Mum-of-two Alex, who lives in Daventry, was hospitalised with psoriasis when she was just five years old and suffered from the skin disorder for two years before it went away.
But a stressful end to last year - with eldest son Jaden suffering from tonsillitis, youngest son Archie having suspected scarlet fever and Alex facing surgery to improve her hearing - saw the rash return.
“At first it was just an itch on my shins and, to be honest I hoped it was just a shaving rash. But within days I knew it was psoriasis and could do nothing as I watched it spread over my entire body,” she explained.
Alex, who is a detective constable in Coventry, went to see her GP and was prescribed a variety of creams but, as these failed to tackle the problem, she was sent to skin specialist Dr Joanne Gach.
It was when Dr Gach sent her for phototherapy at Spire Parkway Hospital in Solihull that Alex began to 'see the light'.
The treatment involved Alex being exposed to sessions of narrowband UVB light in a cabinet, like a large telephone box.
“Patients receive a fraction of the energy that would be delivered by a high street sunbed, therefore reducing the risk of skin cancer and side effects,” explained Spire Parkway specialist physiotherapist Julie Collins.
“Instead the light emitted penetrates the skin, slows the growth of affected cells, calms the inflammation and allows good skin to replace the parts affected by psoriasis.”
Phototherapy can also be used in the treatment of other skin complaints such as eczema, mitiligo, polymorphous light eruption (prickly heat), mycocis fungoides, pruritus (itching) and acne.
Now, after 20 sessions treatments, Alex says she is delighted with the results and is looking forward to the warmer weather when she can start to ‘show some skin’ once again.
She said: “It has been a tough time. All I wanted was to be able to touch my skin without feeling roughness and soreness. I wanted to wear clothes I liked rather than what would hide my condition.
“I would cover up completely when could. I avoided going to social events as I was embarrassed and I was unable to concentrate at work because of the soreness and itchiness.
“Now I’m looking forward to a summer of tee shirts and swimsuits! I’ve always been sporty and it’s great to get back out and about with the family when the weather warms up!
“It has been a low point in my life but I have had great support from my hubby Jarrod as well as from my GP Dr Atia Rafiq and the people at Spire Parkway physio department who were all helpful and encouraging.”
Rash on Alex's legs
Out and about with husband Jarrod and sons Jaden and Archie