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Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes your skin cells to grow too fast. This results in the formation of thick, red scaly patches that are itchy and painful. Psoriasis varies significantly in severity from one person to another. Some people may only have a few small spots, while others can have severe psoriasis covering much of their bodies. Psoriasis is not contagious, but it can be extremely challenging to live with as it can cause significant mental and physical discomfort. If you think you might have psoriasis or want information about treatment options, consult your skin doctor. Your skin doctor can confirm whether you have psoriasis or suggest other conditions that may be causing your symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to managing psoriasis. Treatment also helps relieve symptoms, prevents or slows further skin damage, and enables you to feel better about yourself.
A variety of treatments are available in India for psoriasis depending on your needs, lifestyle, level of discomfort, and type of psoriasis you have. Your doctor may use one or a combination of these treatments:
- Topical medications: These are creams, ointments, or gels that contain a drug that reduces skin inflammation and slows the growth of skin cells. Generally, topical medications such as corticosteroids and vitamin D derivatives work best in mild to moderate psoriasis.
- Topical retinoids: These drugs help unclog pores, remove scales from the skin’s surface, and slow down cell production to reduce symptoms like thickening or scaling and redness. These include vitamin A-related substances such as Tazarotene.
- Systemic Medications:Oral or IV medicines may be used to treat severe psoriasis resistant to topical treatments (treatment applied directly to the affected skin area). These may include:
- Methotrexate: This is a medicine that you take by mouth and affects specific cells in your body, which slows down the rate of cell division and reduces scaling and thickening of the skin. Methotrexate is usually reserved for severe psoriasis or those who cannot tolerate topical medications or phototherapy (treatment using light) alone.
- Retinoids:Like topical retinoids, these drugs help unclog pores and remove scales from the skin’s surface to reduce symptoms such as thickening or scaling of the skin and redness.
iii. Cyclosporine is a drug taken orally that targets specific immune system cells, stopping them from producing substances that trigger psoriasis. It effectively manages moderate to severe psoriasis when other therapies have not worked or are not appropriate.
- Biologic medications: These medicines against specific molecules that your immune system uses to cause inflammation in your body. They act by blocking tumor necrosis factor (TNF) activity, which helps relieve symptoms of psoriasis and slow further skin damage. Common drugs in this category include adalimumab, etanercept, infliximab, certolizumab pegol, ustekinumab, etc.
v . UV light therapy: This treatment is used when topical treatments do not work to reduce the elevated skin cell production that causes psoriasis. It is also used to treat mild cases of the disease.
- Vitamin D analogs: These drugs are usually used for mild to moderate psoriasis. They are oral medications that slow the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation by stopping vitamin D from working correctly. These include calcipotriol, tacalcitol, calcitriol, doxercalciferol, and others.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medical treatment that involves inserting needles into your body at specific points to relieve pain or treat an illness. It is still being studied in India using psoriasis-related research studies or trials.
- Phototherapy or light therapy:This treatment uses natural or artificial ultraviolet light to slow down the production of skin cells involved in causing psoriasis symptoms. Other treatments may be used with phototherapy to treat specific areas of your body.
- Calcineurin inhibitors: These are oral or topical medications that are effective in treating psoriasis. Side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes.
- Coal tar: This is a thick black liquid by-product of the manufacture of coke from coal and is used as a topical treatment for mild psoriasis.
- Immune system suppressants: These drugs reduce inflammation throughout your body and slow down cell production involved in psoriasis.
- Combination therapy: Treatment using two or more therapies or medicine together may be used if other treatments do not work to resolve your symptoms.
- Salicylic acid: This is a keratolytic agent that reduces the scaling and shedding of the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, but it may cause irritation or other side effects when used for long periods.
- Urea: This topical ointment helps reduce the scaling and thickening of the skin by removing corneocytes (cells in your skin). It can be found in moisturizers or creams applied directly to the body’s affected area(s).
- Vitamin A-related substances: These are sometimes known as retinoids and reduce cell reproduction involved in psoriasis while helping remove scales from the skin’s surface to resolve symptoms such as thickening or scaling of psoriasis areas, redness, and swelling.
- Vitamin B-related substances:These are oral medications that help stop the production of skin cells in psoriasis while also reducing inflammation in your body. They’re usually used to treat severe forms of the disease when other therapies, such as topical creams or phototherapy, do not work or are not appropriate for you.
- Anti-itch drugs:Some people with psoriasis may develop itchy, scaly rashes on their skin and need relief from this symptom to continue treatment. Over-the-counter products containing corticosteroids (e.g., hydrocortisone) or antihistamines provide temporary relief from itching and inflammation associated with psoriasis.
- Psychological support:People who have severe psoriasis also often seek mental health counseling or therapy for stress, anxiety, and depression caused by their condition. Most cases of psoriasis are not linked to a person’s psychological state, but it can still cause significant discomfort or distress in some people.
Alternative psoriasis treatment:
- Aloe vera:This is a plant that has been used for centuries, and in some cultures, the gel from its leaves is applied to areas of psoriasis infection. However, there is little evidence to support the use of aloe vera in treating psoriasis or related skin conditions.
