Wednesday, 29 October 2014

On World Psoriasis Day ...

... I offer you two pieces of wisdom that I have learned over the past 16 years.

Don’t get sucked in by this …

And try to remember this …



Monday, 27 October 2014

Being Mindful

A different type of post from me today – more reflective than usual and rather light on fashion I’m afraid.

You may remember that last Spring, I took part in a trial to see if practising mindfulness could have a beneficial effect on psoriasis. It lasted eight (long) weeks; two and a half hours each week.  With homeworkLet me be honest.  I hated it.  I didn’t just dislike it.  I absolutely hated it. 

I am someone who has not been blessed with the gift of patience.  My idea of Hell is to spend a day ‘relaxing’ in a spa.  One hint of whale music; one slight whisper of “and now relax”; one tiny indication that I am being told what to do; and I instantly want to jump onto the nearest table and dance.  So!  No patience! Hate being told what to do!  Not the best combination when it comes to practising mindfulness.

But I persevered … mainly because I had agreed to do this and it was only fair to finish the course.  At the end of the eight weeks, I ran out the door.  No more mindfulness for me.  But I didn’t blog about it and I didn’t tweet about it.  I was very aware that for the majority of people attending (all psoriasis sufferers) the course had been a huge success.  And the last thing I would do is pour negativity on their experience.  

Yet, despite my antipathy, the concept of mindfulness never fully left my brain.  I frequently remembered the one phrase that had resonated with me, ‘Thoughts are not Facts’ and as my brain would rush ahead and imagine all sorts of sensational and fatalistic events, I would remind myself of this, and would try to bring myself back to the present again.

And so time rolled on and six months later, I found myself in an interesting position.  Yet again, the promise of clear skin was eluding me.  Another fail on the drugs front and my skin flared dramatically – bringing me back to the stage I had been at a year ago.  After much research and discussion with my dermatologist, it was agreed that I would try a newer drug, still at trial stage, although due to be licensed in January.  But this entailed four weeks minus any systemic treatment, whilst my last drugs were ‘washed’ from my system. 

I am a worry-wart – I think it’s something that goes hand in hand with having psoriasis and so I panicked slightly at the idea of no medication for four weeks.  How would I control the skin?  And so, almost despite myself, I downloaded a mindfulness app to my phone.  Headspace.  It has 10 minute exercises each day.  (Note - just 10 minutes.  Perfect for me and my limited patience) I’m on day 7 of the 10 day trial and my hands are up!  I’m going to be purchasing when my trial is over.

Because there’s something to this mindfulness.  There’s something soothing about just dealing with the now.  Not thinking about the past.  Not worrying about the future.  In the past seven days, my skin has definitely calmed down.  I will still need the medication; but I think the power of the mind can also contribute to helping the skin.

And so, six months after doing the trial, I am finally willing to say that yes!  I think it is beneficial.  I certainly don’t think it can cause any harm.  In fact, I’m recommending it.  Give it a go.  You might be surprised.


I’m travelling to Basel tomorrow to attend the World Psoriasis Day activities  on Wednesday at the Novartis Campus.  Come follow me on Twitter (@flakyfashnista) and Instagram (theflakyfashionista) to see what my wardrobe choices are!


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wednesday Wish

Today I’m having one of those days that will be familiar to anyone who has psoriasis.  A day when the skin just isn’t behaving … when the colder temperatures are starting to have an effect … when there is a danger of feeling just a bit fed up (oh how polite I am in print!) with the constant battle.

But then … ah then, you take a little look online and here’s what you find!. The cutest, shiniest, sparkliest boots that cannot fail to make you smile.  Today’s wish is completely and utterly for those of us who have psoriasis.  Because even if your skin is sore, these flat boots won’t add to your discomfort … in fact, they will cheer you up.  Wear with jeans and a sweater, just because!  Or wear with coated skinnies and a silk shirt for an evening out.  Who says you’ve got to wear heels?  These blue checked suede ankle boots from Opening Ceremony are dressy enough every occasion.  Just perfect in fact, for all us flaky fashionistas J

Monday, 20 October 2014

A Quick Hello ...

Just a quick post from me today … I am in the midst of trying to put a presentation together with the title ‘Clear Skin – What It Means To Me’.   Obviously, I could wrap this up very quickly with just two words; Hot Pants! ... but I think a little more is expected from me.  15 minutes more to be precise!  All part of the World Psoriasis Day activities taking place in Basel next week (yes, prepare yourselves for some more mirror selfies)  But I digress – during screen breaks I’ve been having a quick little look at what is on offer during the mid-season sales.  Sadly it’s all window-shopping right now for me, but for those whose budgets are more flexible, there are quite a few bargains to be had. 

Starting with my old favourite, Cos.  I just love this fine silk wool scarf (I don’t know why they call it wool, as the description just mentions a silk and cotton knit), offering a nod to the colour of the season and now reduced to €25.

good fabric scarf for anyone with psoriasis

Next up is the Split Back Printed Blazer now reduced to €50.  I’m not going to lie – I’m kinda’ struggling with this shape.  The whole unstructured look is so very ‘80s and I’m having difficulties getting my head around the shapelessness of the look.  But the colour is perfect for anyone with scalp psoriasis, and if it’s an on-trend jacket you want, well, this is definitely it!

great colour blazer for anyone with psoriasis

There is also a printed scarf, now €23, in a lightweight silk and wool blend.  A handy little number if you have a black coat or jacket lurking in the back of your wardrobe but are worried about escaping flakes!  This scarf could be the perfect camouflage.

ideal colour to camouflage scalp psoriasis

The Top with Contrast Sleeves has my name written all over it.  Slouchy, forgiving, white, sleeves, lightweight (please tell me I'm not the only one about to expire from heat on occasion ... in October??), pretty much perfect in fact for just €20

great top for concealing psoriasis

And who can escape Mango right now?  Constant reductions are keeping them to the forefront of every blog these days.  Having said that, the white jacket that I ordered a few weeks ago went straight back.  It looked as cheap as it was which rather defeated the purpose.

However, using the code 5MNG, you can now get 30% off cardigans, sweaters, coats and jackets until October 22nd so it seemed rude not to take a little look!  This Cashmere & Silk blend sweater is €29.99 (all prices pre discount) and in perfect colour choices also
ideal mix of yarn for someone with psoriasis

Or for something a little more snuggly, how about this cable knit cotton sweater for €29.99?

great winter sweater for anyone with psoriasis

And finally … because surely the weather is going to change at some point? This long feather down coat – €99.99 before discount.  I have one very similar to this which I’ve worn to death during the really cold spells of winter. Definitely worthy of a place in the wardrobe.
good colour & fabric coat if you have psoriasis

And now I must take my leave and return to my scribbling!  In the interests of research (and desperately searching for inspiration) what does clear skin mean to you?