A psoriasis sufferer who once heard a lady in a shop comment to her husband that she was an acid attack victim when she saw her facial psoriasis, has claimed that a £8.50 shampoo helped to clear her skin condition after five washes.
Nicola Jones, 33, from Buckinghamshire, who lives with partner Dan, 35, an electrical engineer, first developed scalp psoriasis when she went to university, aged 19.
Despite trying several over-the-counter products, nothing seemed to work for Nicola – until she found an unlikely solution in the form of the Oregon Skincare shampoo and conditioner, which costs from £8.50.
She claims it helped to dramatically improve the skin condition within approximately three weeks.
Nicola Jones, 33, from Buckinghamshire, who lives with partner Dan, 35, an electrical engineer, first got scalp psoriasis when she went to university, aged 19. Pictured, at its worst
The marketing consultant claimed she found an unlikely solution in the form of the Oregon Skincare shampoo and conditioner, which costs from £8.50. Pictured, after applying the product
Nicola says she thought her psoriasis was dandruff at first and so she tried various over the counter anti-dandruff shampoos from the chemist, which she says made it much worse.
‘I eventually went to a doctor after six months and was diagnosed with scalp psoriasis,’ explained the marketing consultant. ‘I was prescribed a steroid based scalp treatment but it was like putting acid on my scalp. It was so painful I couldn’t bear to use it.’
Nicola says she was ‘very self-conscious’ of her scalp psoriasis while she was at university.
‘I felt like I always had dead skin on my clothes and I knew people could see it behind my ears so I never wore my hair up,’ she explained. ‘Being in a queue with people behind me would fill me with dread.
Nicola claims she found an unlikely solution in the form of the Oregon Skincare shampoo and conditioner, which costs from £8.50 (pictured)
‘I was worried they thought I was dirty because of all the flaky skin on my clothes and in my hair.
‘People assume you have these things because you don’t wash not because you have a skin condition.’
Nicola never wore dark colours and got into the habit of regularly going to the bathroom to ping her clothes to flick all the dead skin off them.
‘My psoriasis was only on my scalp until four years ago when my Dad was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer,’ she said. ‘I was living in Switzerland at the time.’
‘The stress of being told my dad only had a few months to live obviously bought on a huge amount of emotional stress.
‘As it turned out my dad was one of the rare people who survived his terminal diagnosis and he is still with us today, four years later.’
‘But when I was told about my dad’s cancer, the psoriasis on my scalp started to spread to my forehead and face, and it was the first time I noticed a patch on my back, too.’
Over the space of a few years, psoriasis started breaking out on different parts of Nicola’s body.
‘I was getting a new patch of psoriasis about once a month. It started with a patch of strange dry skin on my back the size of an insect bite and spread to the size of a grapefruit,’ she explained.
‘I was prescribed yet more steroid creams for my skin but every single one of them, even though they were called different names, would soothe the skin and stop the dryness, but they never reduced the outbreaks.’
‘The psoriasis on my scalp was worse still and had gone from being a few patches to virtually my whole scalp, with the area behind my ears being covered in scales.’
Nicola told how she was worried people thought she was dirty because of all the flaky skin on her clothes and in her hair. Pictured, left before, and right, after
Nicola said she thought the psoriasis was dandruff at first and so she tried various over the counter anti-dandruff shampoos from the chemist which made it much worse. Pictured, at its worst
‘It was really itchy and it would feel like it was burning most of the time. Any treatment I put on it would feel like setting my scalp on fire.’
What is Oregon Grape Root?
A skin care range containing a plant extract called Oregon Grape Root (OGR), plus other helpful ingredients including caffeine, have been found in a UK trial to be highly effective in reducing the symptoms associated with the skin condition psoriasis.
OGR is a native plant of North America and has been extensively examined as a treatment for psoriasis in several published studies.
Studies have found that compounds isolated from extracts of OGR possess inhibitory activity against Lipoxygenase (an enzyme involved in psoriatic skin cell production).
At the cellular level, OGR has been shown to guard against accelerated activity during the process of keratinocytes (skin cell production).
