Psoriasis: It's All in My Family

What was your reaction when you found out you have psoriasis?

In the beginning, I had a lot of large patches, but I was busy traveling so I didn’t think about it that much. When I found out, I felt bad because I know it’s not curable.

Has psoriasis changed your lifestyle or habits?

I have tried to change my diet. I heard that gluten might make it worse. So I stopped eating gluten when I was in China, and it seemed to help some. That was difficult because I missed eating wheat-flour based food like buns. I also don’t eat certain foods my wife likes to eat, which affects our food choices.

I also have to spend time to put on medicine and lotions each day, about 30 minutes in the morning and evening. It’s annoying to try to get all the spots, because some of them are small and hard to reach. I use a strong light, and my wife helps me with my back.

Now I’m watching each day to see if new patches have come back. I try to figure out what might make it worse or trigger an outbreak.

What is your plan to treat your psoriasis?

I still use the topical medication. The doctor said that if the spots are still red to continue using the medication. I don’t have too many affected areas right now.  I have an appointment in a couple weeks to discuss whether to use light treatment or injections next. Since I don’t want to do any shots, I will probably try the light treatment next. I’m not concerned about the treatment itself, but the nearest clinic is over 30 minutes away. I will need to drive there three times a week.

What concerns you most about having psoriasis?

I am concerned that someday it will get worse. I’m comfortable with it now because it is mostly under control. But I’m afraid that it will go back to the way it was when it was broken out all over my body a few months ago.

My Dad and Me: Our New Psoriasis 'Family'

As we talked, I realized that he is not only my father, but he is now also part of the psoriasis family. I’ve felt what he’s feeling. I’ve heard others relate similar thoughts and emotions. I don’t necessarily want more people to join the psoriasis family. But those who are diagnosed with psoriasis will find a close-knit group that bonds around a common experience of living with a challenging, chronic immune-mediated skin and joint condition.

Psoriasis can be all in the family — a place where we can feel safe, supported, and understood in the ups and downs of living with psoriasis. If you happen to see my dad, welcome him to the family.

Photo courtesy of Howard Chang.

Left to right: Howard; his dad, George; his mom, Susan; and his wife, Lori.

Last Updated:7/17/2015
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Date: 12.12.2018, 11:26 / Views: 65361