Howard’s Psoriasis Story

PsoHoward is a culmination of my story living with severe psoriasis and atopic dermatitis (eczema) for most of my life, since childhood.

Over the years I’ve tried more treatments than I can remember. No doubt those living with chronic illness can relate to the extent of anxiety, discomfort, and lack of energy it’s caused me. It’s been quite a journey, with the proverbial ups and downs.

About ten years ago, though, my health spiraled out of control. The low point came when over a period of a couple years I failed treatment after treatment. The dermatologist at UCSF said I was 95% covered with psoriatic lesions. I couldn’t function and wanted to not only quit my job, but also my life.

That dermatologist introduced two options, one a pill and the other a stay at the daycare clinic. I opted for the pill that came with potential severe side effects. After some weeks of starting it, my skin began to clear. I started to get my life back.

That’s when I started writing a psoriasis blog that eventually became The Itch to Beat Psoriasis on Everyday Health as a Patient Expert/Columnist. I share reflections and experiences living with psoriatic/skin disease, while encouraging patient empowerment, advocacy, and education.

In addition, I have consulted and partnered with pharmaceutical and health companies as a psoriasis patient expert. I volunteer with the National Psoriasis Foundation as the chair of the Northern California Sacramento Committee, guest write for the NPF Blog, participate in the Psocial Ambassador program, and in local psoriasis advocacy efforts.

Besides psoriasis advocacy, I’m an ordained minister where I have served in California local churches since the late 1990’s. I hold a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Leadership Development and Pastoral Counseling, and live with my wife, Lori, three children, and dog Teddy in the greater Sacramento area. Learn more about my family here.

Read about my journey to psoriasis advocacy:  Living with Psoriasis: “How a Painful Disease Inspired Me to Advocate for Others.”