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Can You Die From Psoriasis?

Can You Die From Psoriasis?

This has been an age-old question that I have ask myself for years in the psoriasis community for a few years now. Can my having psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis really kill me? I ran across an article about a Queen in the 1400’s [ed note: Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut] who died from having psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

They said she used lots of skin lotions and potions on her skin to keep her skin from cracking, bleeding and hurting. Researchers detected highly carcinogenic substance in her room. After much research, it is believe there were ingredients in the cream that killed her. This really brings up the question again, can we die from psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis? Yes, we have come a long ways from the 1400’s, but I believe we can still use some of that logic in today’s world.

She was in her 50’s when she died, which was considered old age back then. Was her psoriasis so bad that the itching irritated her and the ingredients caused her to succumb to death? What I took away from this story that it doesn’t matter what year it is, taking the wrong medications can be fatal.

Learning from history

I remember seeing a doctor in my early 20’s who started me on an ultraviolet light treatment. It started working pretty slow for my psoriasis. My dermatologist decided that he needed to keep me in the box longer because the light needed to penetrate my dark skin—his exact words. Well that backfired: My body was burned and I had to take a week off from work to see a burn specialist. Needless to say, I never went back to that doctor. I never questioned him, after all, he was the expert on this disease.

I learned from that day on that there were treatments and medications that don’t work for me. I am very conscientious about the medications, injections, and creams I use today. Just from my personal experience, I’ve had creams that burn the heck out of my skin. We have to be very mindful of what it is we put on our skin and in our bodies.

People are always telling me different things to try. I know they are only trying to help, but I know I have to be careful. Taking the wrong pill, injection or cream can prove to be detrimental to me as a person with psoriasis.

Your doctor, and each other

Even with my psoriatic arthritis, I don’t just rub anything on my aching joints. I’m careful to see what’s in it and can it be bad for my immune system.

My take away on this story is to be very careful what you put on your skin and research what medications that you take. We don’t want to make a fatal mistake. Medications are nothing to take lightly, don’t abuse and misuse the drugs that the doctor has prescribed for you. Take them as your doctor has directed and follow the directions carefully.

My psoriatic arthritis pain is very bad at times and it seems like the pain medication isn’t working as fast as I would like it to, however, I just wait for the process. I don’t want to overdose or over medicate myself.

The Queen’s story is a learning tool for all of us, whether her situation was accidental or not. We know that it was something in the medication that she died from. I ask again, can we die from our disease? If we neglect or misuse our medications, the possibility certainly would be great. Look at labels and be mindful of how you take your drugs so that our story will not be like the Queens.

Over the years I have been an active advocate for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, speaking up and out about this disease.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Jennie Cohen, Did Skin Cream Kill Egypt’s Queen Hatshepsut? (History Channel, 2011)