My name is Todd Bello and I from New York. I was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of 28. Unfortunately psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease and there is no cure. One misconception about psoriasis is that it is “communicable”. Because psoriasis is visible and looks similar to poison ivy, people may feel concerned they can “catch” the disease. My message and the message from the entire psoriasis community is that psoriasis is not contagious.
My psoriasis started with a small red spot on my scalp that wouldn’t go away. I went to a dermatologist who confirmed it was psoriasis. Never even heard of psoriasis before that day. I was very concerned. Since then I did a lot of research and I found out there is no cure and it’s a serious autoimmune disease with many life threatening comorbities.
I’ve been in four double-blind studies. I signed up for these studies because nothing at the time was working. My psoriasis eventually covered me from head to toe. I later developed psoriatic arthritis as determined from a rheumatologist.
I’ve tried everything imaginable including photo therapy, the Dead Sea, Skin Cap, Acupuncture, Herbal remedies, Dr. Pagano, Tanning, Raptiva, Embrel, Engineered Tuberculosis Injections, Gluten-Free, Diets, Topicals, Exercise, Hot Yoga, Healing Masses, Steam Baths, Sulfur Baths, Epsom Salt, Spring Water, Florida Natural Spring Soaks, Steam Rooms, Saunas, Tanning Booth, Chiropractic Adjustments, High Colonics, Dovonex, Talconex, Sulfasalazine, Coal Tar, Florida Sun, Aleve, Cortisone Injections etc..I turned 50 this year and I’m still determined to find a cure.
I have two wonderful children that love and support me. I have a great network of friends through the National Psoriasis Foundation. Because this is a chronic illness I fight it each and everyday. I decided volunteer my time and to help others by starting a support group. This disease knock the crap out of me and I want to prevent that from happening to other people. I’m glad that my Stelara injections are keeping both my psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis under control. I’ve been on Stelara for about 4 years now and so far it’s safe and effective.
I’m excited with all the medical research for our disease state. I’m also very thankful to the National Psoriasis Foundation whose mission is to raise funds for resarch. Many pharmaceuticals companies are investing time and money for better treatments. When I was first diagnosed the only treatments available were coal tar, topical cortisone, methotrexate, light box, puva, and cyclosporine. I voluntarily signed up to participate in four clinical trials because nothing was working. Biological medications target specific pathways of the immune system leaving the rest of immune system intact. There is a new drug in the pipeline that blocks IL-17. I heard the results are outstanding. These treatments are available to patients with moderate to severe psoriasis.
I enjoy helping others so I started a support group called Overcoming Psoriasis. The group offers advice and emotional support and is very informative. If you have psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis please consider joining. Thank you for reading.