Are You Battling Psoriasis?
We fully understand the suffering that comes along with psoriasis and the great lengths that are travelled by many to try and manage this painful disease. Psoriasis is not a cosmetic problem. It’s not just a skin condition. And it’s not about vanity. Most people don’t understand that when you suffer from psoriasis, you have to constantly think about it. What if you scratch your psoriasis? How much will it bleed? How difficult is it to know that some people don’t want to touch you or your surroundings? For those people who have mild psoriasis – isolated patches on the knees, elbows, scalp, hands and feet – topical treatments, including moisturizers, prescription creams, ointments and shampoos are usually sufficient to control the plaques. These best in the market psoriasis treatment products possess the healing ability to promote the formation of new tissue and accelerate the growth of healthy skin. This characteristic means they are ideal treatment for many common skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
The Best Psoriasis Treatment
Psoriasis is believed to be an autoimmune disease in which the body mistakenly detects its own tissue as foreign and attacks itself. When it comes to conventional treatment, doctors take into consideration how serious your case is, the type of psoriasis and the size of the psoriasis patches. Doctors will often switch conventional treatments if one isn’t effective, you have a bad reaction or if it stops working all together.
Conventional treatment is often difficult, and currently the most common remedies are retinoids or immunosuppressant drugs. The latter are often steroids or cyclosporine, which come with concerning side effects even if they’re effective in treating psoriasis.
For mild disease that involves only small areas of the body (less than 10% of the total skin surface), topical treatments (skin applied), such as creams, lotions, and sprays, may be very effective and safe to use. For moderate to severe disease that involves much larger areas of the body (>10% or more of the total skin surface), topical products may not be effective or practical to apply. This may require ultraviolet light treatments or systemic (total body treatments such as pills or injections) medicines, although internal medications usually have greater risks. Because topical therapy has no effect on psoriatic arthritis, systemic medications are generally required to stop the progression to permanent joint destruction.A proposal to minimize the toxicity of some of these medicines has been commonly called "rotational" therapy. The idea is to change the anti-psoriasis drugs every six to 24 months in order to minimize the toxicity of one medication. Depending on the medications selected, this proposal can be an option. An exception to this proposal is the use of the newer biologic medications as described below. An individual who has been using strong topical steroids over large areas of their body for prolonged periods may benefit from stopping the steroids for a while and rotating onto a different therapy, like calcitriol (Vectical), light therapy, or a systemic drug.
When psoriasis is severe, doctors will likely use systemic treatment, which means prescription drugs or medicine given through a shot. Combination therapy for psoriasis uses topical, light and systemic treatments in unison, all of which come with side effects that a natural remedy like a psoriasis diet does not.
Here are some conventional treatments, creams, lotions, and home remedies:
Topical (skin applied) treatments include topical corticosteroids, vitamin D analogue creams like calcitriol, topical retinoids (tazarotene [Tazorac]), moisturizers, topical immunomodulators (tacrolimus and pimecrolimus), coal tar, anthralin, and others.Topical corticosteroids (steroids, such as hydrocortisone) can be very useful and are often the first-line treatment for limited or small areas of psoriasis. Strong steroid preparations should be limited in use though. Overuse or prolonged use may cause problems, including potential permanent skin thinning and damage called atrophy.
Calcitriol cream is useful in psoriasis because of its effect on calcium metabolism. The advantage of calcitriol is that it is not known to thin the skin like topical steroids. A similar drug, calcipotriol (Rocaltrol, Vectical, Calcijex) or calcipotriene (Dovonex, Sorilux), may be used in combination with topical steroids for better results.
Moisturizers, especially with therapeutic concentrations of salicylic acid, lactic acid, urea, and glycolic acid may be helpful in psoriasis. These moisturizers are available as prescription and nonprescription forms. They help reduce the scales that impede the movement of topical medications into the deeper layers of the skin and may be used one to three times a day on the body. Other bland moisturizers, including Vaseline may also be helpful in at least reducing the dry appearance of psoriasis.
