The story and experience of a 50+ year valiant battle with Psoriasis – A. R.
Those who have Psoriasis would testify to the stubbornness of the disease. It comes, stays for some time, goes away, strikes back and the spiral goes on……
In layman’s language, the disease has two phases: active and inactive. During initial years, often, the disease disappears or, in other words, goes into a latent state for a longer period of time leaving no trace of skin lesions, patches or scales so that a newly-afflicted person thinks, the disease is gone forever.
In the beginning, the period of disappearance or latency is so long that one forgets he ever had it until it makes a comeback.
As the years pass by, the periods of active phase grow longer and longer. Soon the total disappearance becomes a thing of the past and the disease assumes a ubiquitous character. “Severe”, “Moderate” and “Mild” are the three forms of the disease in the later years; either you have it in severe form or in moderate form or in mild form but it is always present and no total disappearance like in the early stages of the disease is witnessed.
During my battle of over 50 years with Psoriasis, I have learnt a number of things to effectively manage it and keep its effects as much harmless as possible. If you know the things that trigger a flare-up, you are halfway through your efforts to keep the disease under control and its long-term effects such as depression, low self confidence, social shyness, etc, can be avoided.
Stress is the commonest trigger. When we are stressed, our body produces anti-stress chemicals. That is a normal immune response of our body to stressful situations and circumstances but in individuals suffering from Psoriasis, the body overreacts and produces more chemicals than are needed. This also happens when you take drugs which do not agree with your system such as Tetracycline and Sulpha drugs. If the troublesome symptoms of the disease are to be avoided, one must learn the techniques to keep stress away and know the drugs that cause an allergic reaction and exacerbate the condition.
Usually winter and dry weather is the worst time for the sufferers of psoriasis. In addition to the appearance of red patches, itching, burning, drawing, tightness, scaling, flaking and cracking of the skin are some of the common symptoms. Keeping skin moisturized reduces redness and itching and helps the skin heal. I use olive and coco-nut oil or a combination of both to keep the skin moisturized. Hot water aggravates skin irritation but cold showers relieve itching and burning.
If you have a tenacious disease like psoriasis, it is unlikely not to develop or experience episodes of depression at times. According to latest research, people with psoriasis are twice as likely to become depressed as compared to the rest of the population. Depression can have a significant impact on quality of life. People with psoriasis are also more likely to have suicidal thoughts and attempt suicide. It is important to look out for symptoms of depression and seek homeopathic treatment if you need it.
According to experts, Homeopathy has a great number of effective remedies for depression and associated symptoms. In fact, there are many remedies that beneficially act on both Psoriasis and Depression such as Arsenicum iodatum, Lycopodium, Sepia, etc.
Dermatologists say, Psoriasis can be managed but not cured. You have to live with it! You can use creams, anti-histamines, anti-allergy tablets, ointments, etc., to keep it under control but a cure is never a possibility.
As a Marketing Manager with a national (allopathic) pharmaceutical company, I knew all this too well and decided to give homeopathy a try.
“Can homeopathy cure it?” was naturally my first question when I saw Dr. Ahmad Fakir Muhammad.
He did not mince words and was straightforward: “Theoretically, homeopathy should but practically I have not had much success.”
His reply dashed my hopes of a permanent cure. It was in contrast to the claims of a permanent cure of Psoriasis by some homeopaths, particularly those who provide online consultation.
Are these “online homeopaths” then just hoodwinking the patients?
Their websites show photographs of “the cases before” and “after” homeopathic treatment. The “before treatment” photographs show the active phase of the disease with patches and scales and the “after treatment” photographs show the clean skin and both are splashed side by side on some websites maintained by homeopaths.
I put the question to Dr. Fakir and he shrugged off, saying, “Perhaps, they do not tell the full story!”
Dr. Fakir’s honesty and straightforwardness greatly impressed me. He promises only what he thinks is achievable. He does not promise the moon.
As stated above, I have had Psoriasis for more than 50 years. Whenever it becomes intense, I visit Dr. Fakir. I have been visiting him for the past eight years – albeit at long intervals. For example, my last visit was some 10 months back and till the time of writing this, al-hamdollilah, I am doing fine and do not feel the need to visit him very soon.
It might be of interest to you to know about my first meeting/interview with Dr. Fakir. It lasted for more than an hour. I found Dr. Fakir quite attentive and probing. He is a good listener. He heard me with great attention, taking notes, asking questions, seeking clarifications and marking and underlining some text as I narrated my story. At the end of the interview, he turned towards his computer, looked at the notes and after a few keyboard strokes and mouse clicks, wrote names of some remedies in his notebook with a question mark (?) put in front of each remedy. He then again turned to me and asked some more questions. Few more mouse clicks and scrolling up and down the computer screen, and, then, finally, he prescribed a homeopathic medicine.
Keeping in with the tradition of Classical Homeopathy, he prescribes just one remedy at a time and almost on all the occasions I have visited him, his selection was on mark and I noticed an improvement in my condition.
So far, I have received the following medicines from time to time: Lycopodium, Sepia, Nat mur, Pulsatilla, Petroleum, Sulphur , Arsenicum album, Psorinum , Mercurius solubilis, Rhus toxicodendron, Mezereum and each one has helped me in its own right.
So, my battle with Psoriasis goes on and homeopathy has not disappointed me.