So, scaly, irritated skin sucks. That much is obvious... but what can we do to soothe, manage and calm psoriasis? Read on to find out what causes it and what you can do about it.
Psoriasis is caused by the skin cells maturing way quicker than they should, resulting in flaky build-up. 125 million people worldwide are affected. Psoriasis affects one in fifty Australians and there are more than 300,000 of us suffering with psoriasis right now.
Simply living in Australia gives us an advantage over many other parts of the world, in that you are much less likely to suffer from psoriasis if you live somewhere hot and sunny.
What causes psoriasis?
Think back to when your psoriasis first flared up. You probably have a genetic tendency to psoriasis which lay dormant until it was triggered by a life event like stress, injury, illness or chemical exposure. By working out what else was going on in your life when the psoriasis first reared its ugly head, you may be able to pinpoint some ways to manage it.
Here are some potential triggers to consider:
- alcohol and/or recreational drugs
- cold climates
- chemical exposure
- digestive problems
- illness, especially bad throat infection
- stress or depression
- eating too much meat or saturated fat
- injury or surgery
Diet and health for psoriasis treatment
Our bodies weren't designed to deal with large amounts of chemicals in our daily environment. Our livers have the tough job of removing toxins, hormones and drugs from our blood streams.
The liver can get a bit overwhelmed by the amount of nasties we are exposed to, especially if we aren't getting enough Omega 3 and amino acids, B vitamins and minerals. That's when your body might start removing excess toxins any way it can, including through the skin.
So, to help support your liver you can speak to your healthcare professional about a suitable supplement which may includes selenium, vitamin E, vitamin A or beta carotene, zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, glycine, taurine, glutamine and vitamin C.
Combining the mineral selenium with vitamin E may help your psoriasis, also keeping your Omega 3 intake up is great for liver support and can help boost your overall skin condition.
You can also speak to your healthcare professional about taking the herb goldenseal which may help your psoriasis symptoms. You might also improve your digestion by taking a probiotic each day. I would recommend a probiotic which combines a lot of different strains of bacteria, not one with only one or two. Talk to the staff at your local health food shop to find a good one.
Natural Remedies for psoriasis
(Always check with your health care professional first)
1. Have a very warm bath or shower. A bath is better as you want to let the water soak into the skin for a few minutes.
2. Pat yourself semi-dry, leaving some moisture on the skin, then rub in a tiny amount of coconut oil to affected areas. The less you use, the better it works, and the more you rub it in, the better it works.
3. Once you've rubbed in the oil, you might notice the affected areas feel dry again. Immediately apply another tiny amount of oil to the area and rub in well, while the skin is still moist (don't let your skin dry out first).
4. After one of your daily applications go outside, while your skin is still moist, and expose it to the sun for ten minutes (early morning or late afternoon for maximum sun safety). Don't shower the oil off your skin afterwards.
Follow this procedure twice a day as a minimum. When your symptoms improve you can reduce it to once a day. Remember, there's no point in applying a cream or oil to the skin unless it is moist. And never try to remove dry patches of skin unless they are first dampened with water.
A brighter future!
The advice here represents a big commitment to managing your psoriasis every single day, but I'm confident that you'll get worthwhile results if you do it for long enough.
It's vitally important to change your lifestyle if you are smoking, drinking or exposing yourself to a lot of stress. After all, if you keep doing what you have always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got - psoriasis!