Be Brave

O.K. Fellow doodle-bugs (roll with it, it just came to me O.K.?)…  So I stumbled across Bravelets™; an amazingly unique and heartfelt organization started by Stephanie Hansen for her mother and her family through a difficult time…

“I wanted to make something that my sister, my mom, my dad and I could all wear in the weeks leading up to her Mastectomy – a symbol that we could all look at and remember to be brave… Out of this process, Bravelets™ was born.” – Stephanie

When my father was diagnosed with cancer and had to endure endless days of back-to-back treatments and awful evenings where he barely slept, it was heartbreaking to our small family. To show him my support I purchased him several “F__K Cancer” T-shirts to wear during treatments. My sister, My stepmother and myself also sported the tee’s. He wore one on his final day of treatment and the staff thought he was just super amazing and had a great attitude during a really difficult time.

My reason for telling you that little story was to show you that sometimes all it takes is the right attitude and the right group of people to get you through a tough time. Both my father and Stephanie’s mother (so far as I know) are in remission. It’s really all about being BRAVE. =)

See my collection dedicated to psoriasis awareness here: https://www.bravelets.com/bravepage/seeing-pspots

$10 from every purchase will be donated to The National Psoriasis Foundation.

 

OH AND IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING…”why the triangle?”… “The triangle is the strongest geometric shape.” 

T-CELLS… ABORT!!!

O.K. So I don’t know the technical crap that goes on when your psoriasis goes into remission but it seems as if the little nasty white blood cells that have loved my skin so much are finally retracting and taking a break. (Knock on wood… where’s my sisters head when I need it?) 

 

So I thought I would just share what it’s starting to look like… less flaky and white. Looks more like a large ringworm type thing. The middle is still white but feels MUCH MUCH more like my actual skin. 

 

Fingers crossed kidsssss. (PS if you are suffering from Psoriasis, i highly recommend purchasing tar soap. It smells like freshly paved Brooklyn streets in the summer BUT it’s helping. 

Diet and Psoriasis???

I have read that your diet helps your Psoriasis. I found what they call the “Anti-Inflammatory Diet” and minus the red meats, it’s really close to the Paleo Diet (from what I can see). Here’s some information on the diet… Recipes to follow!!! =) 

 

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease. Many individuals benefit from following an anti-inflammatory diet to help reduce their symptoms.

Foods to avoid because they have been shown to cause or increase inflammation include:

  • Fatty red meats
  • Dairy products
  • Processed foods
  • Refined sugars
  • Nightshade vegetables, including potatoes, tomatoes and peppers

Foods to include in your diet that have been shown to reduce inflammation include:

  • Coldwater fish. Fish contains omega-3 fatty oils. Fish rich in omega-3s that has been shown to reduce inflammation include albacore tuna, mackerel, salmon, herring, and lake trout.
  • Flaxseeds, olive oil, pumpkin seeds and walnuts. These are plant sources of omega-3s.
  • Colorful fresh fruits and vegetables. Focus on eating foods from the colors of the rainbow.

Nutritious examples are:

  • Carrots
  • Squash and sweet potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Kale, and broccoli
  • Blueberries
  • Mangoes
  • Strawberries and figs

The Social Media Pity Party

Alright dudes… Let’s address something. I’ve posted some things about my Psoriasis over the past few months on various social media outlets. This is NOT for sympathy or a pat on the back (although those are great and they definitely help me a lot, thanks guys!) My posts are not negative or meant to bring anyone down or feel bad for me.

 

As someone who has been in the social media industry for a few years allow me to explain how fantastic it can be. I have been struggling with this for over 7 months and been to several doctors, and do you know where I figured out how to help myself get well again? SOCIAL MEDIA! I had an overwhelming response from people who have read my posts and given me advice. A childhood friend, unbeknownst to me, has been dealing with this his entire life. He wrote me a message and it helped SO MUCH (thank you by the way). 

 

I also stumbled across this article that lists some of the best Psoriasis blogs: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/best-psoriasis-blogs . Although it was upsetting at first to read what these poor people went through, it was also empowering and informative. I don’t encourage you to whine, if you have time to whine you have time to change what you are whining about but i recommend using the tools given to our generation! The best advice i have received was from other people dealing with it. Not a doctor. Not a medical professional. Just normal people like you and me. 

