A mum with psoriasis says her skin condition was so debilitating that she couldn’t change her baby’s nappy.
Lucy Doyle, from Kirkby, Merseyside, would sob at doctor’s appointments and beg for help.
Creams wouldn’t work to sooth side-effects in the long-term and she had no choice but to turn to strong painkillers.
And as the 29-year-old’s condition was left untreated for a decade, she’s developed arthritis in her joints.
She said: "The majority of my joints are covered in arthritis now because of the effects of it being untreated for ten years.
"Psoriasis covered 90% of my body, which was literally the whole of my body up to my nose."
Lucy’s battle with psoriasis first started when she was 19.
After first noticing a difference on her hands and feet, she said it grew worse after she had her daughter, Olivia, pcos and clomid who is now four.
The mum told the ECHO: "It started when I was 19, it started on my hands and my feed and it was bearable, but it was sore.
“I dealt with that for a few years, but it was after I had my daughter that it started getting really bad.
"It was getting worse and every cream I got from the doctors just wasn't working. Or it would work for a bit, my skin would get used to it and then it would get bad again.
"I used to have all types of moisturiser, steroid cream, stuff that would go in the bath, shampoos for my hair and it would soothe it for a little bit, but it wouldn't take the pain away.
"I ended up having to take painkillers, strong ones like Tramadol, just to try and compensate the pain."
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales.
These patches normally appear on your elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can appear anywhere on your body.
Most people are only affected with small patches. In some cases, the patches can be itchy or sore.
Psoriasis affects around 2% of people in the UK. It can start at any age, but most often develops in adults under 35 years old, and affects men and women equally.
The severity of psoriasis varies greatly from person to person. For some it's just a minor irritation, but for others it can majorly affect their quality of life.
When her condition was at its peak, Lucy was unable to do basic household tasks.
She recalled: "It was a struggle, it always has been.
“At one point I had to get one of my friends round to help change the baby's nappy, because my hands were stuck.
"Making dinner would take it longer than it should, because of the weight on my feet was killing me.
"There was one point I went to the doctor, pulled my trousers down, cried and just said 'please just help me'. "
Thankfully, Lucy was able to get the help she needed after appearing on TV show The Bad Skin Clinic.
She was sent to see top Harley Street Dermatologist, Dr Emma Craythorne, who was concerned by the severity of her condition.
The mum said: "She realised how bad it was and said the arthritis I had was like what an 80-year-old should have. She was quite shocked to see it that bad.
"She fast-tracked me in a process to get some help. I was given medication, which started on a lower dosage and worked its way up to a higher dosage.
"Within the first couple of months it was clear and even the doctors were really surprised."
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Lucy’s results have been life-changing – as the painful psoriasis that covered her body is now gone.
She revealed: "It's nearly been a year and I've got no psoriasis. I feel like I'm a normal person again because I lost a lot of confidence because of it…
"I couldn't wear dresses or pretty little sandals in the summer, I had to cover up. I had a dress on the other day and it just felt nice to feel normal again.
"I look back now and I'm like 'wow, was that really me?'. It was shocking.
"It's nice to be able to enjoy time with my daughter again."
Lucy hopes sharing her story will help to spread awareness about psoriasis.
She added: "I want to spread awareness because I feel like it can be swept under the carpet, people can see it as a skin condition when there is a lot more to it."
Lucy's story is featured in Series 2, Episode 4 of The Bad Skin Clinic, which is available to watch on Discovery+
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