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Case Study: How to Cope and Live with Psoriasis

by Elena Schalburg(more info)

listed in skincare, originally published in issue 199 - October 2012

Dan has suffered for 17 years with psoriasis when he found Elena’s Nature Collection (ENC) via a friend; his life changed forever. The commitment offered , the researched, handmade products in Burwash, the professional helpline, the level of service and now also Award Winning Skincare is a Lifesaver.  People arrive at ENC with any skin problem and find not only comfort but also reassurance. Dan has been receiving the products on prescription via his GP.

Dan and Vic

Dan and Vic

 

Dan’s Case Study - Written by his Partner, Victoria

Dan’s history: Aged 13yrs he went to school and started to suffer from stomach cramps. The school let him leave early as he was in so much pain - he got the bus back home, then took the bus to Tunbridge Wells (home). By the time he arrived home he was doubled up in agony  - he was rushed by ambulance to The Kent and Sussex hospital with suspected appendicitis, which turned out not to be appendicitis, I don’t think they ever did find out what the problem was; however as a result of the stress his body suffered - he left the hospital covered from head to toe with psoriasis and has suffered from it ever since.

Both his parents did suffer from eczema / mild psoriasis but both grew out of it when they reached adulthood. They never suffered from it as severely as Dan, and I don’t think either of them had a proper diagnosus. Dan’s siblings are all free from psoriasis and have never suffered from problems with their skin.

Dan works in Sales for an Electric bike company and is now 30yrs. He has suffered from psoriasis for 23yrs.

When Dan suffers particularly aggressive attacks he gets it all over his body; normally during the cold winter months it’s at its worst - it then improves when the weather gets warmer. However Dan has always had problems with psoriasis on his knees / elbows and scalp - until he recently started using Elena’s products and it virtually disappeared - there was a very faint trace of it on his elbows and knees - but not obvious, and you could only just make it out on close examination and the itching stopped completely.  Since the Primary Care Trust (PCT) decided the products could no longer be prescribed, already since stopping the Trinity Soap and Shampoo it worsened a little in a matter weeks; he is still using the Day Cream Special / Night Cream Extra and Ultimate Body Oil sparingly.

Another point is that Dan normally has to shave his head in the winter as it gets so bad on his scalp and his hair starts falling out.

Day to day living with Dan’s psoriasis - before he had such clinically positive results with Elena’s products:

  • Having to wear long sleeves tops and trousers below the knee to cover the psoriasis - on holidays and really hot weather this can prove very uncomfortable;
  • Not being able to wear light coloured clothes due to blood caused by scratching - seeping through the material;
  • People’s reactions - getting odd looks and unwanted attention - some people actually look disgusted by Dan’s skin disfigurement;
  • People not wanting to have body or skin contact with Dan in case what he has is infectious;
  • Children can be very vocal about Dan’s skin problem - which causes significant embarrassment in public places ;
  • Not being able to enjoy or participate in leisure activities such as swimming - due to the unwanted attention his skin gets;
  • Having to continuously explain to people what is wrong with him - even complete strangers;
  • When he has had psoriasis badly on his face - it has been described as a huge birthmark / strawberry or burn;
  • Name calling and bullying has also occurred;
  • Hygiene has also been difficult to maintain - when it has been really bad he has had to carry wipes and a handheld vacuum in the car - as unpleasant for any passengers due to the amount of dead skin and flaking;
  • We have had to vacuum our house daily sometimes twice a day due to dead skin and flaking;
  • We have separate duvets in bed as flaking is so bad, and again would have to change the sheets and bedding daily;
  • Blood on sheets from excessive scratching;
  • Blood on furniture and upholstery due to scratching - we always buy leather sofas etc. as easier to keep clean;
  • Dan has often kept me awake at night due to his scratching and moving around when psoriasis has been very sore, resulting in me sleeping in a separate bedroom;
  • Dan also has trouble sleeping due to feeling so uncomfortable or has had very poor quality sleep, thus making him very irritable to be around;
  • Low self-esteem and periods of depression, due to all of the above;
  • Affecting his day-to-day life caused by fatigue and low mood - lack of sleep and unwanted attention;
  • Not being able to participate in adult activities due to psoriasis on his private parts and being very sore.

All the above problems ceased once Dan started using Elena’s products.

Below is the  list of some of the products that he took prior to Elena’s; they are as follows:

  • Eumovate (Steroid);
  • Betnovate (Steroid);
  • Various other corticosteroid creams (he can’t remember all the names);
  • Dovobet;
  • Dovonex;
  • Aqueous Cream;
  • Rettavate;
  • Tar Shampoo;
  • Chinese herbalist remedies (sorry can’t remember what they were called);
  • Sunbeds;
  • He has also been referred to 3 dermatologists over the years without success.

