HCMCXuan An, 22 years old, lives with thick, red scaly patches all over his body, peeling off for many years, running from South to North.
With the dream of becoming a mechanical engineer, Xuan An became a student of pharmacy in Ho Chi Minh City. During the high school years, psoriasis appeared thick, flaky, and fell around a lot.
“Hand skin is thin, sensitive, bleeding easily, so I decided to put aside my passion for operating machines by hand,” An said.
An under the pharmaceutical industry, partly wants to understand more about the disease, about medicines. “If at that time the disease was cured as well as now, I might have learned machine engineering techniques,” the fourth year student shared.
As a child, An appeared on the tongue like tongue fungus. Gradually, the red plaques spread throughout the body, the family runs towards eczema treatment. When An attended junior high school, his condition worsened, the dermatologist concluded psoriasis.
Treatment in the countryside of Vung Tau and some hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City did not heal, An and his mother wrapped their towels in the North. The mother and daughter went to the Central Dermatology Hospital, leprosy treatment facility in Thai Binh, ran and treated traditional healers in Cao Bang and many baths and cigarettes in traditional medicine establishments across the country.
“Unfortunately, my child was sick, I had to feel inferiority, so I became even more impatient, treating this place for a while and I couldn’t help but go away impatiently,” said Doan Thi Hoa, An’s mother. There were times when the healer had finished covering his medicine, An’s skin was swollen in pain.
An’s father is a naval soldier at the DK1 rig house, usually 6 to 8 months, or even a new year, on leave for a few days, the treatment process is only accompanied by his mother. For many years, he went everywhere without remission, his family’s economy gradually exhausted, An stopped treating his illnesses and accepted to live with flaky patches. An always wears long clothes when on the street, even in the classroom he wears a mask to shield.
In October 2019, the team of doctors at Ho Chi Minh City Dermatology Hospital held a health talk and awarded scholarships to the children of the soldiers of Brigade 171, Navy Zone 2 and the DK1 rig house in Vung Tau. Knowing An’s situation, the hospital staff donated 144 million VND, supported An’s treatment, helped An’s father feel secure in the sea.
Dr. Vu Thi Phuong Thao, Deputy Head of General Planning Department, Ho Chi Minh City Dermatology Hospital, said An was treated with biological drugs. This is the latest treatment method today, more targeted with high safety and effectiveness. By inhibiting specific components of the immune system, biological drugs do not affect or reduce the effect on body cells, thus limiting side effects.
According to Dr. Thao, a biological treatment drug recently applied, is indicated for patients with moderate to severe chronic psoriasis, or patients with psoriatic arthritis, from 18 years of age and older. This therapy provides a better lesion improvement but has a high cost.
“Biological drugs are the most advanced today, but old methods such as oral medications, topical drugs, phototherapy … still have a certain role, the doctor will consider appointing each patient”, the doctor Thao said.
After four injections over four weeks, the red, scaly patches disappear. Lesions on the skin are gone, leaving only post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks, looking like small, insignificant bruises.
Dr. Nguyen Thi Phan Thuy, Deputy Director of the Hospital of Dermatology, said that for the past year, An has maintained biologic injections once a month to control systemic inflammatory lesions, prevent other complications of psoriasis.
The cost of one treatment is about 16 million VND, the insurance covers 6.4 million.
“Psoriasis is a chronic disease that requires long-term treatment, so the hospital is mobilizing more donors to help An treat,” said Dr. Thuy.
He was disappointed many times because the more treatment he got, the worse his illness became. Now, An is more confident, hoping to be able to control the disease to have a normal life like everyone else.
Psoriasis is a benign, non-contagious dermatitis that cannot be completely cured, but if treated early and properly, the patient still has a normal life. Patients need to go to hospitals, medical facilities with dermatology specialties and treat diseases right from the beginning, help control and maintain stability, avoid the risk of deformation of joints and remnants. waste.