PATIENT AND EXPERT STORIES
Using phototherapy at her dermatologist’s recommendation to treat her psoriasis
Receptionist, Simone, 43, has long been acutely aware of the importance of maintaining good skin health due to her eczema that resurfaced intermittently throughout adolescence.
At 15 years of age, Simone experienced high levels of stress in the lead up to school exams, which triggered a severe rash that covered her entire body.
The rash took both a physical and emotional toll on Simone.
“It felt like a thousand mosquito bites, itching and stinging me,” said Simone.
Due to the severity of the rash, Simone’s GP referred her to a dermatologist for specialist skin advice, who subsequently diagnosed her with psoriasis.
“I was young and insecure about my appearance at the time, so I was quite nervous about visiting a dermatologist. I didn’t know what to expect,” Simone said.
However, after meeting with the dermatologist and being diagnosed with psoriasis, Simone fears were dispelled, as she learned about the availability of various treatment options for her skin condition which boosted her confidence.
“After my first appointment with the dermatologist I felt much more confident moving forward. I understood what my condition was, and what treatments we were going to try,” said Simone.
Simone started to apply cortisone every day, a laborious process due to the extent and severity of her rash which covered most of her body. Her dermatologist also recommended exposure to sunlight as a form of treatment.
“My dermatologist suggested I go on holiday to optimise exposure to sunlight and reduce my stress levels, as this was a major trigger for my more serious outbreaks of psoriasis,” Simone said.
At her dermatologist’s recommendation, Simone booked a trip to Queensland. The combination of sunlight and calmer surroundings helped to clear her psoriasis outbreak.
Over the ensuing 28 years, Simone continued to use cortisone cream and sunlight exposure as treatment for her psoriasis, along with dermatologist consultations.
Although her psoriasis was better controlled, she still continued to experience an occasional outbreak. In 2010, after experiencing a severe occurrence of her psoriasis, Simone sought an alternative treatment.
“My last severe outbreak was in 2010. After that, I started seeing dermatologist Dr Christopher Baker who recommended phototherapy as an appropriate form of treatment. This type of treatment has proven the most successful,” said Simone.
Accessing expert advice from a dermatologist has since allowed Simone to effectively manage her psoriasis.
“I’d recommend visiting a dermatologist to anyone experiencing skin, nail or hair health-related problems.
“I’ve even had some patients come in to my workplace with skin-related issues, and I’ve urged them to get a referral from their GP to a dermatologist,” Simone said.