Sunday, January 27, 2013

Helpmekaar - Soap for Psoriasis

I am going to start a series of posts called "Helpmekaar". This is an Afrikaans word meaning "help each other".

We need to exchange information between us, to tell each other what we find helps or aggravates our psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis. There are so many possible causes and factors that affect how these conditions affect each of us that we all respond differently to treatments, products and even weather conditions. What helps one person may not help the next.

I have found various ways to ease my symptoms, even to sometimes make them go away completely. Many of you have found other ways to achieve similar results. Yet, few of us manage to remain totally clear of symptoms permanently. It may be because we become lax and fall back into our previous bad habits or it may be because the particular treatment that we are using has a limited shelf-life, after which it is no longer effective and we have to move on to try something different. It may be that if we combine what we have found good for ourselves with what someone else has found good, we may stumble onto something that works to our benefit more permanently.

For whatever reason, we can only benefit from reading what others are doing and finding successful. So, I am inviting you to share with us what it is that you do that works for you, to alleviate your psoriasis and/or psoriatic arthritis. Some of it will be purely relief from unpleasant symptoms, other may be getting deeper, into the root causes of these conditions, deep within our bodies. It just depends on the particular aspect that is under consideration at the time.

For each post in this series I will kick it off with what I am doing at the time or have done in the past. What I am doing might be good but may not necessarily be the best that I could do, likewise for you. I hope that many people will respond with their stories. This first one deals with body soap, as in the kind of soap that you use to shower or bath.

I have used various kinds of bath soap over the past 30 years. Popular wisdom is that we must use mild and unscented soaps and I have found this to be true. The one that I finally settled on as the most beneficial to me is Olay Ultra Moisture white bar with Shea Butter. This is a gentle soap that softens any light scaling that I may have at the time, allowing me to "roll it off", leaving sound and undamaged skin behind. It leaves a layer of oil on my skin as well, moisturising it to increase flexibility and prevent it drying out. That reduces itching, so overall my affected skin feels much better and more normal. Soap can dry out your skin, so using a moisturising soap is much better for psoriasis lesions.

Some of the high-end soaps that are supposed to be gentle are not really so gentle if you have psoriasis. I tried Pears soap years ago. I don't remember the exact effects but they were strong enough that I only used one bar and then changed to another brand.

Please post your story as a comment below this post.