‘I was the last person to be accepted on the Soratinex trials and I was sceptical when I walked through the door. Now I just can’t believe how lucky I was.’
Greg Pittard, 47, Commercial Director of Icebox (ice sculpture company) from NW London.
‘I have had psoriasis for 18 years on my arms, chest, back and, recently, my knees. In all, it probably covers about 25 per cent of my body when it flares up. I find it frustrating and upsetting. I’m quite a confident chap and I learned long ago about the importance of inner strength and self-belief so I am not overly-dominated by my condition or what other people think of it.
‘However, I used to love swimming but I stopped about two years ago when I became self-conscious of people looking at me. It was a beautiful summer’s day at Kingston Lido and I was suddenly aware that I was rushing to get into the water and below the surface, and then when I got out I was rushing to cover myself up with my towel. I stopped going after that.
‘I have used steroid-based creams prescribed by my doctor, I’ve spent an awful lot of time trying to find out what causes it and I’ve spent a lot of money being seen privately, but everyone I saw seemed to say the same thing: “We don’t really know what causes it. Here, put some cream on.”
‘I heard about the Soratinex trial from a friend went along and when I was told it involved another cream – as well as an oil and gel – I thought, “Oh, here we go again”. But I used the treatment twice a day as instructed and within days I was seeing an improvement.
‘It is quite a powerful thing to watch something quickly clear up that you pretty much felt was irreversible. The cream is wonderful and it smells great; so is the oil – you almost feel you could eat it! Within a couple of days my red patches were starting to clear up and then I began to see other patches below them, which were areas of normal skin.
‘Then it became less inflamed – that is something psoriasis sufferers will find very important – and my skin calmed right down. It is continuing to improve and I’m seeing clear, good skin. There is about a 70 per cent improvement and obviously I’m hoping it goes to 100 per cent.
‘I’m feeling so much happier and confident about myself. The other day I walked down the street in shorts and a T-shirt and nobody looked at my arms or legs, which they normally would.
‘ I’m single and, of course, psoriasis can affect your confidence – you constantly worry what the reaction will be in intimate situations. But now I’m thinking that, yes, I will be able to look forward to that again. It’s a real morale-booster.
‘I was the last person to be accepted on the trials and I was sceptical when I walked through the door. Now I just can’t believe how lucky I was.’
Mrs Eileen McNeill, 63, a retired teacher from Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
‘I had mild psoriasis on the scalp since my teenage years. It was scaly and very itchy and my then doctor prescribed the steroid cream Betnovate. It went away but then came back when I was at university and carried on for most of my life on my scalp and behind my ears.
‘Then about 10 years ago it increased in severity and spread to my elbows, arms, lower legs, a couple of patches on my face and quite a lot on my elbows. I didn’t let myself become depressed over it, but it was frustrating cosmetically – I would often wear dark tights instead of skin-coloured and I was always looking for long-sleeved dresses to cover my elbows.
‘I tried everything the doctor gave me as well as everything I could find on the market, but nothing worked. I went privately to see a dermatologist but the course of treatment he prescribed was also ineffective. One doctor told me I’d have it for life, and even though you know the doctor is probably right, it isn’t the sort of thing you want to hear.
‘I was always Googling psoriasis to see if I could find any new treatments and one night in one of the forums of the Psoriasis Association, where people share information about treatments, I saw that one man had left a very short post simply saying Soratinex was brilliant.
‘At first, I was put off by the cost – it was approximately £90 – but I was very drawn to the fact that it did not contain steroids, which is a big plus, and so my husband told me to give it a go. It is in three parts, the gel, cream and oil and you have to have time and patience to carefully follow an eight-week regimen, applying all three twice a day. I did, and within just two weeks I was seeing an obvious improvement.
‘By six weeks it was almost gone and I was thinking about stopping, but FRANKL Pharma customer services had been giving me great advice and support and said I must finish the eight-week course. They were very helpful.
‘I finished the course and it cleared up completely. Even blue-ish marks on my arms from using steroid creams eventually disappeared. I was absolutely delighted and still am – it really is fantastic stuff. I have been clear now for about a year and just use a little bit of the oil on my face and elbows.
‘I tell everyone I can about Soratinex because I’d like them to enjoy the success I’ve had with it.’
Marie Norris, 52, a child minder from Northolt, west London.
‘I first got symptoms of psoriasis about five years ago. I only had a small patch on my leg at the start. But then three years ago – December 27 2014 – my daughter, Faye, was killed in a car crash. She was just 34.
‘They say stress can bring psoriasis on, and in my case it did. It spread all way down both my legs below the knee and went to my elbows and the patches grew bigger and bigger. It was red raw and very sore.
‘I stopped wearing skirts or anything short. I even covered up on holiday because you could see people looking and it was very embarrassing. My GP prescribed corticosteroid creams but they didn’t work and so I was eventually referred to a dermatology specialist who prescribed something even stronger.
‘Eventually, I ended up on the Soratinex trial and I’m delighted with the way things are going. As soon as I started using it I felt better. I’d say it’s about 50 per cent better and it’s improving all the time. The patches are still there, but they’re much less inflamed and they feel so much better.
‘I feel much more confident and if the weather was warm enough, I think I’d be able to wear something short again. I’m going to carry on with the treatment and I’ve been recommending it to lots of other psoriasis sufferers. I think it’s fantastic.’
Mr Sritharan Ratnaswamy, aged 61, an accountant from West London.
‘I first had psoriasis about four or five years ago. It is all over my body to a greater or lesser extent – the severity of it seems to come and go and obviously when it is all over I feel pretty miserable.
‘I’ve been prescribed oral and topical medication and feel like I’d tried everything from methotrexate tablets to Epaderm cream and Balneum bath oil to topical steroids including Dovobet and Dovonet, but nothing seemed to have worked. I also had puva treatment – ultraviolet light therapy – a few years ago.
‘When I was given the Soratinex oil, gel and cream as part of the trial, I’d already thought nothing would work, but this did. I put it on twice a day and soon began to see a difference. Now it has gone and I’m hoping it stays that way.
‘Because it was on my arms and legs, I’d been covering up all the time and wearing a tracksuit outside but now I’ve been able to start wearing shorts and short sleeves again, and I feel so much happier.
‘It might not work for everyone, but it has worked for me and I would recommend other sufferers to give it a try.’