Can you become friends with your psoriasis?
We asked co-founder, laboratory technician, skin care and reflexology therapist, Anne Mette Koustrup about her relationship with her psoriasis, whether or not she thinks you can make friends with psoriasis, and how to deal with it.
If someone had asked me this 12-15 years ago, I probably would have shook my head and come up with a resounding NO. Today it will be a clear YES! But it has been a long journey in hopes of finding the miracle cure.
Briefly, psoriasis is a skin disease caused by an increased activity of the immune system in the epidermis. A defect that means that too many skin cells are formed, which the body rejects, resulting in an itchy, red and inflammatory rash. It is different from person to person how large the rash is and also where it is located on the body. It is hereditary and so far only symptomatic treatment is available.
I tried EVERYTHING, from the traditional adrenal cortical hormone ointment to cream with snake venom, spa baths, solarium etc. And especially adrenal cortical hormone could relieve, but it is also a form of treatment with strong and serious side effects and must only be used very limitedly and in my view it is not at all a sustainable solution.
Instead, I became curious about when and what was happening in my life when I had breakouts and it turned out to correspond pretty well with all the research:
- Mental strain such as stress
I also didn't know my body at all and I overheard all its signals. Back then, I was both doing cardio, lifting weights, football etc. All forms of exercise that in themselves stress the body. I almost lived "in my calendar" as a mother of fourwith a career and a lot of things going on.
Can you become friends with your psoriasis?
I have become friends with my "spot" so YES! "Spot" is on the left shin and is approx. 3-4 cm in diameter. I have a huge respect for "spot" and watch it every single day. It is like my indicator of my inner state. If I live well-considered, in balance and listening, then "spot" is passive. And what is that life like for me then:
- Yoga and meditation are a must and way in which I listen and connect with my body.
- Trying to live a life both professionally and privately where I am in balance.
- Gluten- and alcohol-free
- Nourishes my skin from the inside out with plenty of water and herbal infusion.
- Caring for my skin from the outside with nourishing and enriching InuaCare skincare products.
My skin care routine with psoriasis
When I'm in the shower, I scrub my body with a mixture of coffee grounds mixed with ½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt (other salt can also be used) and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (rasp oil if you don't have dry skin). I do it gently and slowly. Really feel the process. Rinse off in alternating hot and cold water to increase blood circulation. And pat dry the skin.
After the bath, I apply Aminnguaq Body Lotion to my body. It contains lots of Greenlandic Chamomile and Juniper, Coconut oil, Shea butter and vitamin E, Aminnguaq Body Lotion gives my body so much nourishment and at the same time it soothes the skin. It leaves my skin really nice, soft and nourished.
My "spot" always gets a little extra love in the form of Asiaq Extra-Care Balm, which Asiaq Extra-Care was the very first cream I ever developed. Ever since 2010 when it saw the light of day in Qaqortoq, it has been an indispensable companion wherever I have been in the world. It is not only "spot" that is pampered, but all areas of my body that cry out for extra care. The feet, hands, nose etc. In winter in more places than in summer due to the cold, which always gives me extra challenges. The absolutely brilliant thing about our balm is that it forms a protective membrane over the skin and under the membrane the fantastic ingredients can work in depth. And it can easily be used in degrees below zero, as it has no added water.
And remember that if you have challenges with your skin, you are the one that knows best what, where, why and how. I would of course encourage you to consult a doctor, but still take responsibility of yourself. And you should know that everything I have now shared with you did not happen from one day to the next, but has been a lifestyle change over many years. A process that will never end as long as I am here on earth. And as I write these words, I think that this is why I love my life so much. I love to learn more about myself and the world in general.
You are always welcome to contact me if you have questions or need me to elaborate on something you have read.
Anne Mette Koustrup Nielsen