Scratching Is My Guilty Pleasure

If you have had psoriasis as long as I have, you know pretty well, the itching feeling that comes along with the psoriasis patches. We are told from the beginning why we shouldn’t scratch. We all know better. Yet, if you are like me, sometimes, you just can’t help but scratch.

Scratching even when I shouldn't

I consider scratching my guilty pleasure. I know I shouldn’t do it. However, when the itching gets to a point that I just can not stand, I must scratch.

Should I? No. Does it stop me? No. I scratch and claw at it till it stops itching. This usually means I have scratched to the point of drawing blood. Have you ever wondered why it itches so much? Do you know why we are told not to scratch?

Well, why do plaques itch?

Do you know that only 70-90% of people with psoriasis experience itching? If I had to guess, I would say 100% of us experience itching but I am no medical professional.

Itching is caused by inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s response to wounds on the body. Plaque psoriasis is the number one condition of all psoriasis types that causes itching the most. Having plaque psoriasis I have to say I would agree with that.

Sometimes it seems like my plaques itch every day almost all day long. I often compare my itching to that of having poison ivy. If you have ever had it, you know how bad that itches.

Itching seems to be worse at night

One thing we know when living with psoriasis is that we are sleep deprived. Imagine my surprise when my husband told me that I even scratch my plaques during sleep. Of course, the sign that I had done so was right there on my fingers.

It’s hard to argue what you see and what you feel. Yes, the itch might be gone but what is there is the pain you now feel because the plaque area is raw. I had to start wearing socks at night which did not always work well but it was better than nothing.

The problem with that is it made my feet hot which created a whole different issue but that is for another time. Seems where psoriasis is concerned we always trade one thing for there to be something else to deal with.

Why we shouldn't scratch

There are several reasons why we should not scratch. For one thing, when we scratch it tears the skin more which could cause psoriasis to spread. At my worst, I was 80% covered and never want to go back there.

Another thing, scratching can cause an infection to occur. No matter how much we clean our nails there still could be bacteria that gets into the open plaque area. I don’t know about you, but I need to remind myself more of that fact. Given the 17 years that I have had psoriasis, I have only had one infection. It was a fungal infection that took three rounds of treatment to get cleared up.

While most people will be making a new year’s Resolution to lose weight, my resolution will be to take better care of my skin all year long. Although I cannot promise that at some point I will not scratch, I intend to try my best not to. After all, trying our best is all we can do.

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