Monday, September 10, 2007

10 September 2007, Monday

Skin Condition

Ok...recently like very jialat. I couldn't stop scratching myself. And Feng, who hasn't seen me since Tuesday, commented that my skin getting worse on Sat. It's just a short 4 days, and I feel that my whole arm is itching like hell. Rashes had started to spread on my right arm. My 2 psoriasis "spots" on my right leg is getting bigger, and the one on my left leg, which doesn't itch anymore, is now itching. So I read up on Psoriasis in SG. Wondered why my condition like getting worse. Quoted from the NSC website:

What environmental factors are important?
Physical and emotional stress can worsen psoriasis, as can throat infections or the flu. Some drugs (e.g. certain high blood pressure medications, steroid hormones) may provoke the appearance of psoriasis. Scratches, cuts and sunburns may cause psoriasis to flare up at the sites of injury.

No wonder itching lah! I got flu the other day! And I did scratch myself. *Hits both hands* ARGH!! But the itch is KILLING ME!! Grr...*cries* It's really that jialat until I stopped wearing skirt to work a week ago. Since nobody knows the condition best except me, I know it's time to book another appointment at CGH. Hope they have slots for next Sat. Really tak boleh tahan. Very itchy. The itch kept me awake for the past few nights. Maybe I should get some anti-histamine. Duno correct spelling or not. But those who know medicine should roughly know lah.

I also searched the things that can worsen this stupid condition. I was awarded with the following from Singapore Family Physician website:

One of the most common provoking factors is stress in areas of work, relationships and the family. It is worthwhile talking to patients and finding out the areas of stress and their lifestyles.

Another common problem which is not only a provocative factor but also a perpetuating factor is scratching. There is a certain amount of itch. Patient feel they need to remove the scales. Scratching delays healing and it is one of the reasons why sometimes the treatment does not work. The trauma of scratching can also result in a Koebner's phenomenon.

Trauma can also be seen in terms of work and sports (eg amongst footballers). Trauma is definitely something that can be discussed with the patient, the removal of which can be of help.

Infections like streptococcal pharyngitis (in the young), cystitis (in the elderly) and sinusitis can be provocative factors especially of guttate psoriasis. Appropriate antimicrobial treatment is indicated.

Chemical injury is quite common and sometimes associated with overtreatment. Patients tend to overtreat with preparations or medications given by somebody else and non-qualified traditional medicine practicers.

Drugs: This is a difficult area. Most studies do not give a clear-cut answer. The temporal relationship between the use of drugs and worsening of psoriasis may not be very clear. Betablockers, antimalarials, lithium and NSAIDS have been implicated. It is worthwhile taking a drug history at time of onset and establishing the relationship leading to worsening of psoriasis. Traditional medicines - eg herbs, ginseng - can sometimes have a provocative effective.

Climate: Dryness is a major problem. Airconditioning, hot showers, strong soaps and winters can provoke dehydration and make psoriasis worse. Excess heat and humidity in the tropics can provoke itch and exacerbation of psoriasis.

Hormonal factors: In the post-partum state, there is often an exacerbation of psoriasis.

Alcohol: Some studies done in Singapore and elsewhere show alcohol to be a perpetuator. If the patient gives a history of such an aggravation it is important to get the patient to abstain. Alcohol overuse could be a reaction to the depression following the psoriasis. Except for special situations, all psoriasis patients should be discouraged from taking alcohol.

Close friends know that I rarely drink anymore. Seriously...I don't know what to do with my skin nowadays. It's keeping me awake half the night and it's difficult to control when it's damn fucking itchy. Even chicken pox can't compare to this. ARGH!!

BUT...there is a new "cure". There's no cure to psoriasis...just something which can lessen it and control it. My demartology specialist had told me to do something like applying moisturizer whenever it itches, and told me to apply medication day and night. The morning cream has a little steriod whereas the night cream doesn't. So it kinds of balance it out. However, when I was surfing the net, read that there's a new "cure" lah. Abstract from TODAYonline:
Although the cost borne by patients on biologics is relatively high compared to taking normal systemic or oral medication — each biologic injection costs about $270 and has to be administered a few times a week — the new treatment is more beneficial for patients' well-being as it results in less organ toxicity.

WTF. $270 for each shot. A few times a week? ARGH!! Might as well kill me. Think if I got 5mil, I'll go solve my Psoriasis problem first. Get a package and buy the shots all at one go. Maybe cheaper? Set aside 27K for the shots man. And that's like 100 shots only. I'll be broke by the time my condition is controlled. Or maybe dead by the time they actually find a cure. Even as I type now, I'm itching on my right arm and right leg. I'm keeping my hands busy by typing and trying hard to forget the itch!! ARGH!! Kill me someone!! Get me a skin draft!! Change my skin! Change my blood!! Can't take it anymore!!!! *Sobz*

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