New treatment is my 'wonder drug' says Tata Scunthorpe steelworker
A SUFFERER from the skin condition psoriasis has spoken about a treatment which has changed his life.
Tata steelworker Thomas Carlile has suffered with psoriasis since he was a teenager. The condition stopped him from doing everyday things in life, such as swimming and wearing T-shirts.
Mr Carlile's life was turned around after he started taking a new treatment using a medication called Biologics at Scunthorpe General Hospital.
The dedicated psoriasis clinic at Scunthorpe General is one of only six across the UK and the only one outside of a university teaching hospital.
And even though psoriasis – a lifelong condition that can cause itchy, red and scaly areas to develop on people's bodies – cannot be cured, treatment is available that can help to clear the skin, either partially or completely.
Mr Carlile has been taking Biologics for the past few years and he said it has changed his life.
The 49-year-old, from Crakedale Road in Winterton, said: "I was covered from head to toe in psoriasis.
"I was about 13 or 14 when I first got psoriasis and it was hereditary.
"It started out on my elbows and knees and it spread across my body, including my hair. It is very itchy and I try and keep my nails short so I don't scratch it.
"In the summer, I used to wear long sleeve shirts. It makes it difficult to meet the opposite sex, because I would be afraid to talk to them. When I would go swimming, people would stare and it makes you feel awful."
Mr Carlile lost a leg in a work-related accident in 1996 and he was off work for 17 months. He got psoriasis on the stump.
Mr Carlile said he had to take a lot of time off work due to the psoriasis, but since starting the treatment, he had not had to have any days off.
He said: "I was watching This Morning and a doctor from Yorkshire was talking about this new treatment. It worked on a postcode lottery, so Ireland got it before us. It is like a wonder drug.
"Before this, I felt so low. Sometimes I just felt like I was going to be like this for the rest of my life.
"There is now just a bit on my leg."
Consultant dermatologist Dr Aamir Butt, who is based at Scunthorpe General Hospital, said new developments in drug therapies over the past few years had resulted in Biologics being developed.
Dr Butt said: "These suppress the part of the immune systems causing psoriasis while leaving the other parts intact to deal with the job of protecting our bodies."