Nicola says that even when she used ‘normal’ shampoos, they would burn her scalp and make the flaking so much worse.
‘The cold weather and dark days when I moved to Newcastle a few years ago made my scalp even worse,’ she said.
‘In winter I never saw the sun during the week for months on end as it was dark when I went into the office and dark when I left. Lack of sunlight can make psoriasis symptoms much worse.’
Nicola went on to add that aside from the pain and discomfort of having psoriasis, it’s the way it destroyed her self-confidence when people stared at her and made comments that really hurt.
‘Once in M&S I was looking at some tops in the clothing section and a lady made a comment to her husband that I looked like an acid attack victim,’ she recalled.
‘I locked myself in the changing room and cried.’
‘Another time I was in B&Q and I asked a store assistant where something was and she made a grimace and asked me what had happened to my face.’
‘As I was hiding in the rug section waiting for my emotions to calm down from her comment, I put this story on Instagram to try and show people for real what it felt like living with psoriasis.’
She continued: ‘It’s being caught unaware by personal comments made by complete strangers about my skin when I am going about my daily life that is the worst thing. I am never prepared for it.’
‘Another time I was in the gym’s pool which I go to every morning before work to exercise and de-stress before work.’
‘A woman came up to me and told me I should not go swimming in the pool. At first I thought there was something wrong with the pool and she was warning me and then I realised she was talking about my skin. She said there were kids in the pool and I’d contaminate them.’
About a year ago, Nicola began an Instagram account about her psoriasis (@betterskinbetterme) to document her skin condition, which she hoped would spread awareness, reduce stigma and encourage others into discussions about living with and managing the condition.
Nicola explained that aside from the pain and discomfort of having psoriasis, it’s the way it destroyed her self-confidence when people stared at her and made comments that really hurt. Pictured, the psoriasis behind her ear
Nicola explained that within 5-6 washes she really noticed the size of her scalp psoriasis patches had started to reduce and the redness had hugely reduced. Pictured, the skin condition at its worst
‘When I started up my Instagram I got trolled, with one troll telling me I was disgusting and should be drowned at birth,’ she explained.
‘But overall far more positive things come from my Instagram and being more open about my psoriasis and talking with other people about their psoriasis and sharing advice and experiences has really helped my confidence. It was through this that I heard about Oregon Skincare products.’
She continued: ‘On the first wash of using the Oregon Shampoo and Conditioner I noticed a very obvious calming effect on my scalp, which was a good sign.’
WHAT IS PSORIASIS?
Psoriasis is a recurrent skin condition that affects around 2% of the UK population.
It is caused by an acceleration of skin cell production.
Normally a skin cell matures in 21-28 days. Psoriatic cells, however, turn over in 2-3 days and in such profusion that the live cells reach the surface and accumulate with the dead cells still in visible layers (hence the plaques).
‘Within 5-6 washes I really noticed the size of my scalp psoriasis patches had started to reduce and the redness had hugely reduced.’
Nicola says that after over fifteen years of trying to find something that helped her scalp psoriasis, she hardly dared believed she had finally found a solution – and kept thinking it was just a coincidence.
‘After a month of using the Oregon hair products my scalp was about 80% improved,’ she said. ‘I still have some mild patches of psoriasis on my scalp and on my face but if you didn’t know I had psoriasis you wouldn’t see them.
‘On zoom calls over lock down friends kept asking me what had happened to my skin as for all intents and purposes my facial psoriasis has gone.
She added: ‘I also started to use the Oregon Skin Serum on a really sore stubborn patch of psoriasis on my forearm, which has been there for years and of course, everyone used to stare at it.
‘The same thing happened and over a month the patch reduced in size and went from a livid red to a pale brown colour. Before trying the Oregon Serum on it nothing had worked at reducing it in size or redness.’
Now, Nicola says most people who don’t know her can’t really tell she has psoriasis on her face anymore.
‘Today I do not use any other products for my psoriasis except for Oregon skincare and I have to say it has made one of the most fundamental changes to my psoriasis of any product I have ever tried,’ she explained. ‘It’s better than any medications, prescriptions or anything I have tried from the chemist.’