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Stan

42

Sales Advisor

Left quote in blue There are always
ways to keep it
under control Right quote icon
 
Animated image of Stan, case study subject, in office attire, holding briefcase and cell phone
Close-up animated image of Stan, case study subject, with graduation cap on his head

How it started

I got diagnosed a while ago, around 21 I think when I was at university. It started on my scalp. I ignored it for as long as I could hoping it’d go away but my mates started taking the mick out of my flaking!

Animated image of psoriasis in palm of hand being scratched

My symptoms

I’ve had patches all over the place. They can bleed and flake a lot, which gets really messy. The pain and itching really drive me mad at times. I developed arthritis in my hands and feet a few years ago too.

psoriasis effect on hands and legs

Areas affected

It started on my scalp, spreading to my face, arms, hands, back and legs. Most of my body was covered during a couple of bad flares.

Animated headshot of Stan, case study subject

Stan

Left quote in green

After my diagnosis I felt very embarrassed and scared it would spread. I think it contributed to my social anxieties and self-consciousness during my twenties, and reduced my overall confidence for a long time.

Right quote in green

Challenges I've faced

the burning/biting sensation really got to me but I’ve learnt to work through it now. I try to exercise at least 4 days a week. I just do what I’m feeling on the day, based on what my skin and joints are like. If my hands are aching, I might go for a morning walk or go on my exercise bike. If my feet are bad, I might focus on my arms with some weights. If I can’t deal with those things, I do some stretches – there’s always options.

usually down to the itching driving me mad. Itching makes it hard to fall asleep and when I do, I often wake up scratching myself making it worse and sting. It makes me really exhausted and stressed the next day which just makes my skin get worse. I experimented with a few things – antihistamines from my GP worked well. Wet wrap therapy took ages to do but it saved my sanity when I was having massive flare ups. I tried meditation but couldn’t get into it. I just did usual sleep stuff too – consistent routines, getting ready for bed early, that kinda stuff. It’s much better now even when I’ve had a bit of a flare.

to clear my skin up or help my joint pain until I got tablets. I tried a couple of them, methotrexate and something else, which worked well for a while. I’m on biologics at the moment. The injections have been an absolute godsend and have cleared up my skin. I wish I’d been told sooner that if creams didn’t work there would be other options. At the time I thought it was a condition that would never be under control. I felt my GP didn’t know enough about the condition. If the treatment you’re currently being given isn’t working, push for the next step.

Flakes would cover everything. I found that my work chair and keyboard were noticeably covered after a day and needed cleaning a lot more regularly and sometimes felt the need to apologise to the people around me. I feel like there wasn’t much else I could do apart from keeping on top of it until it cleared, so I had to get used to it. However after a while I found that most people didn’t even notice it much. I was far more sensitive about it than my workmates were. For the most part they were oblivious or supportive.

My top treatment tips

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For more useful information about how psoriasis is treated…

My top lifestyle tips

Stan

Left quote in blue

I try to not let psoriasis affect any part of my life and refuse to let it stop me from being active. It had a huge impact on my self-esteem when I was younger but has got easier over time.

Right quote in blue

Visit the lifestyle page for more useful information

5 things to do
to look after yourself

* This case study has been anonymised. We interviewed multiple people with psoriasis. The content has been created primarily from the experiences of one person, however we also included some other interviewee experiences. This was done to reduce the chance of the respondent being identified and ensure a range of experiences and advice important to our interviewees were reflected in the content.