The Colors In My Curls
Scalp psoriasis, what is the deal with this anyway. I mean how are you supposed to get there to apply anything anyway. Here is my experience down to the root of it.
Pieces of the puzzle
When I first discovered that my psoriasis had made its way to my scalp, like many other people, I thought it was dandruff. I moisturized and tried shampoo after shampoo to try and get this very stubborn dandruff gone. Then the itch came. One day in as I got out the shower, one such an itch attack came over me, true to form I scratched. Now maybe it was a little too hard, let’s just say I was enthusiastic, shall we. There between my fingers was, what felt like an actual piece of my scalp.
Is this what I think it is?
It took me about a minute to fully grasp what was happening, I mean I had heard of scalp psoriasis, but me, no way, it just could not be. When 60 seconds was up my thought train stopped at the station and it was time for everyone to get off. A million miles a minute was the speed at which my thoughts came at me. I felt the familiar warm liquid falling down my cheeks, raising my head to look in the mirror. I parted the hair where I had just touched, the harsh reality set it. This was by no means just dandruff. It was psoriasis. One would imagine that for someone who had all four limbs covered top to bottom in plaques this would not be a major shock, but it floored me.
Coming to terms with the severity of my scalp psoriasis
With the speed and agility of trained monkey fingers, which I had no idea I possessed to that moment. I inspected every single square millimeter of my scalp. It was horrifying. How did this happen so quickly? Can everyone else see this when they look at me? How long has it looked this bad? How did I let this happen? These are the immediate questions that came to mind. The very next thing was I have to go see my doctor. I had no idea how hard this journey was about to get.
Trying all the lotions and different potions
I tried everything we could think of prescription and over-the-counter, nothing seemed to work. Most things burnt like nothing else I had felt in my life (or so I thought at the time). Shampoos, sprays, ointments, leave-in treatments, natural treatments. The list went on and on. My scalp got terrible and was started to get infected. I tell you what I was at the end of my tether.
Light at the end of the tunnel
Browsing my current online support groups looking for the answer or someone to talk to. A lady who I had spoken to a few times, was online at the same time as me, we chatted. She said she had been in the same boat a few times and nothing worked. Her answer hair dye. Wait, stop, there is no way that this can be so simple. She gave me the name of the brand she was using at the time. With a warning of, “be careful the first time will sting and run this by your doctor first”. I set off to the shops and called my doctor on the way. He said if I was going to do it that I should be careful and be sure to do a patch test first and to go to my closest hospital if it went wrong.
Sting like a bee
A deep dark red was the color I chose, resembling a glass of good red wine. I did the patch test the minute I got home, it stung alright but nothing I could not handle. A quick application and five minutes later the sting became a little worse and within fifteen minutes, I was visibly uncomfortable. Now I am not sure if I was desperate or just plain stupid, but I stuck it out till 30 minutes. By then I was in tears, the pain unimaginable, I rushed to the shower and sat on the floor and let the water rinse it from my head down the drain. While my tears ran down I cussed at myself for being so stupid. I mean what did I think was going to happen. It took me about 3 hours to recover from the ordeal. I was an emotional wreck and my head was throbbing. I could accurately tell you exactly where every single spot was. Feeling defeated, I took some meds and crawled into bed to sleep it off. I woke up the next morning, feeling better about myself and there was officially not any remnant of the pain of my poor choices. I woke up and looked in the mirror, falling in love with the color, feeling my head I was surprised that my head no longer felt so tender. Alas, all the psoriasis was still there can’t blame a girl for wishing it had disappeared overnight.
Now I am not sure how long it took it could be 3 days it could be six. The flakes were still falling so I am unsure. But within the next week, I got out the shower, blow dried my hair and brushed all the flakes out. Like a light being switched on I realized that my head was not paining as much as it used to after this normal routine. Heading to the mirror, I felt the flicker of a hope I had laid to rest, rising in my heart. Lo and behold the plaques had started lifting and some patches were smooth to the touch albeit still red. Could this really be happening? It was. Two weeks later my scalp was almost 60% clearer than before. I was elated, there were fewer flakes and less pain and itching. Six weeks passed and I gave it another go, the same fiery red. This time the sting was really something I could handle. By the time I colored my hair the third time, my scalp was clear. I thanked my friend profusely and now, years later, I am still sticking to the routine.
Admittedly I now color my hair more often, there are grey hairs to consider now.
Do you anxiously anticipate a psoriasis relapse?