skin

Getting under the skin of Psoriasis

So I read this article in the newspaper this morning

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/6599095/Psoriasis-sufferer-proud-to-reveal-sores-to-the-world.html

And I just wanted to do a quick blog about it because I am full of pride and support for this amazing lady. Not just because she is incredibly strong but because I know her story – I know it because I have lived it.

Whilst I am not going to give you a full biography of my life with psoriasis, I will give you the bare bones of it.

I have suffered with psoriasis since I was 3yrs old. All through both primary and secondary school I was teased relentlessly by certain individuals who told me that I was ugly, that I had “the lurgy” etc. They told other kids not to hang around with me or they would catch it too.

My teenage years were the worst. I hated school. I had very few friends, I had absolutely no self confidence or self belief. Puberty made my psoriasis even worse and much of my hair fell out. I hid my skin under long sleeve blouses and tights that itched the hell out of me but were better than having my skin on show.

All through this time I was back and forth to the hospital, trying every possible treatment under the sun. Dozens of different steroid creams, soaking in coal tar baths, being smothered in emollients and wrapped in bandages. I couldn’t wait to leave school at 16 so I went to college instead. Unfortunately things weren’t much better there.

When it came to the world of work I was lucky to be able to get good employment, but one employer made my life very difficult. When my skin got so bad due to the stress of working there and I was hospitalised with life-threatening erythrodermic psoriasis, I was “let go”.

In my early 20s my skin started to improve a little and so I changed – I had a small circle of friends, I became outwardly confident to make up for the fact that inside I was still nervous about rejection.

My tale has a happy ending though. When I was 23 I met my now-husband. Granted my skin was mostly under control at the time, but there have been times when I have been suffering badly with it, particularly during my pregnancies when it is not possible to take drugs to keep it under control. But my husband is amazing – he has only ever seen ME and not my skin. To the point that he only really notices if it has flared up because of the way that it affects me – the itching, the slight depression that accompanies it worsening.

So now, 2015 and I am a happily married mum of two – which during my teenage years felt like something I would never achieve. I am still taking strong chemotherapy drugs which – touch wood – are working well to keep my skin under control. I can’t remember the last time I felt the necessity to cover my face with a scarf or my arms with a cardigan.

And whilst I am nowhere near as brave and strong as this beautiful lady is, I can honestly say that I am over hiding away. The important people love me no matter how my skin looks.

So I applaud this amazing lady for being so confident, so strong and so inspiring. She proves that true beauty is a whole lot more than what is on the outside.

If you would like further information on psoriasis then I can highly recommend that you check out https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis

Thanks for reading

Dee xoxox

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#Stretchyselfie

So I have been neglecting my blog again due to hectic work schedule and two small people being off school for the Easter Holidays, but I read something today and I wanted to blog about it.

On Facebook there was a post shared by a friend of mine about Chrissy Teigen. For those of you who don’t know she is an American model who has been in Sports Illustrated, and is also married to John Legend. And do you know what else… she has stretchmarks!

Yes that is what this post was about, she had shared a pic of her with said stretchies on show, with part of the caption reading “stretchies say hi”. So it’s true, even slim beautiful models like Chrissy Teigen get stretchies. Of course we knew this, but there is still such a taboo surrounding them. People think that they are ugly and try and cover them up. Truth is, real women get stretch marks.

And before anyone says – no this isn’t an attack on people without them. I really don’t give a shit what your skin looks like, trust me, I have had enough of my own skin-related drama’s to be not in the least bit phased by ANY skin condition!

But I do applaud Chrissy for sharing hers with the world, and it got me thinking that if more of us shared pictures of our stretchies then perhaps, just maybe, people wouldn’t feel so bad about them. I certainly don’t want my 8yr old impressionable daughter and my nieces growing up in a world where they may be ashamed or embarrassed of the way that they look. And I also don’t want my son growing up in a world where women are judged and viewed differently based on lines that may or may not appear on their stomach. Obviously this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the whole debate around ‘ideal bodies’ and I will save that for another day.

But coming back to stretchies, I am going to share mine too, because do you know what, they are just marks, they don’t define anything about me, not even the fact that I am a mother as women who don’t have children get them too. They are just marks and I’m not phased by having them. So here is my #stretchyselfie for the world to see.

stretchy

I encourage all women, no matter what the shape or size, to accept their stretchies and not be fazed by them. After all beauty is not stretch mark deep!

#stretchyselfie

The Bantam Review: nspa Body Butter

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A review: nspa Body Butter – exclusive to Asda

So when I was in Asda I noticed that they had a lot of their health and beauty products on sale. Always drawn to a bargain I thought I would have a look and see what was on offer, when I discovered the nspa range had a body butter reduced from £3.00 down to a quite frankly obscenely-cheap £1.87. However let me tell you, there is nothing remotely cheap about this fantastic product.

I have battled with psoriasis and dry skin since I was a child, and so I am always interested in finding new products to help me combat the constant itch that accompanies dry skin. I usually only use body butters from The Body Shop as I have always found them to be the longest-lasting and most effective, but at around £13 per 200ml it is definitely not wonderful value for money as I can use two tubs in a month.

The first thing you notice about the nspa brand is the packaging which is bright, cheerful and packed with information. I particularly like the caption on the label, “our products are so fruity and juicy you might be tempted to eat them. Well don’t, they are not food”. You might think this is an exaggeration or somewhat egotistical of them, but in actual fact, if anything it is an understatement. I picked the Luscious and Juicy Red Cherry version and the moment I opened the lid my senses were assaulted by the deepest, richest cherry fragrance you can imagine. The smell, well it is just divine. It makes you want to eat it – and I don’t even particularly like cherries to eat! The fact that the body butter looks like yoghurt makes it even more appealing which moves me on nicely to the texture of the product.

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Normally I find that the main problem with a lot of products that advertise themselves as body butters is that they are just too thin. They absorb into the skin far too quickly and often either leave a greasy residue behind, or they don’t feel like they have moisturised your skin at all. In comparison the nspa body butter is thick, creamy and absorbs into the skin easily, leaving it soft and silky and feeling truly hydrated. There is no sticky feeling after application, and once I applied it after my shower, I felt moisturised all day.

Like Body Shop products, nspa is against animal testing and is produced in the UK.

Other products in the Fruit Extracts range include shower and bath gels, body scrubs and body mists. They also offer a Luxury range, selection of eau de toilettes and Beauty Rituals collection. It also offers a Mum to Be range, from which their body butter won the Silver Award at the 2014 Mother & Baby Awards – a massive recommendation in itself!

Overall I would give the nspa body butter a resounding 10/10. It does everything I could need it to do without irritating my extremely sensitive skin, and even at the usual price of £3.00 per 200ml is still less than a quarter of the price of The Body Shop alternative. I’m converted, now I urge you to give it a try!