Besides narrowband UVB phototherapy and a couple of topicals, I really haven’t undergone any systematic medical treatment to deal with my psoriasis. And it’s not because it’s not that bad, or not noticeable (it’s in every noticeable place on my body – face, neck, arms, knees). I don’t think that biologics aren’t the answer, they just aren’t the answer for me. I’ve had this disease for a long time and I know that going on any kind of systemic medical treatment would most likely be a lifetime commitment, and I’m just not ready for that.
But, this doesn’t mean that I don’t seek healing. On the contrary. My searching for healing has been what has led me to ultimately live a healthier life and that has kept the disruption of psoriasis in my life to a minimum.
Always (especially at holidays with relatives and in-laws that I haven’t seen in awhile), are people throwing their two-cents in about what I should do to get rid of this disease. I’m sure they mean well, and I just love the simplicity of their simple suggestions of a certain balm or lotion, and how this – what a simple solution! – will clear my skin. But, then there are others who offer suggestions that pique my interest, maybe they’ve had an experience with a chronic autoimmune disease, or their offering an idea that’s more than a salve (like emu oil), and I decide to give it a go.
Over the years, the Blue Lagoon had been suggested to me as a place to seek treatment. I’ve been around the block when it comes to alternative treatments and have researched and written about different psoriasis treatment centers, and, yes, wouldn’t it be nice to go on an extended healing vacation. I was fortunate enough that this became my reality last June.
(Outside of the entrance to the Blue Lagoon in Grindavik, Iceland.)
I attended the Skin Clinic at the Blue Lagoon for 12 days. The first question that people ask me about my experience (after giving me a once over) is, did it work? Did it cure you? Excuse me, but I’m sorry, a disease that’s been in place over 20 years isn’t going to just disappear in 12 days.
When I left the Blue Lagoon, was I cured? No. But something happened there that crystallized – it confirmed why, after all of these years, I haven’t thrown in the towel and given up and just accepted the drugs.
My skin did get better. It was smoother and the lesions flat, the redness and flakiness were gone. My skin texture changed – it was silky and healthy-looking. (I’m definitely going back as soon as my kids are a little older and my budget allows for it.) When I returned, my husband said that my skin was glowing.
(Soaking in the lagoon at the Clinic at the Blue Lagoon in Grindavik, Iceland.)
But what I gained from this experience, besides lovely skin, was the knowledge that I did have some control over my disease: I had just spent the last 12 days soaking for three hours per day in silica-rich geothermal hot sea water, eating healthfully, reading, walking, talking to others with psoriasis, sleeping eight hours per night, getting massages and light treatments – what I learned is that we have control over this disease. Living with something so volatile can feel devastating – and hopeless – but I continue to seek healing because I live with the confidence that my lifestyle, my habits, the way that I breath and go about my day absolutely has an effect on my skin – for better or worse.
Next up on my quest-for-healing journey, a gluten-free, vegan diet as prescribed by Dr. Joel Furhman. Sounds miserable. Here’s to clear skin!
Published On: April 17, 2014