Psoriatic arthritis (psoriatic arthropathy) can be hard to cope with like many other diseases, the difference with this disease is people tend to suffer in silence for years which is what i did.
In my case for me it started in 1979 with just a few aches but within weeks i was in agony with which i was diagnosed with arthritis and undergoing tests to see which type of arthritis i had,
but within 6 months apart from being in a lot of pain i noticed my skin getting dry and scaly which was itchy and very unpleasant to look at, my skin erupted in the coming months to the point that i was smothered from top to bottom, it got to the point that i always made sure my skin was covered when i went out so nobody could see it, unfortunately it also affected my face which i was continually concious of.
In the next few years the hospital (St. Thomas’s in London) that looked after me was concentrating on relieving the pain i was constantly in with my joints to which they tried me on many different drugs ie: steroid injections, Cyclosporin (immunosuppressant), gold injections and many more the only one that made a slight difference was the steroids which in my case wasn’t a long term option.
In the meantime after many years of trying different drugs my skin was getting worse so had no option but to be admitted to hospital to get the psoriasis cleared, luckily St. Thomas’s has a specialist skin unit St Johns Dermatology Centre, it was my first of 8 admissions within 2 years to get it cleared using tar, creams emollients and light treatment (UVA/PUVA), it was eventually kept under reasonable control when my consultant arranged for district nurses to visit regularly to help me apply creams and manage it to prevent the frequent long stay as an inpatient.
Then last year my consultant suggested trying me on Methotrexate which i take once a week, i can’t say as yet that it has done much for my arthritis but it has helped keep my skin down to an acceptable level that i can live with.
As with all drugs it does have side effects to watch out for but is managed by having regular blood tests but with me sometimes the side effects (if you get any) are worth putting up with if the drug can improve your condition, i suppose its swings and roundabouts really for me the side effect i tend to suffer from most with it is anaemia.
My point of this post is if anyone suffering with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis and don’t want to go anywhere like i did to get it treated because of embarrassment etc. the dermatology doctors and nurses have seen it all before and will help, i wished i had gone sooner.