"I am feeling so much better about my skin, and so much better about myself. Summer is coming and I’m looking forward to sunbathing for the first time in years!"
Nicola Walker, 63, owner of a cattery and kennels in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria
I first developed symptoms of psoriasis 20-odd years ago following a strep throat infection at a time when I was going through a marriage break-up . At first I thought it was chicken pox. It was all over my torso.
It cleared up from my torso after a while, but then it went to my wrists, the back of my hands, my elbows and up the backs of my arms and knees. It was horrific and the itching just never stopped.
At first, my doctor gave me these huge terrifying capsules. I still don’t know what was in them – sulphur or something - but I remember they were ghastly. Eventually, my symptoms settled down and cleared up, but about eight years ago the psoriasis came back, on my elbows and the backs of my legs and knees. I stopped wearing short sleeves and only ever put on trousers and thought I’d just better get on with life – I had a divorce to get through and three children to bring up.
I didn’t have much of a positive experience with treatment on the NHS. I was put on diprosalic ointment and Enstilar foam. I had one specialist warn me that this treatment could lead to thinning of the skin and I was only to use it two weeks on, then two weeks off. And I had another specialist tell me to use it every day. I was very confused. Either way, the treatment wasn’t very effective.
Then last year, I lost my partner, Graham, to cancer and that set it off really badly again. I had it on the tops of my feet, my ankles, calves, knees, thighs, shoulder blades, the backs of my arms and my scalp. With this and the bereavement, I was in a very dark place and I remember thinking, ‘Who would want me now?’
I was offered light treatment but that was no good because the hospital was too far away to go regularly. And then I was given the option of Methotrexate, which is a kind of chemotherapy. The more I read about that, the more I became sure I didn’t want to try it.
I began searching on the internet and tried all sorts of things, and then I read about Soratinex in the Daily Mail online and thought I’d give it a go. After the first week I told myself off for not following the instructions properly and so I decided to knuckle down – and then I began to see real improvements.
The plaques reduced in size and eventually my skin became flat and smooth again. Then the itching stopped – and that was such a relief. I’d say my skin has improved by about 80 per cent. It’s remarkable but it is still getting better.
The skin where my plaques had been is darker than the rest but I am hoping that will improve over time.
The main thing is that I am feeling so much better about my skin, and so much better about myself. Summer is coming and I’m looking forward to sunbathing for the first time in years!