I had a choice with this most recent flare–freak out, get depressed, hide, feel helpless and hopeless. And, in truth, I did have some moments of all of these less than stellar emotions.
BUT, there was this part of me that kept saying “use this flare for some experimentation”. There are so many things to learn about this disease. And I don’t have to work in a lab, with no real investment in results–I have the perfect lab rat body. And I have a REAL investment in healing this disease.
Here’s what I did:
SMOKING: O.k. I’ve been a smoker, off and on, for decades. I had a 10 year and 6 year period where I never smoked at all. And it’s been on and off since then. So, during this flare I would smoke for 3-4 days (watching the spots and how they reacted). Then I’d stop for the same amount of time. Again, watch the results. And then repeat. It slowed my progress but…..
Here’s the truth. It was so evident that the days I was smoking, my skin was red and getting worse. When I stopped, my skin improved. Period. According to Tiago Henriques (that book on high dosage D3), smoking stops the metabolizing of vitamin D. And it’s D that we’re having trouble metabolizing in the first place.
Not to mention, smoking depresses the immune system–which can cause a flare. All right then, the jury’s out! Will I never smoke again? Hard to say. And while chatting with Charlie this week, he said that he’d put money on the fact that a lot of people with psoriasis are smokers. He’s right. I Googled it. Gawd, I do love Google!!!
Now, I understand how cigarettes can feel like a friend when you’re down and out and your skin looks like hell. Truly. We all have our crutches. So, I’m not here to preach to you about quitting smoking. I’m just the messenger.
SOAP: I don’t think the soap you’re using when having a shower is the issue here. I think it’s what we use in the laundry. More and more, I’m convinced that any residue can, over time, create a problem. And remember, two out of the three flares (the big one in 2014 and this one) were caused by laundry detergent residue.
See, allergic reactions can sneak up. They don’t always suddenly appear as a result of what you did two hours ago (like hives). It can take months for the body to get to its “tipping point” where it no longer can tolerate an allergen. So, it’s hard to connect the dots.
If I could give one piece of advice here it would be to take a few months and stop using any detergent at all in your laundry. And avoid those bloody fabric softeners like the plague. Our weak point in the body happens to be ON the body–our skin. Psoriasis.
I’ve spent a lot of time the past week, doing umpteen bags of laundry and wiping out the dryer with vinegar water. And it’s working. My skin doesn’t itch (unless I put on something that was washed in that machine that wasn’t rinsing properly–then I start itching in less than a minute–that’s how sensitive I am to that allergen at this time).
Soap & Smoke=a couple of badass S.O.B.’s!!!
So, have a fine week. Be kind to yourself. You’re more than just your skin.
Dakota and Lucky and Charlie
PS: another thing I noticed was that during a regular flare (not caused by an allergic reaction) I can enjoy some sun on my body. Not so when having an allergic reaction flare. The sun makes the flare worse. Just a heads up!