Mum claims £7.95 shampoo has cured her ten-year scalp psoriasis which was so bad it left her with bald patches – The Sun

A MUM who has suffered from psoriasis for over a decade has managed to improve her skin dramatically using a shampoo made from a plant root.

Hannah Richmond, 21, has been suffering from painful and itchy psoriasis since she was 11 years old, with the condition becoming so severe she even suffered from bald patches on her scalp.

The mum-of-one from Washington, US, explained how she developed the condition after contracting pneumonia as a child.

Psoriasis causes red and crusty patches with silvery scales to flare-up on the skin, most commonly appearing on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.

But after struggling with the condition for years, Hannah has finally found something that helps – an £8 shampoo containing a plant extract called Oregon Grape Root.

“I first developed psoriasis when I was eleven years old. I’d had pneumonia and afterwards I was scratching behind my ear and felt something ‘crusty’," Hannah explained.

  • Oregon shampoo, £7.95, Skin Shop – buy now

"At the time I thought it was dirt, so I just cleaned the area and didn’t think much more about it.

"My grandfather had psoriasis and passed it down to my mother, but she didn’t have it as badly as I went on to develop it.

"When the patch behind my ear spread and turned into a full flare-up, we didn’t know what to do.

"It was chicken pox season, so my mother called my doctor to ask about it.

"They told me to stay home from school so I didn’t spread it. After about a week we went back to the doctor.

"It was then that they told my mother I had psoriasis and not chicken pox. I remember when she told me it made me feel really isolated.

"I was shocked and confused. I asked them over and over if it was something that would go away.

"I was really upset when they kept telling me that it wouldn’t go away, that I’d have it for life."

Psoriasis isn't fully understood by health professionals but it is thought to be caused by a problem with the immune system.

Roughly two per cent of the population are affected by psoriasis and the number is split equally between men and women.

The disorder is thought to run in the family but the precise role genetics plays is unclear.

Many people's symptoms are "triggered" – meaning the rash will occur when they injure the skin, get a throat infection, or use certain medicines.

Hannah, who lives with her partner Andrew, 24, explained how she was initially prescribed topical steroids and a T-Gel shampoo to help with the condition.

But it wasn't long before the psoriasis had spread to her scalp, leaving her with bald patches.

"These products did work if my mother and I were consistent with the steroids and the T-Gel," she said.

"But it was exhausting for us and this strict regime was only really effective for about a year.

"My mother helped do everything so I didn’t have to worry about it but it was so time-consuming and as time went on, I got more and more angry as my skin and scalp just wouldn’t clear.

"Over the following years my psoriasis got worse and became more frequent.

"Any cut or scrape I got would heal up and then turn into a psoriasis patch so my skin was becoming more and more covered in patches.

"I’d also get a flare-up if I became stressed.

"As the years went on, I didn’t want to keep on using steroids so three years ago I decided to stop using them.

"I went through Topical Steroid Withdrawal, which basically meant my skin went crazy.

"My scalp was affected the worst and was completely covered in white scaly psoriasis plaques. My hair started falling out and I was left with bald patches.

"I was determined to try and treat my psoriasis with something other than steroids. I tried anything I could get my hands on, including apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, probiotics, UVB light therapy, red light therapy, tea tree oil, African black soap products and others that I can’t even remember now."

Hannah explained how the psoriasis quickly started to affect every area of her life, having a dramatic impact on her confidence – especially when she was at school.

"I would be getting ready for school and I would just break down, cry and scream into my pillow.

"I would try to cover up the plaques with makeup. I was so frustrated that I was different and people would stare.

"As I have the worst psoriasis on my face, it’s very visible to everyone.

"In the beginning I was really depressed about my skin. I felt different to everyone else in the world.

"But things change when you start to understand the skin condition more and you can begin to talk to other people with it about how you feel.

"I do this through my Instagram account and belong to a large psoriasis community which has helped me a great deal.

"It used to affect my relationships. I’ve lost a lot of friends due to my psoriasis. But now I know that if someone doesn’t want to accept me the way I am then that’s a reflection on them.

"It was hard at school. I can remember one time, I was in science class and I had to talk to someone about a project.

"They didn’t know me so they had backed away from me quickly, and pointed at me saying 'What is that!? Get it away from me – I don’t want to catch it.'

"There was another time where I was at my grandma’s funeral, and I was wearing a dress.

"My back had psoriasis on it and my grandma’s friend walked up behind me pointed at it and asked 'what is that? It looks really gross.'"

A decade into the condition and Hannah has been able to see the positives, explaining it's had a positive impact on her dating life.

"In some ways psoriasis has helped me. For example, due to my psoriasis I had more time to bond with my mum because she would sit with me for hours combing out my hair, putting medicines on and talking with me," she explained.

"Psoriasis has strangely also been a bonus in my dating life. I know it sounds strange.

"I look at it as a very effective way to weed out the bad ones. If a guy sees my skin and instead of being immediately repelled shows some curiosity about what it is, it shows that he can be accepting.

"My boyfriend Andrew is my biggest supporter. He tells me he thinks my skin is cool because it’s never the same. It’s always changing.

"However, despite these positive aspects, it’s not easy living with psoriasis.

"I still have some bad days with it. It’s hard having a disease that you know will never leave your side. It can feel like a very heavy burden on your shoulders at times."

Since Hannah discovered the Oregon products, she's noticed a dramatic improvement in her skin, explaining the range is totally different to anything she's used before.

"I discovered the Oregon products through my Instagram community," she explained.

"I was interested as they did a specific hair care range for scalp psoriasis which was unusual and the reviews on it were very positive.

"Within the first few days of using the Oregon products I noticed my skin was improving, my flakes had gone down a lot and the redness was going down after the first week and my scalp felt calmer and less inflamed.

"My skin didn’t feel as tight and dry as it had been, which was a very good sign as its rare to see anything work that fast.

"The Oregon hair products differ from other products I’ve used as they are not oily.

"They feel more like a lotion, which is nice as any stuff for the scalp I have tried before left my hair in a greasy mess.

"With the Oregon products my hair feels soft and conditioned but not greasy.

"I would say the best improvements I saw were towards the end of the second week using the Oregon products.

"My skin became much less red and furious and wasn’t burning or itching as much. My skin is continuing to improve with each week I use them.

"The products are not messy at all and don’t smell bad, which is a bonus when it comes to psoriasis products!

"I use their shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and skin cream, and because they use natural ingredients, I don’t have to worry when holding my baby daughter as I know they will not be causing her any harm.”

  • Oregon Total Care pack, £34.95, Skin Shop – buy now

The products contain a plant extract called Oregon Grape Root as well as other ingredients such as caffeine.

A UK trial of 50 people found that Oregon skincare products improved body and face psoriasis for 86 per cent of the patients, with 75 per cent of these experiencing a marked improvement after just four weeks.

Dr Vincent Forte, who led the trial, said: “I found that OGR skin products are effective, well-tolerated and very acceptable treatments for psoriasis, with a very low incidence of side-effects.

"OGR compares favourably with topical steroids and Dovonex and the trial results indicate these are well-liked treatments that psoriasis sufferers would use again.”

The Oregon Total Care Pack includes a daily maintenance cream, moisturising body and hand wash, an intensive skin rescue serum, a shampoo and conditioner and costs £34.95, available from Skin Shop.



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