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Psoriasis is a stable autoimmune disease that is characterized by patches of abnormal skin. These skin patches are typically red, itchy, and scaly. They may vary in severity from small and localized to complete body coverage. Psoriasis is generally thought to be a genetic disease that is triggered by environmental factors. Symptoms often worsen during winter and with certain medications such as beta-blockers or NSAIDs. Although there is no cure, symptoms can be managed with steroid creams and UV light therapy.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a long-lasting autoimmune disease that is characterized by patches of abnormal skin. These skin patches are typically red, itchy, and scaly. They may vary in severity from small and localized to complete body coverage. Psoriasis is generally thought to be a genetic disease that is triggered by environmental factors. Symptoms often worsen during winter and with certain medications such as beta-blockers or NSAIDs. Although there is no cure, symptoms can be managed with steroid creams and UV light therapy.
What causes psoriasis?
The exact cause of psoriasis isn’t known, but doctors believe that it’s due to a combination of things, including:
- Autoimmune response – where the body wrongly attacks healthy cells.
- Genetics – a person is more likely to develop the condition if a close relative has it.
- Harsh detergents-solvents and other irritants on the skin.
- Infections – such as streptococcal or viral infections.
Treatment aims to reduce the redness, swelling, and itching to improve your quality of life so you can get on with everyday activities. Medication isn’t a cure for psoriasis but often helps keep it under control in the long term. Many different types of medication can be used to manage psoriasis depending on how severe your symptoms are and where they’re located on your body:
Here are thirty ways you can fight psoriasis:
- Vitamin D and Omega 3
Several studies suggest that people with psoriasis tend to be deficient in Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids. Taking supplements of these two nutrients may help fight the disease. Sources for this information include:
- Eat More Fish
Fish are rich in omega 3-fatty acids, which have been shown to improve psoriasis symptoms when taken as a dietary supplement. You can also eat more fish! It is also believed that consuming fish regularly may lower one’s risk of developing psoriasis via anti-inflammatory properties. Try this recipe for Maple Glazed Salmon!
- Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains EGCG, catechins, and other antioxidants, which research has shown to fight psoriasis. In a recent study, people with moderate to severe psoriasis who drank 4 cups of green tea daily showed significant improvement in their skin lesions after eight weeks of treatment. Green tea isn’t the only source of antioxidants that may help fight psoriasis. Here is a list of many foods high in antioxidants!
- Use a Sunscreen
You can decrease your risk of developing plaque psoriasis by using a sunscreen lotion every day and avoiding sun exposure between 10 am – 2 pm when ultraviolet rays are strongest, even on overcast days.
- Decrease Stress Levels
Stress may worsen symptoms, so it’s essential to manage stress levels to reduce flare-ups. Whether it be meditation, tai chi, or simply taking 5 minutes out of your day to breathe, find something that works for you. Perhaps you might learn how to sew!
Studies have shown that people with psoriasis are more likely to be deficient zinc than those without the disease. It is recommended that if you have psoriasis, you should take a daily supplement of 30-50mgs of zinc.
- Keep Your Diet Gluten-Free
Gluten may worsen symptoms for some people; therefore, it’s essential to keep a gluten-free diet and read labels carefully (for example, beer and other products made from barley can contain gluten). This will help fight psoriasis and help with other autoimmune diseases, allergies, and even arthritis.
- Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains EGCG, catechins, and other antioxidants, which research has shown to fight psoriasis. In a recent study, people with moderate to severe psoriasis who drank 4 cups of green tea daily showed significant improvement in their skin lesions after eight weeks of treatment. Green tea isn’t the only source of antioxidants that may help fight psoriasis.
- Sunlight or UV Therapy
Research suggests that exposure to ultraviolet (UVB) rays from the sun or artificial sources such as tanning beds may improve plaque psoriasis symptoms than topical treatments alone. The UVB rays have been shown to slow down the replication of skin cells and reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin D
Studies suggest people with psoriasis tend to be deficient in Vitamin D. If you are deficient, taking supplements of Vitamin D may help fight the disease. Studies also show that ultraviolet (UV) light treatment can increase vitamin D blood levels in people with psoriasis and a vitamin-D deficiency.
- Manage Stress
Stress may worsen skin symptoms, so it’s essential to manage stress levels to reduce flare-ups. Whether it be meditation, tai chi, or simply taking 5 minutes out of your day to breathe, find something that works for you. Perhaps you might learn how to sew!
- Calendula Cream
Applying calendula cream on affected areas has been shown in some studies to improve symptoms for people with psoriasis. Calendula, also called pot marigold, is a plant that belongs to the daisy family of flowers.
- Go Sulfur – Free
Sulfur-based compounds are often found in cleansers and topical medications used to treat psoriasis, especially coal tar-based ones. However, many sulfur treatments can be irritating to the skin. You may want to consider avoiding these types of products if you have sensitive skin.
