Anyway, psoriasis is especially difficult if you're a pole dancer because traditional "fixes" include very heavy creams and ointments. Makes you slide right off that pole. If you had told me five years ago that I would not be slathering lotion on myself on a daily basis because I would be a pole dancer who needed my skin to stick, I would have laughed at you. Some medications are also steroids and thin your skin. You don't need your skin to slide right off on the pole either. Another helpful treatment for psoriasis is exposure to the sun (helpful for skin cancer as well). Since I didn't have time to come to the doctor's office for light box UV treatment, I did talk him into allowing me tanning booth time as an alternative. Even though it's not the right kind of UV exposure, it still helped a little. I also found that when I lost weight, my psoriasis was almost completely gone. Stress is also a factor and my psoriasis coming back also could have been connected to very stressful things going on in my life around the same time.
My biggest concern about taking Stelara is that it is an immuno-suppressant. The last thing I need, especially now that I sit on BART almost two hours a day with lots of icky germs and coughing people, is to be more prone to catching a bug. I have found, though, that staying somewhat active and taking echinacea have really kept me pretty healthy. My doctor did say he didn't notice people getting sick more often on Stelara, but that they may stay sick longer if they did happen to catch something (and I noticed the same thing when I first started the shot but feel like I haven't been really sick in quite awhile -- knock on wood, that was not a challenge, Universe!). I find if I get that feeling of itchy throat or a couple of sneezes, I take some Zicam and go to sleep early and I'm good to go.
The bigger issue has been that my insurance company now deals with my shot differently (thanks, Obamacare!!). It is no longer a "pharmacy" item, it is a "medical" item. So it takes forever to get it approved and they are often late in getting it to me. I only need to get this shot every three months but it is commonly two to four weeks late thanks to the incompetency of the insurance company and the crappy pharmacy they force me to use. When the shot is late, the psoriasis starts to return and it often won't fully clear that cycle. Getting the shot is also time consuming. I could give myself the Enbrel and Humira shots at home. Stelara requires me to go into the doctor's office. And the office is not near my home or work, so it's one more thing on the to-do list. That kind of sucks.
Anyway, so if you want to check out some really bad before pictures, you can check out the link above (or you can look here). And here are a couple of photos from this month. My before-shot photo on November 4th and my after-shot photo today (the 19th). Yeah yeah, you probably can't tell a huge difference but I can!