Bath salts or bathing in high-salt-concentration waters like the Dead Sea in the Middle East along with careful exposure to sunlight can be beneficial to psoriasis patients.
Coal tar is available in multiple preparations, including shampoos, bath solutions, and creams. Coal tar may help reduce the appearance and decrease the flakes in psoriasis. The odor, staining, and overall messiness with coal tar may make it less desirable than other therapies. A major advantage with tar is lack of skin thinning.Coal tar shampoos are very useful in controlling psoriasis of the scalp. Using the shampoo daily can be very beneficial adjunctive therapy. There are a variety of shampoos available without a prescription. There is no evidence that one shampoo is superior to another. Generally, the selection of a tar shampoo is simply a matter of personal preference.
Most doctors are unsure about what causes psoriasis, but many natural physicians have found contributing factors. The causes of psoriasis include:-Poor diet-Abnormal small intestine permeability-An increased number of T cells in the blood, dermis and epidermis-Difficulty digesting protein-Emotional stress-Hormonal changes-Genetics-Vitamin D deficiency-Poor liver function
If you want to overcome psoriasis, one of the best way to see great improvements is by following a healthy and healing diet. Natural or holistic treatment aims to get at the root of the problem. For many people, anti-inflammatory foods combined with a healing psoriasis diet is one of the best ways to naturally treat psoriasis.Studies have been looking at the link between intestinal structure and function in the development of psoriasis for decades. Some experts believe that psoriasis is actually caused by intestinal permeability, specifically in the area between the duodenum and the jejunum. Consequently, the body seeks to eliminate the toxins through the skin. In this model, psoriasis represents the body’s desperate attempt to cleanse itself.Here are some natural ways to help combat psoriasis:
Essential oils like lavender, frankincense, geranium and tea tree oil can soothe inflamed skin and support the healing process, without the need for irritating prescription creams. First perform a small patch test to make sure you don’t react badly to the oils. Use a very small amount, since essential oils are highly concentrated. Mix three drops of lavender oil and three drops of frankincense oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil and rub onto the affected area one to three times daily.
Both emotional and physical stress can cause psoriasis to develop or psoriasis symptoms to become worse. Many studies have found that a high proportion of patients with high amounts of emotional stress experience some sort of disease or illness, which can then cause even more stress and trigger a vicious cycle. People with psoriasis who use relaxation techniques and stress relievers (like exercise, meditation, yoga and spending time outdoors) can help keep inflammation at bay and therefore psoriasis symptoms under control. Making an effort to reduce stress usually ends with improvements in symptoms, which makes sense considering psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder. Autoimmune disorders are often aggravated by stress due to how the “fight or flight” response impacts the immune system, releasing higher levels of inflammatory proteins called cytokines and contributing to hormonal imbalances.
However simple it may sound, exercising and drinking plenty of water are two easy and effective ways to help heal psoriasis. When it comes to bathing, you definitely don’t want to use water that’s too hot because this can further dry and inflame your skin. Soaking in a lukewarm bath containing dead sea salts, Epsom salt or oats for around 15 minutes can help remove scales and calm itching. Be sure to apply moisturizer to your skin as soon as you get out of a bath or shower — this way you can seal some water into your skin, which can help to calm and heal psoriasis patches.
Homeopathy is another natural remedy shown to improve psoriasis. Studies have shown that homeopathic treatment of psoriasis patients results in improved symptoms and overall quality of life.
If you’re a fan of Ayurvedic medicine, you may want to try Panchakarma therapy, which involves plant-based remedies and dietary changes aimed at detoxifying the body. A vegetarian diet is often recommended as well. The Panchakarma treatments include consuming ghee and medicated enemas.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine may also help some people with psoriasis. In Chinese medicine, psoriasis is viewed as a health issues caused by the stagnation of blood. Some herbs a Chinese medicine doctor may prescribe include turmeric, zedoaria (similar to ginger), dang gui, red peony and sarsaparilla. Dittany, sophora and tribulus may also be prescribed to relieve psoriasis-related itching.
When it comes to natural treatment for psoriasis, these are some of the best foods to consume on a regular basis. The more you consume healing, anti-inflammatory foods, the more improvement you will see in your skin’s health.