Dan’s daily regime using Elena’s products

AM

  • In the morning Dan applies the Trinity Soap and Shampoo (he leaves it on for about 30 mins, while eating his breakfast etc, He then has a shower and rinses the Trinity Soap and Shampoo off;
  • Once he is thoroughly dry he then applies Ultimate Body Oil onto what he calls his flare up parts - sometimes all over, followed by either Day Cream Special or Eureka Cream depending on the severity;
  • He will then apply Elena’s Day Cream Special onto his face;
  • Throughout the day if he feels the need, he will use the Day Cream Special little and often. This stops the itch cycle and one of Elena’s useful tips is to file his finger nails daily so he has no nails to scratch with.

PM

  • Occasionally Dan will take a second shower in the evening and will follow the same routine he does in the morning (this he feels is not a necessity - he just likes to freshen up and believes every little helps);
  • Religiously every evening once cleansed and toner applied (Dan has been using a 2 in 1 toner from Boots to cleanse and tone), Dan will apply a generous smothering of Elena’s Night Cream Extra to his face;
  • Finally Dan will apply Eureka cream to his face and his flare up areas (elbows and knees);
  • I personally use all Elena’s products for beauty. Nothing compares. (See her Guide to Healthy Skin).

People actually ask me now what skincare products I use. A good SIGN! I love that radiance.

Reasons for Using Natural and Organic Ingredients in ENC:

Topical preparations can be of enormous help.  Making peoples’ skin comfortable was Elena’s main aim when starting out as a nurse 25 years ago. She decided to go down the natural route for ingredients avoiding any chemical based ingredients or bi products of the petroleum industry, such as paraffin, Vaseline and petroleum. The reasons being:

  1. They are by-products of the petroleum industry;
  2. Not absorbed by the skin;
  3. Seal the skin like plastic;
  4. Prevent proper oxygen uptake through the skin;
  5. Are non-edible;
  6. Create dryness and dependency;
  7. Contain no vitamins;
  8. Broken down slowly i.e. pollute the earth and water;
  9. Non biodegradable.

She decided to use organic and organically grown ingredients. A few facts about vegetable oils are:

  1. They are natural;
  2. They are absorbed by the skin;
  3. They contain vitamins such A,D and E;
  4. They protect the skin by aiding and improving the natural function of the skin;
  5. They are edible, hence giving nourishment and energy to the body;
  6. They are biological and biodegradable.

Using all the finest organic oils combined with healing ingredients, some used in the first world war, Elena’s handmade products emerged. When used in the correct quantities as specified by the manufacturer it creates the desired effect - to help people who may also be prone to eczema or psoriasis live with their condition comfortably. Elena’s Nature Collection grew organically over the 25 years to be successful, with all the products available on prescription, GP permitting.  All 12 products have their own PIP code.

After 12 years of research Elena worked out what the eczema or psoriasis sufferer needed.  Her solution was the daily routine: Trinity soap/Shampoo to help reduce the red, itchy skin. The Ultimate Body Oil to lubricate the dry scaly skin. And finally, the Day Cream Special and Night Cream Extra to regenerate and moisturise the skin. Because the products do not contain any drugs they are not licensed, therefore not in the BMA. Information can be provided from Elena’s Nature Collection as to how to obtain the products on prescription, your doctor permitting.  No guarantees are given. See Elena’s Mission statement on her website www.elenasnaturecollection.co.uk under the ‘On Prescription ‘ menu.

Award

Further Information

A lot of research goes into studying information both via books and the internet to ensure that the products are marketed in the right direction to reach the people who will benefit the most. She calls Elena’s Nature Collection ‘The Peoples’ Range’. Read her inspirational and informative blogs which can be found on this website and on Facebook. Elena’s Nature Collection has been available on prescription for the past 9 years. Last year Elena’s Illumination Cream was awarded the Platinum Award for best product for problem skin by Imperfectly Natural. www.elenasnaturecollection.co.uk

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About Elena Schalburg

Elena qualified as a nurse (RGN) in 1983 at the Kent and Sussex Hospital. Spurred on by her passion for dermatology and the healing process of the skin she qualified as a Burns and Plastics Nurse (ENB264) at Queen Victoria Hospital. Here she developed a moisturiser. Her main goal was to ensure that it worked. Indeed it did and Elena’s Nature Collection was born.

People worldwide, of all ages contacted her for help. This created an enormous success rate and her business is inundated with letters and emails from satisfied customers who are over the moon with the results, especially from parents with babies and young children.

‘Elena’s magic creams’ is a phrase often mentioned. She thrives on the success rate of her products. Elena was determined to make a difference and indeed customer feedback proves that. 25 years of research has been spent perfecting a range which is also safe and suitable for people who may be prone to eczema or psoriasis. Using ingredients in the correct quantities to create the desired effect is what gives Elena’s Nature Collection a high success rate. They are chemical free, natural, organic and enriched with vitamins and minerals, pure and from highly respected sources. Elena’s Nature Collection may be contacted on  Tel:01435 882092; pharmacy helpline: 01435 884090; Elena@elenascollection.co.uk    www.elenasnaturecollection.co.uk 

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