Fighting Guttate Psoriasis From the Inside, Out

At the peak of my guttate psoriasis flare up, I had plaques covering my entire body. And when I say entire, I mean entire.

My scalp was constantly littered with dandruff from the scales, my clothes were sprinkled with dry skin on contact,

Source: Giphy

and despite lathering lotion on my skin as much as possible,

I still experienced irritation and pain with every skin contact.

This new explosion came after my skin had started to clear up. The splotches had been almost gone from my back, arms, and belly just a few weeks prior, but this is just the nature of the beast and probably why the disease is so damn disheartening.

Just when you think you’ve scared it off, it comes back angrier and more determined than ever.

Now, after struggling with the physical, and the mental, effects of the disease for over four months, the only thing I had to show was skin that was far worse than it had ever been before. Needless to say, I was a wreck. Up until this point, I had tried oatmeal baths, lotions, topical steroids, phototherapy, and methotrexate.

Had I exhausted my options yet?

Luckily, I was able to get a last minute appointment with a new dermatologist on our insurance plan right before the looming end of winter break. It didn’t take her long to examine me and tell me her treatment recommendation. I suspect that after a certain threshold is passed for psoriasis, there are only a couple of options left for patients.

My option was Humira (adalimumab).

Humira is a TNF-alpha blocker that helps to reduce the inflammation that can cause large plaques of psoriasis. It is a systemic biologic medication and thus works to treat psoriasis from the inside, out. To learn more, click here.

Of course, following my horrible experience on methotrexate, I was suspicious and scared of Humira. There are serious and fatal side effects to this type of medication, but after weighing the pros and cons, I decided to give it a go.

For me, my guttate psoriasis was more than just a skin rash. The disease severely impacted my happiness and my quality of life, so it was worth the risk to start taking Humira.

It took about a month to get Humira approved by insurance and to become healthy enough to finally start taking the injections.

Source: Pixabay

As promised, within a month, I saw significant improvement in my skin. I was no longer itchy or nearly as flakey, and some of the plaques had subdued into smooth scars of discoloration.

To date, I have been taking Humira for about four months, and my skin is probably around 75% clear. The scars of my outbreak have disappeared for now, and I feel comfortable enough wearing shorts and tank tops outside in the summer heat.

I can tell the psoriasis is fighting back, however, as new plaques come and go on a regular basis, and sometimes it feels like I’m taking two steps backward for every one step forward.

Even so, Humira has done wonders for me, and at this point, I can accept and live with the skin I have now. However, much more importantly, Humira has helped give me some of my confidence and optimism back.

Source: Giphy
Disclaimer: This is not an advertisement for Humira, merely a first person account of my experience with the drug.

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