Probiotic foods — Look for organic, raw, cultured dairy like kefir, yogurt and cultured vegetables. Consuming foods high in probiotics can support digestion, reduce inflammation and boost immunity. There have been many, many personal accounts of probiotics clearing up stubborn psoriasis that did not respond to conventional treatment.
High-fiber foods —Fruits, vegetables, beans and seeds are all rich in fiber. By upping your intake of high-fiber foods you can help to keep your digestive system healthy, which helps avoid constipation and keep your natural detoxification processes on track.
Foods high in antioxidants — Similar to the lineup for fiber-rich foods, foods high in antioxidants include vegetables, fruits, herbs, beans and nuts. Some choices that top the list when it comes to antioxidants include goji berries, wild blueberries, pecans, cilantro and kidney beans. Antioxidant consumption is especially important since psoriasis sufferers are at a greater risk for cancer and heart disease.
Foods high in zinc — Zinc is critical for keeping skin healthy. Some evidence shows that zinc helps reduce pain and joint swelling for psoriasis sufferers. Grass-fed beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, kefir and chickpeas are all great sources of zinc.
Foods high in vitamin A — Think orange, yellow and dark leafy green vegetables. Increasing your vitamin A intake is critical for skin healing naturally. Good sources of vitamin A includes cantaloupe, carrots, mango, tomatoes, kale, collard greens and watermelon.
Wild-caught fish — Fish like salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines are excellent sources of vitamin D as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which are both key to improving psoriasis. Vitamin D is clinically proven to help fight psoriasis. If you have psoriasis, fish should be the new leading protein in your life rather than meat and conventional dairy products. Studies have shown that eating fewer protein-rich foods, primarily meats and dairy products, may help ease psoriasis flare-ups.
Herbs and spices — Herbs and spices are anti-inflammatory and contain antioxidants. Curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice known as turmeric, is known for its potent health properties. A 2012 scientific review specifically notes turmeric’s ability to alter TNF cytokine expression, which are known to play an essential role in the start and continuation of psoriatic lesions. This is probably why patients find turmeric helpful in minimizing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis flare-ups. You can liberally add this spice to your food, keeping in mind that the FDA considers 1.5 to 3.0 grams of turmeric per day safe.
Aloe Vera — Applied externally and taken internally, aloe vera is very soothing to the body, especially to the digestive system and skin.
When you’re on a psoriasis diet, you definitely want to avoid processed foods, simple sugars, alcohol, conventional dairy, conventional meats, hydrogenated oils and fried foods. You should also keep caffeine intake low. For some sufferers, a gluten-free diet helps improve symptoms. If you or your doctor think that you might have a gluten allergy or any other type of food allergy, then food allergy testing or an elimination diet can help guide you toward what to avoid in your diet.
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Precautions Regarding Psoriasis:If you already use conventional treatment for your psoriasis, check with your doctor before adding any supplements or other natural remedies to your regimen. Also, check with your doctor before taking any supplements if you have any ongoing health concerns or are currently taking medication. Some supplements and herbs may interact with common prescription medications, such as blood thinners and birth control pills.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, ask your doctor before using any conventional or natural treatments for psoriasis.When using essential oils for psoriasis, always perform a small patch test to make sure you don’t react badly to any essential oil. Also, always dilute the essential oils in a base oil like coconut. If you generally have sensitive skin, be even more careful when using essential oils.
There is a lot of heartache that comes with spending thousands of dollars on treatments that give mild results and could potentially be very harmful to your health. Don’t fall victim to the standard skin care brands that advertise generic psoriasis + eczema products. These treatments not only restore your skin to its natural pH levels, but they also infuse mass hydration along with the nutrients necessary for your damaged cells to heal. This is what allows you to recover extremely quickly so you don’t have to live with the pain, plaque, flaking, itching, or the bleeding. Don’t let psoriasis and eczema take control of your life, take the control into your own hands with these premium treatments and products and live a life free of these painful and inconvenient symptoms.