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The Last Page
Living With the Discomfort of Psoriasis by Anne Wolski
Copyright 2005 Anne Wolski
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that is characterized by scaling and
inflammation of the skin. It most often occurs on the elbows, knees, other parts
of the legs, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of the feet, but they can
occur on skin anywhere on the body. The disease may also affect the fingernails,
the toenails, and the soft tissues of the genitals and inside the mouth.
Psoriasis occurs when skin cells quickly rise from their origin below the
surface of the skin and pile up on the surface before they have a chance to
mature. In about one-third of the cases, there is a family history of psoriasis.
Approximately 30 percent of people with psoriasis experience joint inflammation
that produces symptoms of arthritis. This condition is called psoriatic
My own battle with this condition began when I was in my early twenties. The
first signs were simply a reddening of the elbows and knees. Of course, I took
little notice of this. However, it didn't take long before the scaly patches
appeared and began to spread to my knuckles, ankles and some small areas on my
lower legs. I tried several moisturizing lotions but nothing seemed to work. I
then sought the advice of my physician who diagnosed my condition as Psoriasis.
So began a lifetime of applying corticoid steroid creams and coaltar lotions to
the affected areas of my body. This is usually the first type of treatment
prescribed for the condition.
At times, I experienced significant physical discomfort. Itching and pain
interfered with basic functions, such as sleep. This in turn left me feeling
constantly tired and unable to cope with day-to-day chores, thus putting a
strain on my family relationships. I began to feel self-conscious about my
appearance and had a poor self-image that stemmed from fear of public rejection.
Psychological distresses in turn lead to significant depression and social
I noticed that there were times when my skin worsened, then improved. I found
that several things caused flare-ups including infections, stress, and changes
in climate that dry the skin. Also, certain medicines seemed to trigger an
outbreak or worsen the disease.
As the years progressed, so too did the disease. I eventually had psoriasis on
my knuckles, elbows, finger joints, knees, lower legs, feet, and even the
webbing of my toes. I also had it in my scalp and a large area of my lower back.
I was miserable most of the time because of the constant itching and discomfort.
I had tried every treatment that I heard of and had found only minimal relief.
By this time, I had virtually given up hope that I would ever lead a normal life
without this affliction.
However, a few years ago, a friend convinced me to see a naturopath. I didn't
expect much from him but he surprised me. He advised me to try emu oil,
something I hadn't yet tried. I took his advice and bought a bottle of emu oil
capsules which I took religiously. Within weeks, the scaly patches had all but
disappeared from my knuckles and lower legs. By a couple of months, I had no
outward signs of the disease and, for the first time in many years, I felt
comfortable with my appearance. Because I was no longer itching all of the time,
my sleep patterns improved and so did my ability to cope with life in general.
I took the full dose for about six months and then started taking just one
capsule per day as a maintenance dose. I still take that every day and will do
so for the rest of my life.
So, for all of those who suffer from psoriasis or eczema, take my advice. Give
the emu oil a try. It certainly improved my quality of life and I believe that
the advice given to me by that naturopath is the best advice I was ever given.
Psoriasis is an incurable disease and, once you have it, you will always have
it. The point is that you don't have to let it rule your life. You can live
relatively free of this condition just by taking that one step.
Anne Wolski has worked within the health and welfare industry for more than
30 years. Visit her website at