Hi everyone!

I'm 59 and was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis in 2012. At that point psoriasis actually came in useful for once as it was one mildly psoriatic toenail that clinched the diagnosis at the time. Blame brain fog, but it took a long time .... weeks, maybe months .... for me to remember the rash I'd had day in, day out for about 10 years and which had very suddenly cleared up about 20 years before the PsA diagnosis.

As is probably obvious, that long stretch of inverse psoriasis hadn't bothered me too much. Somehow I got used to sore armpits and it didn't itch. So I ignored it, didn't bother with the steroid creams, basically buried my head in the sand. And it didn't matter because it was mild.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year. I'm on Humira and had remained on Methotrexate to support it. Maybe I'm in the minority, but I quite like Mtx & it has always been useful to me if not exactly a game changer. Trouble was my liver began to object strongly to it and the ALT (liver enzymes) rose steadily upwards. So I stopped Mtx. Then all hell broke loose .... perhaps that's an exaggeration .... no, perhaps it isn't. I started getting psoriasis on my legs and scalp, then in my ears, then all over my body, on my palms, my feet, where the sun don't shine ... everywhere. And then to cap it all, my hair started falling out. Not thinning but big bald patches.

So to cut a long story short, both my rheumatologist and dermatologist decided that the most likely scenario was that stopping Mtx had triggered the psoriasis flare-up. I'm now back on Mtx and am going to have a liver scan to see if my liver is holding up or not.

Back in the day when I was young and carefree and had bright red armpits I probably didn't really need an online community, which is just as well as of course there was no such thing at the time. However, when the misery of serious itching, flaking and soreness topped off by the prospect of going bald hit me hard I did need support. My psoriasis is much better now and my hair is growing back. I realise I can't take the improvement for granted, so I just enjoy it for now.

You know, time was I really didn't understand how difficult psoriasis can be. But I certainly do now.

12 Replies

  • Hi defo got quite a lot going on with psoriasis and hair .. i would ask doc to check you thyroide issues.

    I know Psoriasis is a gentic marker for all sorts of stored up trouble SORRY forgot name of marker BUT google will turn it up.

    If ya women do you suffer from polly cystic ovries as than can cause hair loss flair ups.

    As to cures defo one for professions BUT am sure if cure one other should follow

  • PCOS polly cystic ovaries


  • Thanks for your replies D3NIS. I had slightly low thyroid levels just before being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. But they returned to normal once I started medication and my rheumy said that the physical stress of PsA etc. often causes thyroid levels to dip.

    I can certainly see where you're coming from. However my bald patches corresponded exactly with the worst psoriasis plaques and it seems the build up of dead skin cells stopped the follicles from functioning. As soon as the topical treatments and methotrexate kicked in, the P improved and my hair started growing back like crazy.

    So now I have the long-ish hair that managed to hang on in there plus what my husband refers to as 'bum fluff islands' that basically stick straight up. I'm not complaining, believe me!

  • Hi Cheers Is complex business THIS what is psoriasis .. IS it disease or illness .

    Perhaps Beyond Psoriasis could carify that for us

  • Do you reckon there's a difference? I suppose I'd use 'illness' more for something that comes & goes ... like 'flu. But mainly I think of 'disease' as a slightly posher word for illness.

    It can get complex can't it? Every time something new happens I have to get my head around it, I have to form some idea of what I can do about it. But at the same time, with chronic disease, there's a need for something like acceptance in order to get on with life. And that combo is complex too!

  • Defo agree disease is something you have for ever.

    Illness is like flu comes go's

    Guess you could say psoriasis is a gentic chronic disease But are flair ups illness and can you say illness as if is gentic it never go's away

  • Both Ps and PsA are Auto Immune diseases and are chronic conditions, therefore we are correct in calling them diseases rather than illness.

  • Dose it matter

  • I only use NHS choices

  • I don't understand this at all. Genetic means it is in your family ? If so I don't know of anyone in my family who has autoimmune disease.

  • My understanding is that there are some genes that have been identified that give people a tendency (just a tendency, not certainty) of getting psoriasis / psoriatic arthritis. The most well known gene is HLA B27 which is especially linked to spinal problems in psoriatic arthritis and other similar forms of arthritis. But plenty of people with these diseases do not have this gene. And plenty of people who have it will be perfectly healthy.

    I've heard that there may be as many as 35 genes which give a tendency to P and PsA and maybe even more. So the scientists think that if you have these genes you may get the diseases but that they most probably need a trigger. Those triggers include things like long-term stress, surgery etc. And of course there are still probably loads of people with the genes, suffering stress, having surgery etc. etc. who do not get the diseases.

    So basically 'genetic' means that genes are involved somewhere along the line. I don't think there's anyone in my family who had psoriasis .... but there could be a great-great grandparent somewhere who I could blame if only they weren't long gone!

  • Just as I thought one of the unlucky ones again as with my COPD

You may also like...