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Having psoriasis ruined my dream of becoming a nurse


Michelle Woods is 35 and lives in Leicester with her partner and two sons. She has suffered with psoriasis for the last 15 years which has really knocked her confidence and has stopped her pursuing her dream career.

BY Michelle Woods 4 July, 2007

Michelle says:

“When I first noticed a change in my skin I ignored it and thought it must be eczema as it runs in my family. After a while when the skin started to form into clumps (which I now know are plaques) I was very concerned because it didn’t look like eczema so I decided to visit my GP.”

“It was my GP who diagnosed me with psoriasis and prescribed me steroid cream which I thought would clear it up. At first I had no idea what psoriasis was, I didn’t have a clue that it would plague me for the next 15 years! It was only when it wouldn’t go away after a course of steroids that I began to research the condition in more depth and I realised how serious it was and that a single dose of medication was not going to get rid of it.”

“I have psoriasis on my knee and elbows but the most upsetting area that I have it is in my scalp and along my hairline because its so visible. It has really knocked my confidence as everyone stares at the scabs on my forehead like I have some sort of horrible disease.”

“At least I can mostly cover up the skin on my knees and elbows (although in summer I get very hot because I can’t strip off like everyone else down to skimpy summer clothes), but the psoriasis on my scalp is impossible to hide unless I wear a hat.”

“Psoriasis has blighted my life more than most as I have longed to pursue a career as a nurse but I’ve found is very hard to nurse people because I fear they will don’t want to be touched by me because of my psoriasis. I’ve tried to build up the confidence to train as a nurse but I’ve been full of apprehension about people looking in horror when I go to touch them. I know I would be put off if I knew someone with psoriasis was trying to dress my wounds or wash me. You only have to scratch your skin once and your skin flakes everywhere. I am always worried that patients will be thinking that if I can’t even look after my own health, how will be able to help with theirs. I know its irrational but can’t help but think that patients will loose confidence in me when they see the state of my skin.”

“My GP has prescribed all sorts of creams and coal tar treatments, none of which helped very much, and I would have to spend so long carefully applying them, so not to get any of it on my ‘good’ skin, it was taking up far too much time. I wanted a product that would treat my psoriasis but I could also use on the rest of my body.”

“I tried E45 and other over the counter products with no luck, so I gave up. I just left my psoriasis and it got worse and worse and had spread over most of my forehead and scalp. I was always on the look out for new interesting products and felt I had tried nearly everything going.”

“A few months later when I was feeling quite desperate about my condition I read an article in my local paper about a new natural product fro psoriasis containing Oregon Grape Root extract. What really caught attention was that the product range included a scalp treatment and shampoo and conditioner. I have never found anything in the past that is actually designed to use on the scalp for psoriasis. Most treatments I had tried to put on my scalp in the past were meant for the body and putting them in my hair turned into a disaster.”

“I contacted the makers immediately with details of my condition and soon after I received the products.”

“I started using the products that night. It really helped that the products were natural and I could use them all over my body and scalp instead of only applying carefully to my psoriasis.”

“After about a week of using the products I started to notice a difference, my psoriasis was a lot less itchy, especially on my scalp and my plaques weren’t so raised and scaly. I continued to use the products, I was really pleased having seen results so soon I was determined to keep it up. After another week my plaques started shrinking, leaving tender red new skin underneath, which soon faded to smooth ‘normal’ skin. I was utterly thrilled with the results.”

“I have now completely replaced all my old products with the Oregon Grape Root range. What I have noticed the most is that my psoriasis no longer itches, before the itching would drive me mad and I would scratch so much it would pour with blood and turn really sore.”

“I would definitely recommend Oregon Grape Root to other psoriasis sufferers, it’s natural, smells nice and is easy to apply and it’s the only thing I have ever found available for use on the scalp. Scalp psoriasis is the most upsetting form of psoriasis because it is so visible and so the fact that there are virtually no treatments for it seems ridiculous.”

“I am just so glad I bothered to read that article in my paper and have found the Oregon skin and hair care range, it has really made a difference to my life. I have just applied to catering college to hopefully get back on the road to fulfilling my dream of becoming a chef. My psoriasis is now so improved I recently applied, and got, my first job in the nursing industry. I am currently working as a care assistant in an old people’s home. Ideally I want to become a proper nurse, but this is a very good start and I feel its building my confidence. I am getting used to touching and bathing people without worrying the whole time that they are disgusted by being touched by me. My skin is now so much better than few of my patients have even commented, it’s a real relief.”

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