 

So, in closing, thank you for all your support and don’t be afraid to get up on that social media pedestal and whip out your microphone! =)

 

Research, Research, Research…

So, it seems that my Psoriasis is starting to go into remission. (no jinxies) But I wanted to share some of the experiences I have had by speaking to other people with the disease and doing my own research/trial and errors.

Methods that work for me:

-Keeping my stress levels down is a MAJOR thumbs up. Stay cool and calm and so will your skin.

-DO. NOT. SCRATCH. It sucks, you want to rip off your skin some days and some days you just don’t care so you have at it. The less you scratch, the less you aggravate your skin and the more progress you see (in my experience)

-Changing my diet… I’ve been working on practicing the Paleo Diet (meats, fish, veggies, fruit – no dairy, no sugar – even if it doesn’t help, you’re being healthy! win win)

 

Products:

Oy… so this is a long, tough list and it seems grueling but it pays off. I have been prescribed every cream, medication, method, you name it. But here’s what I’ve found, through trial and error, that works.

-Head and shoulders or T-Gel for your shampoo and conditioner

-I usually wash myself with a washcloth and some baby wash (little or no chemicals and it smells nice) but was recently recommended TAR soap (it smells like sh!t, so I’m iffy)

-Lather your @$$ up with some cream!!! I use baby lotion usually but I have also used Vaseline Nourishing lotion. 

-When my flares are bad, I use creams specific to Psoriasis. At first I was using “Psoriasin” which is a tar based cream that also smells like poop but it does the job. MORE RECENTLY… The doctor prescribed “Calcipotriene” Ointment – It doesn’t smell and it’s less sticky. I chose an outfit (sweats and a tank) that I didn’t mind ruining and I wear them whenever i put the lotion on. I have also wrapped myself in saran wrap after putting the cream on and slept with it overnight. You might look like a Thanksgiving day turkey but you won’t regret it. 

-Lastly, vitamins. Vitamin D, Fish Oil, A daily multivitamin. Keep yourself healthy!! 

-Oh and sun!!!! Throw that body in a bikini and lay in the sun. =)

 

Don’t be afraid to talk to people about your condition. It’s where I learned the most helpful advice believe it or not. 

 

*** BE STRONG! PSORIASIS ISN’T CONTAGIOUS, BUT AWARENESS IS!!! ***

Have you seen my Psoriasis Pspots?

If you know me, are Facebook friends with me or simply saw me strutting the streets of my neighborhood, you have DEFINITELY  “Pspotted” me. (see what I did there? Pspotted? no? moving along then…).

I have been living with psoriasis for a mere 6 months but I am constantly trying to educate myself on the autoimmune disease and ways to make it work with me rather than against me. (It’s super anti-Brittany right now BTW). It’s a tricky little bugger! I created this blog for several reasons but mostly to use as a tool to vent, cope and handle my new friend.

Brooklyn, my 18 month old chihuahua, is here to play nurse (she spends tireless hours helping me research… and trying to lick her own butt). So Brooklyn and I will be working together to drop some knowledge on you as well as share our experiences.

Here we gooooooooo! =)

What is Psoriasis???

So to put it super simple, Psoriasis is a skin condition where cells grow at a faster rate than they can be shed, causing excess skin to build up and form scaly patches on the body. If you want to get technical (and I never do because I took Biology several times before I passed) …

Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune disease that appears on the skin. It occurs when the immune system sends out faulty signals that speed up the growth cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis is not contagious.

There are five types of psoriasis. The most common form, plaque psoriasis, appears as raised, red patches covered with a silvery white buildup of dead skin cells. Psoriasis can occur on any part of the body and is associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.

Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disease in the U.S. As many as 7.5 million Americans have psoriasis.

Scientists believe that at least 10 percent of the general population inherits one or more of the genes that create a predisposition to psoriasis. However, only 2 percent to 3 percent of the population develops the disease. Researchers believe that for a person to develop psoriasis, the individual must have a combination of the genes that cause psoriasis and be exposed to specific external factors known as “triggers”.

Psoriasis triggers are not universal. What may cause one person’s psoriasis to become active, may not affect another. Established psoriasis triggers include:

  • Stress
  • Injury to skin
  • Medications
  • Although scientifically unproven, some people with psoriasis suspect that allergies, diet and weather trigger their psoriasis. Strep infection is known to trigger guttate psoriasis.

(Source: National Psoriasis Foundation)