Psoriasis is a common skin condition which can affect many of us throughout our lifetimes, but what is it and how do we treat it? With the professional help of our Nourished Life Naturopath Mel, I have put together this natural guide to Psoriasis.
Our Nourished Life Naturopath Melanie Ruckley regularly treats customers and patients with Psoriasis, so I thought it may be helpful to put together this guide as there are many different types of Psoriasis. It is important to treat your skin correctly! Of course this is a general guide only and it is always advisable to visit your health care professional for personal diagnoses, advice and treatment or speak to Naturopath Mel.
What is Psoriasis?
An inflammatory skin condition, Psoriasis is a common long-term skin complaint. It is not contagious, and there is no cure, but it can be controlled with correct treatment.1
What are the symptoms of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis symptoms can be different for different people, but some of the most common symptoms of Psoriasis may include lesions on the skin that are raised and red, namely on the scalp, elbows and knees, scaly patches, itchiness and flaking of skin.1 Patches of Psoriasis can also be known as 'plaques', covered in dry, silvery looking scales.2
5 types of Psoriasis
According to Psoriasis Australia, there are five main types of Psoriasis, with differing symptoms and characteristics:
This is one of the most common types of Psoriasis, which approximately 80% of those with Psoriasis suffer from. It is characterised by red lesions on the areas such as the elbows, scalp, knees and lower back. These lesions can be raised and covered by silvery or white dry skin patches, and can sometimes be itchy or even painful.
This type of Psoriasis can be common in children as it is often developed during childhood, and appears as small, pink spots or dots on the skin. These spots are usually found on the legs, arms and torso.
Inverse Psoriasis can be found in areas of the body which 'fold', such as the armpits, behind the knees, in genital areas and under the breasts. This type of Psoriasis can be characterised by bright red areas of skin that are shiny or smooth.
This form of Psoriasis mostly affects adults only. Pustular Psoriasis presents on the skin as white blisters and redness on the skin. The blisters can contain pus (non-infectious and non-contagious.) It is usually found on the hands and feet, but in more extreme cases it may occur elsewhere on the body. Pustular Psoriasis may be painful.
Known as the most severe form of Psoriasis, Erythrodermic Psoriasis is highly inflammatory and can cover the majority of the body's surface. Skin is usually extremely itchy, red and flaky. It may occur in those who have 'unstable' Plaque Psoriasis but is generally rare - around 3% of Psoriasis sufferers experience this form. It may require hospitalisation.3
What causes Psoriasis?
The exact cause of Psoriasis is unknown, but it is generally considered to occur in those with a genetic tendency. This tendency may cause the skin's immune system to react to 'triggers', causing inflammation in the body.2 Psoriasis may be hereditary, running in the family. Certain types of medications or infections may trigger the condition or cause flare-ups. Injuries to the skin and smoking are also known to be factors in some types of Psoriasis flare-ups.1 Psoriasis has also been linked to other health issues such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.2
Natural treatment for soothing Psoriasis
According to Naturopath Mel, Psoriasis should be treated by your health care professional. With this guidance, it is essential to have a broad based approach for treating Psoriasis, often a stubborn and uncomfortable inflammatory condition. Topical treatments for Psoriasis can include trying out different balms, oils or cream to discover which works best for you. Supplements may also be prescribed for internal use. Some other key aspects to consider are lifestyle and stress, as some skin conditions may be associated with factors such as anxiety. Dietary triggers for Psoriasis may also be considered by your health care professional in their inflammatory impact.
If symptoms persist, please consult your health care professional. You can contact our Nourished Life Naturopath by emailing .
Sources: 1 Better Health, 2 Health Direct, 3 Psoriasis Australia.