Man credits diet change and £19.99 skin cream for psoriasis

Man credits diet change and £19.99 skin cream for psoriasis

After waking up to find his face and body covered in red, scaly patches the size of a raindrop, an Arts Council official ‘become a hermit’ is looking forward to celebrating Manchester Pride this weekend after a £19.99 ‘miracle cream’ and diet change that cured his chafing – the look of skin.

Blessed with clear skin throughout his adolescence, Scott Cunningham, 27, suffered from mild psoriasis — a skin condition that causes scaly patches of often scaly skin — on his arms and torso when he turned 21.

Steroid creams kept the mild bouts at bay until October 2021, when Scott, of Salford, Greater Manchester, woke up to find his entire body and face covered in ugly, itchy red spots that wouldn’t budge.

His confidence waned so badly that I rarely went out. In April 2022, Scott says he replaced steroid creams with a vegan diet and an over-the-counter treatment that costs less than £20, adding: “Seeing my clearing face made me feel so happy.”

Psoriasis at its worst on Scott Cunningham’s back (Collect/PA Real Life)

He added, “I felt on top of the world and loved my scandalous, funny, rude self again.”

When Scott first started having psoriasis in October 2017 while studying for his master’s degree in radio and television screenwriting at Salford University, he didn’t think much about it.

He said, “I had just moved into my dormitory and climbed out of the shower and noticed two or three red spots on my torso.

“I just assumed it was the generally gloomy environment that was causing my skin to react.”

Scott Cunningham, 27, had psoriasis that covered his entire body (collect/PA Real Life)

Heading to the GP, Scott prescribed steroid creams to relieve dry patches of skin — which initially worked.

He said, “The creams worked, but when I look back, I think they just masked the problem instead of actually dealing with it.

“I got into the same old cycle of using steroid creams when my skin was bad for two weeks, watching the marks fade, then using a regular moisturizer for two weeks. Then my skin got bad and I would use the creams again.

“It was a vicious cycle, but at that point, it was just a minor annoyance.”

Scott Cunningham, 27, in June 2022, after regaining his confidence (collect/PA Real Life)

Scott added, “My skin hasn’t caused me physical pain and you can’t see stains with clothes, so I can still work, socialize, and date without feeling shy.”

But then, in October 2021, Scott, who is single, developed a sore throat, and woke up a few days later to find tiny red, scaly patches all over his body.

“It seems to have happened overnight,” he said.

“There were dozens of these pink raindrop-sized scales above me. I was really scared. I had no idea what had happened.”

Scott Cunningham, 27, lost all confidence when his psoriasis spread to his face (Collect/PA Real Life)

Back at the GP, Scott was diagnosed with guttate psoriasis — a skin condition that causes tiny, drop-shaped sores on the chest, arms, legs and scalp — and was prescribed more steroid creams.

But this time they didn’t work, according to Scott, who said, “The creams seem to have stopped working, but whenever I’ve seen anyone, they’re just saying it’s my only option.

“I’ve always been grateful for my youthful looks and have always been interested in dating apps, but I’m starting to lose all my confidence.” I had this awful feeling of dread every time I looked in the mirror – I looked horrible. I felt completely depressed and completely hopeless.”

Scott’s armpit psoriasis (collection/PA Real Life)

When the sores started spreading on Scott’s face in March 2022, he stopped going outside.

He said: I became a hermit.

“I turned off the camera during team meetings at work and stopped organizing to meet up with friends, because I didn’t want to be seen.

“If I had to go to the supermarket, I could see all the kids staring at me and that made me freak out.”

Scott Cunningham, 27, has psoriasis around his ear.

He added, “I once went to a newsagent and they asked me if I had an illness and got scared. I thought, ‘I will never buy my essentials from you again.'”

Heading to the Urgent Treatment Center at Manchester Royal Infirmary, Scott recommended special light therapy – which is often used to treat psoriasis – but faced a 60-week waiting list on the NHS.

Prescribing another cream and antihistamines, which had no effect, he decided to take matters into his own hands, and said, “It came to April and I thought, ‘I can’t handle this anymore.'”

Scott Cunningham, 27, before and after finding the cream and changing his diet (collection/PA Real Life)

Scott added, “I’ve been looking for guttate psoriasis for hours every evening – from 5:30 pm after work until 2 am – trying to understand the condition and how to improve it.”

Talking to fellow sufferers on skin forums and research digests, Scott has set himself a new diet—starting with his own.

He said, “Before I started this, I didn’t eat a lot of fruit or vegetables. I just made a living off takeaway – mainly pasta and chicken dinners – and anything I could get from chocolate.”

“I started with the apple, cucumber, and celery juice cleanse from natural skincare company, Hanna Sillitoe, for three days and then started making soups and dinners that were dairy-free, meat-free, and gluten-free.”

Scott Cunningham, 27, before and after finding the cream and changing his diet (collection/PA Real Life)

“I ate things like apple, beetroot and parsnip soup, carrot soup or pea risotto and mushroom meatballs,” he added.

At the same time, Scott began taking supplements including vitamin D3, zinc, omega-3, and magnesium, as well as exploring plastic-free moisturizers.

He said: I found Almond Skin Salvation After reading the recommendations and I got a 120ml jar for £19.99 for my face and gradually started noticing the difference.

“On my body, I started using another cream as well as applying coconut oil and turmeric essential oil on my body at night.”

Scott Cunningham, 27, Feels “Cool” Again (compilation/PA Real Life)

Combined with Scott’s new diet, he gradually started noticing a difference.

He said: “I was warned that for the first few days it could sometimes get worse before it got better, which it did for a while.

“Then it got to about a month and the spots were finally starting to shrink and less red.”

After regaining some confidence, Scott decided to join friends on vacation in Gran Canaria, Spain, in June, where he noticed a huge difference.

Scott Cunningham, 27, feels better than ever now that his skin has been cleansed (compilation/PA Real Life)

He added, “Every day I was getting better and being at sea and taking time away, by the end of the 10 days my face and body looked almost clear.

“I couldn’t believe it – it felt unbelievable.” While allowing himself to reintroduce some white meat and fish back into his diet, Scott continued his newfound love of fruits and vegetables and continued his strict skincare regimen—he finally started filling his social calendar again as his improved skin regained his self-confidence, he said. He said, “I went back to the clubs with friends in June and it was great, dancing all night and feeling great.”

Scott Cunningham, 27, with friends at Salford Pride in June (Collected/PA Real Life)

He added, “I’m back on dating apps too and feel more confident.

“You changed life.” And with Manchester Pride debuting this August punk weekend, Scott can’t wait to enjoy the party with friends without worrying about his skin.

He said, “I can’t wait to be with friends and feel good about myself, knowing I’m healthier and happier inside and out.”

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