my skin is now so sensitive that I started to breakout more than ever.
I had been on a hunt since September 2018 for a trust-worthy skin range, yet so many I tried reacted with me or I just wasn’t satisfied.
Triggers and Treatment:
Psoriasis (as well as other skin conditions) can react and be triggered from a variety of health and lifestyle factors. UV rays, stress, alcohol, low immunity, poor gut health, injury, medications, infections, or bad bacteria.
Lifestyle Treatment includes:
A healthy diet, strong immune system, a healthy and functioning gut, little to no antibiotics, no artificial ingredients, sun exposure (as ironic as that sounds but small doses with the right products) or light therapy, skin care including natural ingredients, specific vitamins and minerals. Another thing to look for is products that are Australian made, are not tested on animals, include no sulphites, no synthetic fragrances and is paraben free.
I can honestly say I have learnt a lot about my body and skin – it’s come down to a few things in order to nourish and care for it. So prime ingredients I always look for, as mentioned similarly to the above, in personal care products are vitamins B5, C, E, D and A, minerals such as zinc, magnesium and copper, antioxidants and pre or probiotics (which are more of a bonus). I ensure there is no gluten, dairy or ingredients I have to second guess. I can’t stress enough how important it is to know what ingredients are being used as these products are being absorbed by your skin!
Fun fact: your skin is one of your biggest organs, so whatever is placed on you will also get absorbed IN… And my gut is hell sensitive already.
This point I make also applies to your skin type. If you have dry and sensitive skin but use products that contain harsh chemicals you may very well react to it. Refer to my image below after I used a new skin care range which left my skin to feel on fire, look red and patchy for 3 days. I was scared to use anything else afterwards, as I didn’t want to deal with that pain again.
After searching online, I actually came across SkinB5– an Australian natural skin care brand. I researched their product range inside and out, gave them a go and honestly fell in love…
And here’s why:
I will speak from my personal experience on the five products I use:
(I have also hyperlinked them so you can check them out)
1. Extra Strength Vitamins (tablet form)
1. Extra Strength Vitamins
This product comes in a tablet form. They are vitamins, using ingredients such as Vitamin B5, vitamin A, zinc, folic acid & biotin to clear the off stuff you don’t want – pimples, blackheads, whiteheads and acne. This is pretty much a necessity for not only healthy skin but to enhance immunity, hair, nails and reduce symptoms of stress. Vitamins are not only beneficial for your skin, everything works in each other’s favour.
2. Australian Botanicals Cleansing Mousse
This is the deep cleanser which can be used every day. It controls skin oil, is UV damage protected (so ideal when being outdoors) + other benefits include anti-pigmentation Vitamin C and cleaning/ revitalising for pores.
It uses 8 super active native extracts: Kangaroo Flower, Tasmanian Blue Gum, Snowflower, Silky Oil Grass, Mountain Pepper Berry, Kakadu Plum, Davidson Plum, Quandong & vitamin B5, plus Aloe Vera and Green Tea (these two added ingredients are prime for added antioxidants).
3. Australian Botanicals Hydration Essence
After I use this hydrator, which is again, essential as I now live with dry and damaged skin after my psoriasis I have to ensure to keep my skin moisturized and hydrated. Just washing your face with water unfortunately won’t do the job… I also use it as a primer before my make up which is AMAZING, so you don’t have to use a zillion different products from different brands.
This hydrator also uses Australian native extracts, such as: Kangaroo Flower, Tasmanian Blue Gum, Snowflower, Silky Oil Grass, Mountain Pepper Berry, Kakadu Plum, Davidson Plum, Quandong & vitamin B5.
4. Skin Purifying Mask
This is one of two added bonuses.This product for me is my Sunday ritual, after I wash my hair, which already takes so long, because I have to leave in a masque, I use the time wisely and put on this mask at the same time too. Pretty much killing two birds with one stone. The beauty of this product is that you don’t even need to leave it on for long – 10minutes is suffice. Another tip is that you can sleep in it if you want a bit of extra TLC… and if I do that it’s only about once a month.
The mask itself detoxes, purifies and soothes acne-prone/ troubled skin. It is formulated with French green clay, Great Barrier Reef mineral salt, vitamin B5 & 13 other powerful natural extracts.
5. Clear Skin Superfood Booster
This is the second added bonus, because it’s to do with food. It’s a supplement that will compliment the rest of the products, to further nourish your skin and inner wellbeing.
The Superfood Booster contains 63 powerful nutritional ingredients, which includes Marine Collagen (bioactive collagen peptides VERISOL®), Australian Organic Hemp Protein, Organic Zinc, Maca, Probiotics Lactobacillus & Bifidobacterium, Prebiotics, Vitamins A, B5, C, D & E, Omega-3, -6 & -9, Silica, Ashwagandha, Alkalising Greens & High Antioxidant Superfruits.
Hands down – gut friendly, immunity boosting, stress managing and healthy ingredients your body will thrive from. If you don’t believe me you should check out the product for yourself and do your own little research on each ingredients. My top pick is Ashwagandha – this is probably one of the best therapeutic and stress relieving herbs to exist. While it is known to be an adaptogenic, it also helps to support insomnia, the nervous system, immunity plus reduce inflammation.
You can add this Superfood to meals as a garnish, in yoghurts or cereals, otherwise you can add it to your shakes, water, juice OR even blend it in with a hot beverage. I had recently shared a Matcha SuperBOOSTER recipe here – so you can try it out and let me know what you think.
I’ve been using this brand for 2 months now and I am so happy to safe I love it and can’t recommend it enough. I’ve attached an image of my skin now – after a washed face. It’s ticked all my boxes, and I am extremely picky when it comes to choosing products that work for me… I get it from my high maintenance gut which is still on the mend. But, my body and skin deserves the best, to not only look good but react and feel amazing too. So the best it shall receive!
Here are the images of my psoriasis on my torso
This was not even the worst of it!