Conversationality | Perfect Skin

In high school my friends used to tell me I had perfect skin.  That’s no longer the case, however.  I’ve been hiding my skin as best I can since mid-August when little patches of rash started popping up on the tops of my hands and behind my ears.

This thing wasn’t completely foreign to me.  When I was really stressed in college and while planning the wedding, the red/itchy spots would appear.  I invested a lot of money on different lotions, and nothing really worked except for a prescribed cream that had some steroids in it.  But my hands were shiny and new for the wedding, so I was happy.

That was then though.  Right now I look kind of like a leper.  The rash has spread from my ears down my neck, across my collarbone and is creeping down my shoulders each day.  The spots appeared at the corners of my eyes and the insides of my elbows.  It is even on my lower legs.  I wish this wasn’t so.  And since I’ve been pretty lucky with my health all my life, when the doctor I saw last week diagnosed me with stage two guttate psoriasis, my heart dropped (further personal research shows similiar symptoms to Celiac Disease called dermatitis herpetiformis).  I had been halfway hoping that I’d just wake up one morning with it all gone.  But that is not going to happen unless I make drastic changes to my daily routine.  How, you may be wondering?  Most significantly by altering my diet, and also by using higher strength steroidal ointment.

What does my diet have to do with psoriasis?  I asked that same question when my doctor first diagnosed me.  Apparently the foods that cause allergies may be to blame.  Although my only known allergy up to this point is to cottonwood trees, the makeup of allergenic foods can still have an effect on me.  That’s when my doctor proposed cleansing my body of processed, preserved, and allergenic foods.  He said I have to be strict–something I’ve proved over and over again to be no good at (when it comes to diet (and exercise for that matter)).

No shellfish.  No dairy.  No strawberries.  No peanuts.  No wheat.  I may have to go full on gluten-free by the end of this.  Right now I am creating a weekly routine of lots of oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and safe salad fixings.  The fact that I have a higher dose of steroid ointment is kind of freaking me out, but I’m trying to be extra careful with it.  Although the thought of not eating my favorite foods is really scary, if it makes my skin clear up it will be worth it.

Because of my skin condition, I’ve been extremely self-conscious.  I worried myself into a turtleneck for Ethan’s birthday bash, but I cringed every time I had to use my hands during Monopoly.  With prospects of upcoming social events, I’m wishing for a speedy recovery.  I will eventually get an appointment with a dermatologist, but until then it’s eat like a rabbit and lube up twice a day.

This certainly isn’t a glamorous side of my life right now, and I wanted to share it with you for precisely that reason.  I’m still a little scared of what you might think (I’ve had some bad reactions to it already), but I promise I’m not trying to gross you out.  Do you have any experience with skin disorders?  If you have any recipes to help spice up my diet, I’d love for you to email them to me.

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15 comments

  1. Mary Ellen · · Reply

    You can do it and when you see the results you will be even more driven!!!!

  2. Amanda Wozniak · · Reply

    Who has given you bad reactions?!? That’s absurd. In the long run, this will be an enormous investment in your health. I applaud you for how you’ve dealt with it so far. And I hope your skin only continues to improve until you look all shiny and new again. love you cster

    1. At school, remember? I hope that good things are still in store…but I’m so hungry for desserts! And bread!

  3. I missed a lot! sorry! I’m glad you got a diagnosis and have path for getting better. Phew! that always relieves my anxiety. SO this is a good start. DOn’t worry about steroids on the skin…its just for control purposes until it is under control right? so no problem there. ANd then it seems like you have been exercising a lot of will power….see this as an opportunity to try new recipes. It will get better no doubt. Just patience and will power. I have psoriasis of the scalp….have to use a special shampoo…but its not pleasant when it flares up and gets out of control. So I know about people’s reactions…..You are going to beat this thing….and am also thrilled to have read about the big effort you are putting into eating healthier. Good for you. ALso, I wasn’t able to go to the bookstore to get A time Traveller’s wife and just read one I had on hand…The Life of Pi……interesting. The movie is coming out soon. But the other book is still on my list! You will conque this…chin up! xx

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I’ve never known someone to have this, and reading your story helps =) I have some patches left around my hairline and it’s the worst…flakes getting stuck in my hair, the ointment greasing up my roots…bleh. I was told to read Life of Pi but I never got around to it! I’m sure TTW will find you at the perfect time in your life, whenever that may be =)

  4. that sucks (excuse my language). it might be a good thing that you got it later in life. might be easier to get under control. try to see the positive side. a good diet will be beneficial in so many other ways.

    xxx

    1. I know, I’m hoping this will keep me healthy as I progress…I was getting off track a bit =S

  5. I don’t have any experience with skin disorders, but I really look up to you for sharing your story. It will be a shame to not get to eat all of your favorite foods, but being a healthy you will be worth it!

    1. Thanks so much, Yelle. And thank you for reading =)

  6. I’m so glad they know what it is, and how to tackle it–imagine if you were still wondering why! I can’t even imagine how difficult it is to give these things up or to feel so uncomfortable in your own lovely skin, but I just know you’ll find a happy balance.

    1. Thanks Lena, my skin is starting to look lovelier each day =)

  7. Giovanna · · Reply

    Sorry to hear you have to give up so much in order to get it under control! I hope you make a speedy recovery and will be able to incorporate some of those “bad foods” into your diet sporadically soon!

    xx
    Giovanna
    http://www.oliveandanarrow.com

    1. Hehe, oh the bad foods. I catch myself thinking about going to certain restaurants, and I have to remind myself I may not be able to!

  8. […] this post?  It feels like forever since I first went to the doctor regarding my strange skin condition.  To […]

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