Mother reveals excruciating itching caused by severe psoriasis made her ‘a nightmare to live with’ – as she praises a £4.99 cream and anti-inflammatory injections for easing her symptoms
- Jemma Halden, 30, says cream has taken away her awful itching and pain away
- She had tried everything – including steroids and moisturisers for her condition
- She suffers from two conditions called guttate psoriasis and plaque psoriasis
A mother reveals that the excruciating itching caused by her severe psoriasis made her ‘a nightmare to live with’ – as she praises a £4.99 cream and anti-inflammatory injections for easing her symptoms.
Jemma Halden, 30, from, Crewe, Cheshire, said that she had tried about 20 different treatments, including light therapy, when doctors suggested Cetraben, a cream which costs under a fiver.
She reveals that, by that point, she had also used steroids and other moisturisers for her two conditions, called guttate psoriasis and plaque psoriasis, which left her irritable with her family and with skin so sore it felt like it was ‘on fire’ – however nothing had eased her pain.
So when she tried the cream she was amazed by the results – as it took the ‘awful itching and pain away.’
Jemma Halden, 30, from, Crewe, Cheshire, who suffers so badly from the sore and itchy skin condition that she has been prescribed weekly injections, now swears by the over-the-counter cream, which says has ‘saved her life’
A mother, who has battled psoriasis since she was a baby now swears by miracle £4.99 cream.
The mother originally suffering solely with guttate psoriasis, characterised by often bright pink ‘tear drop’ shaped spots up to 1cm in diameter, which develop across the torso, back, limbs and sometimes neck, head and scalp,
Unfortunately she also developed plaque psoriasis later – dry, red skin lesions, covered in silver scales – and nothing would shift it.
Plagued by the immune condition, caused by an over-production of skin cells, she is now also having weekly injections of a special anti-inflammatory treatment, Benepali, in a bid to banish her psoriasis once and for all.
‘Other people in my family suffer with psoriasis in some form and I’ve had it since I was a baby, so, while it sounds cheesy, it’s not an exaggeration to say that when I tried Cetraben and it took the awful itching and pain away, it felt like a miracle and changed my life.’
The mother reveals that she has tried 20 different treatments – including light therapy – when, in 2015, her doctor suggested she try Cetraben, a cream which costs just £4.99
Jemma admits that her psoriasis can get so bad that, when her flare ups are at their worst, it can make her irritable and difficult to live with
Jemma admits that the worst affected areas are my legs, arms, back and scalp. Pictured: Her arm when it was at its worst
Jemma, who lives with her daughter Natalia, two-and-a-half, and her partner, Joe Hickson, 29, admits that her psoriasis can get so bad that, when her flare ups are at their worst, it can make her irritable and difficult to live with.
She said: ‘My skin feels like it’s on fire. It itches a lot and I have the sense that it is going to crack in two pieces at any moment.
‘I use the cream every day, as after washing my hands or bathing, my skin is left bone dry.
‘The worst affected areas are my legs, arms, back and scalp. It can be really miserable.
Jemma lives with her daughter Natalia (left) two-and-a-half, and her partner, Joe Hickson, 29,
Jemma admits that her skin got better after the injections but the psoriasis came back with a vengeance just two weeks after the injections stopped
‘As other people in my family have it, we were massively concerned that Natalia would, too, and, fortunately, so far, she hasn’t shown any signs.’
When, earlier this year, she was prescribed systemic drugs – which affect your entire body – to be injected weekly, Jemma was hoping to banish her psoriasis once and for all.
But, while she saw a 70 per cent improvement within the first few months, the side effects, which included daily migraines, were too severe for her to continue.
She said: ‘The injections were working and my skin improved dramatically, but the drug I was having, called methotrexate, was giving me terrible migraines, so I had to stop taking it after about 18 months.
‘Sadly, my psoriasis came back with a vengeance just two weeks after the injections stopped. ‘
Plagued by the immune condition, caused by an over-production of skin cells, she is now having weekly injections of a special anti-inflammatory treatment, Benepali, in a bid to banish her psoriasis once and for all
Gemma admits that, when her condition is at its worst, her skin feels like it’s on fire. She says it itches a lot and she sometimes has the sense that it is going to ‘crack in two pieces at any moment’
Growing up, Jemma felt very isolated by her condition, which could provoke cruel comments from other children, who would point and ask what was wrong with her red-raw skin.
She said: ‘There was one other girl in primary school, but her psoriasis wasn’t half as bad as mine.
‘I remember going on holiday to Turkey when I was about six and when I look at photos of that trip, I can see how much my psoriasis improved. So being in the sunshine definitely helps.
‘I remember, too, being a teenager and not being able to wear what I liked because I didn’t want to show any skin and because I had to be careful about what fabric I had next to my skin. In the winter, wiry wool jumpers particularly irritated it.’
Growing up, Jemma felt very isolated by her condition, which could provoke cruel comments from other children, who would point and ask what was wrong with her red-raw skin
Mother of one says that she hopes her daughter Natalia (left with Jemma’s partner Joe) will be able to understand her condition as she gets older
Jemma, who is on another course of injections, this time of Benepali, which is working well, is now keen to talk about psoriasis, to take the stigma out of having it – especially for young people – and to make sufferers aware of effective treatments.
She said: ‘The nurse who came to show me how to do my injections – which I will be on indefinitely – suggested I should have an Instagram account all about psoriasis, because I’ve had it for such a long time. I agreed that my experiences could help others and so I started Psoriasis Mummy on Instagram.’
The name is particularly apt as Jemma is now a mother and she hopes, once she is old enough to read it properly, that it will help Natalia to understand what the red patches on her skin are.
Jemma is now to talk about psoriasis, to take the stigma out of having it – especially for young people – and to make sufferers aware of effective treatments. Pictured: Jemma’s condition at its worse
Jemma (pictured) is on another course of injections, this time of Benepali, which is working well
Jemma added: ‘Natalia has started asking me why my skin is sore, especially those parts I have to ask her not to touch.
‘But was more difficult for her when she was younger and would jump on me not realising how much it hurt me.
‘Now, as she gets older, she will be able to go on Instagram and read all about what her mummy has wrong and how she is trying to fix it.’
Jemma is tracking her journey on Instagram at @psoriasis_mummy
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