- Grape Seed Extracts
Grape seed extracts contain proanthocyanidin antioxidants which studies show help reduce inflammation associated with plaque psoriasis. Try this grape seed extract product
- Anti – Inflammatory Diet
Eliminating inflammatory foods from your diet may help alleviate some symptoms such as pain, redness, swelling, and irritation. Some research suggests that reducing the amount of dairy you consume, choosing whole grains over processed grains, and limiting sugar intake might help improve plaque psoriasis. A balanced vegan diet with lots of fruits and veggies has also been shown to help fight psoriasis.
- Vitamin A
A form of vitamin A called retinoids is often used topically to treat mild cases of plaque psoriasis in adults or children older than 12 years old. You may want to talk with your doctor before using products containing high amounts of vitamin-A because too much can cause side effects!
When a potato is exposed to sunlight or heat, it produces a chemical called Solanum Tuberosum L. This chemical has been shown to suppress inflammation which may help alleviate psoriasis symptoms. There’s even research that suggests eating cooked potatoes with skins on them may decrease psoriasis symptoms.
- Get More Iron
Eating foods high in iron can help improve your red blood cells and hemoglobin levels, so you might want to consider including more iron-rich plant foods such as lentils, organic chicken breast, and spinach in your diet. Your body doesn’t absorb as much iron from animal sources as plant sources so if you are having trouble getting enough iron, try adding more lentils and spinach to your diet. Supplementing with vitamins is also an option!
- Avoid Alcohol
Although drinking beer might help you forget that you have psoriasis temporarily, consuming too much alcohol can make symptoms of the disease worse over time. If you choose to drink, limit alcohol consumption to 1 glass of red wine for women and two glasses of red wine for men per day.
- Stinging Nettle
The leaves of the stinging nettle plant contain tiny needle-shaped hairs called trichomes, which can irritate the skin on contact. This is why it’s essential to use either a tincture or extract containing stinging nettle if you want to use this herb for psoriasis.
- Willow Bark Extracts
Extracts from the bark of the willow tree contain natural salicin, which is chemically similar to acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin). People have used willow bark extracts for thousands of years as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory. It’s best to try and extract standardized to 15% or 30% Salicin!
- Borage Oil
Borage oil is a natural source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega – 6 fatty acid that have been shown to decrease inflammation. Borage oil also contains high amounts of vitamin E, which can help promote healthy skin. If you want to try using borage for psoriasis, make sure you choose cold-pressed organic borage oil and take one tablespoon of the oil per day. You may even want to consider taking both fish oil and borage oil rich in GLA for best results.
Retinoids are topical prescription creams or gels containing vitamin A derivatives that work by regulating skin cells. They decrease the rate at which skin cells in the outermost layer of the epidermis, called the stratum corneum, multiply. This is why retinoids can be used to treat psoriasis.
- Licorice Root
Licorice root has natural anti-inflammatory properties and contains compounds called liquiritins and isoliquiritins, which increase collagen production. It’s best to choose organic licorice root extract standardized for glabridin since this compound has been shown to have both anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor activities in laboratory studies!
- Calcineurin inhibitors
Calcineurin inhibitors like Protopic( tacrolimus ) and Elidel ( pimecrolimus ) are topical prescription drugs that work by stopping your T cells from producing chemicals that promote inflammation. Although calcineurin inhibitors don’t cure psoriasis, they can help reduce symptoms. If you’re interested in trying one of these treatments, remember that following the directions on the package insert is essential!
Selenium is a trace mineral required for the proper function of the immune system that can fight inflammation. If you’re deficient in selenium, it may worsen psoriasis symptoms! Try supplementing with 200 micrograms of selenomethionine per day if you want to try using selenium to help psoriasis.
- Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that can slough off dead skin cells on the surface of the epidermis, which makes it helpful in treating psoriasis. If you want to try using salicylic acid for your psoriasis, make sure you choose an over-the-counter product that contains 2% salicylic acid or 20% urea.
- Light Therapy
One of the most popular home remedies for psoriasis is UVB phototherapy (light therapy), where a special lightbox is used to emit ultraviolet B radiation. There’s no doubt that UVB light therapy can be effective. Still, it should only be used under close supervision by a medical expert since there are some critical safety concerns and contraindications!
- Oral Medications
Although oral medications are not used to treat psoriasis directly, they can be very effective for treating the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. There are various types of drugs doctors may prescribe, including NSAIDs, biologics, and corticosteroids.
- Alternative treatments
Alternative treatments for psoriasis that may be helpful include acupuncture, yoga, homeopathic treatment, and meditation! Homeopathic treatment may benefit psoriasis, including topical ointments containing Sulfur , Arsenic album, and Psorinum.
Using homeopathic treatment for psoriasis:
- Homeopathic treatment for psoriasis can be very effective, but keep in mind that it may take a few months before you notice any positive effects.
- Homeopathic treatment is not just about treating the symptoms – there are emotional and spiritual elements, so try to maintain a positive attitude!
- Homeopathic treatment for psoriasis helps to prevent recurrence of symptoms. Homeopathy doctors help the patients to lead a healthy life by maintaining a proper diet and exercise.
If you want to try homeopathic treatment for psoriasis, you can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy right now!