For most of my adult life I have had a dandruff issue.
Nothing major for the most part, but it would always sort of get worst during the winter months and then get better in the summer and then the cycle would repeat. Yes it was annoying, but I just sort of learned to work around it and used plenty of dandruff shampoos to help keep it at bay.
Then I had a baby. In case you didn’t know, having a baby basically ravages your entire being. Your body tricks you with lovely skin and hair and big boobs while you’re pregnant and then you give birth and your hormones go cray and the next thing you know you look (OK, more feel) like Quasimodo. This is a slight exaggeration, but seriously it’s taken some adjusting and definitely changed more than a few things about my appearance and we’re not just talking baby weight.
So, ever since I had my daughter (17 months ago) I’ve noticed that my dandruff seemed to be getting worse. At first it was just more flakes than usual, but then over time my scalp became crazy itchy – like unbearably so – and then I started getting what felt like sores and sometimes my scalp would bleed. I figured it was just a really bad case of dandruff and I tried a ton of different remedies, but it was still awful and some of my hair started falling out and finally my husband suggested I go to a dermatologist.
The diagnosis? Psoriasis.
In retrospect, it makes sense. My dad has psoriasis and it is often linked with stress, which: Hello! Having so many life changes (new career/becoming a mother in a 17 month span of time) definitely brings about. Also crazy hormone fluctuations. Awesome (not awesome).
I couldn’t really see just how bad it had gotten, because it was on the underside of my scalp – not exactly a place you can check out easily – but according to my husband who has been helping me apply the steroid ointment to my scalp, it’s “real bad”. And in case you were wondering…applying steroid treatment on a scalp that has open wounds? SUPER painful. Like, I wanna scream a stream of obscenities every night when I put it on.
So, what are the morals of this story? (Yes, I swear I have a point.)
1) Having babies does seriously weird things to your body. If something doesn’t seem normal, keep an eye on it. Be aware that sometimes changes in your skin or hair can be hormone or stress related, so don’t just think you’re falling apart!
2) If you have persistent dandruff, look into having it checked out. It could be psoriasis and if you catch it early you can often eliminate it instead of just trying to keep it controlled for the rest of your life. Be proactive. If you think this might be you read up on it and find out.
3) You know you’ve found your true love when they are willing to apply steroid cream to your jacked up scalp. Seriously. My husband is the best.
Have any of you had a similar experience with psoriasis? So far the steroid treatment doesn’t seem to be helping a ton and I’m definitely open to suggestions…especially natural suggestions, since I don’t love the idea of using a steroid treatment anyway.
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble. More from Lauren: