My Sebopsoriasis Story (It Wasn't Just Cradle Cap)
Last updated: March 2020
Hi, my name is Jaime and I have a weird immune system. In my early years, I was diagnosed with quite a few skin-related oddities. My peers were not experiencing the same.
We, mainly my parents because I was too young to know better, never questioned the doctor’s opinions on the matters. So, when my pediatrician told the adolescent and later teenaged me that I had a cradle cap, we believed him.
Starting with a diagnosis of cradle cap
Looking back now, I feel resentment. As one of many misdiagnoses placed upon my young body, it altered how I mentally looked at myself for years to come. I loved wearing black, and equally feared it.
When the scale-like patches began to flake off, I couldn’t stop myself from picking at them. They would often bleed. Mostly, because I picked until I drew blood. I couldn’t stop myself, I was a kid.
The doctor said change shampoos and use conditioner. I had very coil-like curly hair. My mom never learned how to care for curly hair. I’m also pretty sure she associated my scalp issues with not caring for my hair properly.
Finding a treatment that works
During my elementary school years, a rather notable company came out with a leave-in conditioning spray. I saw a commercial and made my mom buy it. Not because I was excited about not crying while brushing out tangles, but I was hoping it would help remove the flakes while brushing.
This was a lot for an adolescent mind to wrap itself around but it made sense to me. It helped keep the tangles away, and my scalp seemed to like it. I also had a really greasy scalp and hair as a result. As I grew older the yellow scale-like patches and subsequent flake storms would come and go.
I know now that this was sebopsoriasis.
From cradle cap to sebopsoriasis
Sebopsoriasis, when associated with an infant can be referred to as cradle cap. General treatment for it indicates you take a mild shampoo and soft bristle brush, then softly brush the flakes away while rinsing. Vaseline can be placed on the scales to help soften them to later peel away.
Okay, so my pediatrician wasn’t totally wrong. However, he doesn’t deserve vindication because he didn’t do a darn thing to help keep it away!
There should have been instructions like how to brush and use baby shampoo. Back in those days, there wasn’t a Google to run to and ask these questions. You just went off advice from your doctors and friends. None of my mom’s friends had a kid with ethnic hair. To this day, I joke I’m the gardener’s kid. But in reality, both of my parents had curly hair during their youth.
Growing up with sebopsoriasis
As a teen, the scales and flakes were bad throughout my scalp. My hair’s natural color is dark brown, almost natural black. Those flakes and scales, when present, stood out like a sore thumb.
I still have flashbacks from a moment in high school where the cool goth girl I sat next to in health class rose from her seat and looked down at me. She told me I should wash my hair and do something about that dandruff. She didn’t say it meanly. Her tone was very matter of fact. It may even have included a touch of concern if she was ever capable of showing such emotion.
Working through severe sebopsoriasis
Different parts of my scalp were affected ranging from my bangs to the sides of my head that wrapped around the back of my ears. Sometimes I would experience breakouts inside my ears. I also had a really severe patch at the base of my skull that remained throughout my entire high school career.
Again, I would pick at the sebopsoriasis until it bled. I thought I was doing myself a favor aside from not being able to stop.
The spread of sebopsoriasis to the face
When the scales began to appear along my eyebrows, I didn’t bother telling anyone. I returned to the baby shampoo as I had done in years past. Unlike my peers who would wash their faces with acne wash, I was using mild, gentle, baby shampoo.
In my later teen years all the way into my early 30s, I would get the same scaling on the sides of my nose. Sometimes it would crack and bleed. Out came the gentle baby shampoo and coconut oil to treat the cracking.
Sebopsoriasis, an autoimmune condition
My psoriasis cleared up for the most part when I began treatment for my auto-immune inflammatory conditions. Starting biologics to treat the severe flare-up of Crohn’s disease also began to heal my skin. During this flare-up, I was also dealing with Inverse Psoriasis. It would ebb and flow depending on the level of inflammation I was experiencing.
Unlucky break to have multiple autoimmune conditions let alone multiple forms of psoriasis, right?
Understanding all my conditions
On the bright side, I now understand what I'm dealing with. Like if I ever start to experience a major flare of sebopsoriasis again, I’m calling my dermatologist, first. And while I wait for my appointment, there's always good ol' baby shampoo and coconut oil.
Are you recently diagnosed with psoriasis?