When I was 16, I was in high school and not the healthiest version of myself. One day I noticed a red scaly patch on my arm and thought nothing of it. Then more, smaller patches appeared, until both my arms and torso were affected.
I went to see the family doctor who said I had psoriasis. After two weeks of treatment, nothing changed, although it was probably worse and I was referred to a dermatologist, who diagnosed me with Pitiriasis Rosea.
The bad thing about this skin condition is that we don’t know the causes and therefore cannot cure the roots or even the symptoms. I was told to keep hydrated and mosturize my skin. Needless to say, I used to drink very little water, my skin was dehydrated and I hated applying cream on my body. The first rash lasted for months. When the rash was over, I had lots of discoloured patches on my arms and was not impressed.
Most people experience only one episode during their lifetime but about 1 in 50 people suffer repetitive episodes. I was one of those 1 in 50 and suffered one or two episodes each year for the next 9 years, usually during season changes.
Going vegetarian at the age of 19 meant that I was a bit healthier and health conscious and the rashes were smaller and lasted for less time. The problem was still there though. I kept researching about my condition because if doctors couldn’t give me answers at least I wanted to try to find my own ones.
If you have ever had Pitiriasis you know how frustating it is, and anybody who suffers from a skin codition can certainly relate. I read on several pages that it is thought the condition -although not contagious- might be caused by a viral infection. I had nothing else to help me, so I asked myself: if this was to be the case, what would you do to fight a viral infection?
My first instinct was to make a DIY cream with coconut oil, peppemint and lemon essential oils, which are known for their antiseptic properties. I applied this on my scaly patches and in a week they were almost gone. To achieve lasting effects I had to do something more radical though. I had to detox and consume more alkaline foods. I don’t like to use labels and I like to be flexible and reasonable in my diet, so I won’t be promoting specific diets or movements apart from a general whole foods, plant based diet.
In late spring 2014 I became officially vegan. I had been mainly vegan for quite a while but I was still consuming the odd social dose of dairy -on pizza, for example. I decided to make the jump and never go back. At that time I was drinking about four cups of coffee a day, and I realised they also had to go. I was consuming processed foods, they needed to go as well. I decided to eat as clean as possible for a month. So, for the first two weeks I was 100% vegan, then I cut my coffee intake, I drank almost no alcohol and supplemented with some chlorella. Then at the beginning of this year I started exercising too.
It was hard and full on, but it was good. My energy levels increased, my mood improved dramatically. These changes were enough to justify the hard work, but what I didn’t know straight away was that I was getting rid of Pitiriasis. My “companion” of nine years was dying.
That autumn I didn’t get the usual rash. And all the following seasons, no Pitiriasis. I have been clear for over a year now and am so glad!
My diet is not so strict anymore but it is much helthier than before. I allow myself a coffee every now and then, I eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, preferring raw to cooked and I take some spirulina when I’m stressed or I do a serious workout.
At some point I wondered whether I would ever be clear of the rash, while now I can safely say that changing lifestyle has certainly kept the nuisance away!
I hope you will find the information useful one way or another. Let me know if you too suffer or have suffered from Pitiriasis, I’d like to hear your story!