- Burdock root: The plant, which has thorny leaves resembling cacti, can be applied to areas of inflammation or ingested in capsules. There is also little evidence that it helps treat psoriasis symptoms.
- Yoga therapy: This treatment uses gentle stretching exercises combined with breathing techniques to help reduce stress and tension in your body. You may feel relaxed during a yoga session. Still, it is not known if this type of therapy will improve the severity or frequency of psoriasis symptoms you experience throughout the day.
- Physical activity: Daily exercises, such as jogging or cycling, may help decrease the discomfort associated with psoriasis by reducing pain and depression while helping you maintain more muscular muscles. Weight loss often occurs when psoriasis is treated.
- Acupuncture:This practice involves inserting and manipulating fine needles into specific points on your body to produce a healing effect that may result in less pain, improved circulation, or improved immune function throughout the body. While it has not yet been scientifically proven as an effective treatment for psoriasis, many people say they like this alternative therapy because it’s non-invasive and can help reduce stress related to their condition.
- Meditation:This wellness practice emphasizes focusing attention inward, away from everyday thoughts and activities, to achieve greater self-awareness and vitality throughout your body and mind. The goal of meditation is to learn how to live in the present moment where your symptoms cannot control your life by disengaging from negative thought patterns or feeling upset about your condition.
- Acupressure: This is another alternative therapy that involves the use of gentle pressure on specific points or areas of your body (such as elbows, knees, and feet) to reduce pain, discomfort, inflammation, promote relaxation, and improve blood flow throughout your body. Research suggests that acupressure may effectively treat psoriasis because it lowers stress hormones associated with worsening symptoms.
- Unani treatments: This is an ancient form of medicine in India and involves using herbs or herbal extracts to treat many different health conditions, including psoriasis. Traditional Unani doctors recommend the topical application of a paste made from dried and crushed leaves of the Ocimum sanctum plant (holy basil) for treating psoriasis. In contrast, others prescribe supplements containing the Ayurvedic herb Withania somnifera (ashwagandha).
- Ayurveda:A branch of alternative medicine based on ancient Indian philosophy that uses natural remedies to help restore balance in the body. Some practitioners suggest drinking tea made from the leaves of the Lawsonia inermis plant (henna), which has been used for centuries to treat various types of skin conditions, including psoriasis.
- Homeopahtic treatment for psoriasis:
This is another alternative treatment method that may be used to treat psoriasis. It involves taking a solution or medication prepared from natural substances (such as mineral deposits, plant derivatives, and venom) known to cause symptoms similar to your disease when introduced into the body in tiny doses. The goal of this type of treatment is to stimulate your body’s ability to heal through controlled self-poisoning that causes mild discomfort followed by improvement in your health over time. While homeopathic remedies are usually well-tolerated, it can take longer than other treatments for psoriasis symptoms to improve.
Homeopathic treatment for psoriasis is one of the treatments which treats the root cause of psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease. In psoriatic conditions, the immune system becomes hyperactive and produces high cytokines, which further activate cells responsible for inflammation in the body. This excess production of cytokines triggers pathological changes in the skin resulting in plaque formation or red patches on the skin surface. Homeopathy tries to modulate this over-activated immune response to stop progression and alleviate symptoms. It also improves overall immunity so that condition doesn’t relapse again in the future.
Some homeopathic medicines that help in cases of psoriasis include:
– Sulphur – Calc Phos, Graphites, Tarentula hispanica, Silicea, Rhus tox, etc
Apart from this, many other well-known medicines can help in psoriasis. The key is to find the proper treatment and the right potency for you as an individual. This requires a trained homeopathy doctor or a professional homeopathic doctor with adequate experience and training in treating such cases.
Lifestyle changes to prevent psoriasis:
In addition to treatment, you can make some lifestyle changes at home that may help reduce psoriasis symptoms. These include:
- a) Smoking can make psoriasis worse in some people, so staying away from cigarettes is one way to prevent skin cells from dividing more rapidly, which reduces the severity of symptoms.
- b) Avoiding injury or trauma to your skin can help prevent the worsening of symptoms in some instances. It may be necessary in some cases to wear gloves when doing tasks that can irritate the skin. Injury or trauma may trigger (GLA -changes in the disease process and exacerbate symptoms.
- c) Staying out of the sun is essential not only for preventing skin cancer but also because UV radiation can worsen psoriasis.
- d) Maintaining an ideal weight may be beneficial as being overweight may increase how quickly new skin cells are produced, making psoriasis symptoms more severe. Keep in mind that losing weight isn’t always easy. However, it’s essential to try to maintain healthy body weight.
- e) Taking certain dietary supplements like vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil), evening primrose oil, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), and zinc may help relieve symptoms of psoriasis. However, you should be aware that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of dietary supplements in the treatment of psoriasis.
If your medications cause side effects such as skin irritation or dryness, ask your skin doctor to minimize these problems, so your skin remains healthy and less irritated. It’s important not to stop taking any medication without approval from your physician first. People with psoriasis can develop secondary infections when dead skin cells aren’t removed from their bodies quickly enough. This build-up causes a layer of decay on top of red patches, leading to disease or worsening of symptoms. For more information, book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy!