Psoriasis affects 125 million people worldwide and more than 7.5 million people in the United States. There are more cases of psoriasis than any other autoimmune disease and it directly affects the quality of life for those who have it.
The medical community has developed several drugs to treat psoriasis but the side effects of these “treatments” can be worse than the disease itself.
Nausea, fatigue, damage to your liver and kidneys, increased risk of skin cancer, problems with your bone marrow, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and one (Soriatane) causes a high risk of severe birth defects even if you get pregnant several years after taking it!
Seeking out natural remedies for psoriasis makes sense!
Are You at Risk for Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that results in the immune system going into “overdrive.” This causes too many skin cells to accumulate on the surface of the skin in thick patches. The affected area is typically dry, itchy, and red with scaly skin that flakes away when scratched and can be painful.
This skin disease is not a “cosmetic” issue. Did you know that 60% of those with psoriasis miss up to 24 days of work each year due to their condition?
More than 25% of those diagnosed with psoriasis are considered moderate to severe cases that can affect more than 10% of your skin’s surface. As a point of reference, one of your hands represents approximately 1% of your skin’s surface. If you have psoriasis on your scalp, you may mistake it for dandruff.
Primary Psoriasis Risk Factors
- Family history of the disease
- Alcohol use
- Severe sunburn or other damage to the skin
- Infections (viral, bacterial, or fungal)
- Extreme weather conditions
- Pharmaceutical drugs for mood disorders, blood pressure, and anti-fungals
Types of Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis can occur anywhere on your body (even the inside of your mouth or the genital area) in a single place or in several places at the same time. They are small patches that are dry, itchy, and might become painful.
Scalp psoriasis is often mistaken for dandruff. It may be under your hair or extend beyond it.
Nail psoriasis might affect your hands or feet and causes your nails to turn an unusual color, grow strangely, or appear “pitted” in some spots. The nail may not seem attached well to the bed and could separate completely.
Pustular psoriasis is when your skin goes from red and irritated to covered in small pus-filled blisters. Other symptoms may include diarrhea, chills, or running a fever.
Inverse psoriasis occurs in areas where you tend to sweat – under your arms, your groin, and beneath your breasts. Fungal infections may trigger the initial outbreak and it worsens with friction and sweating.
There are less common forms of psoriasis. Guttate psoriasis is triggered by a bacterial infection in young people – such as strep – that causes red patches. These outbreaks usually go away on their own, though there may be several flare-ups before they do. Erythrodermic psoriasis covers large portions of the skin on your body and is characterized by severe itching and burning.
Approximately 10-30% of those with chronic psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis. Though it isn’t as devastating as other forms of arthritis, it can worsen over time, cause joints to feel stiff and swollen, and gradually damage them permanently.
Psoriatic arthritis may affect any joint in your body. It is likely that you’ll continue to exhibit the typical symptoms of plaque psoriasis and nail psoriasis as well.
What Can You Do? Natural Remedies for Psoriasis
There is no cure for psoriasis. Natural remedies for psoriasis can help to manage the symptoms and control the outbreaks. Being persistent and knowing your triggers will help to keep it under control.
As with most autoimmune diseases, there are periods where your psoriasis will worsen and others where it will get better. The first step in treating this condition is finding a holistic practitioner who specializes in skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
1. Lifestyle Matters! If you look at the risk factors for psoriasis, you’ll see that many of them are lifestyle related. This shouldn’t be a shock since so many of those same risk factors are listed for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and so much more.
You can’t lie to yourself if you’re suffering from psoriasis or any other serious condition. You must make the changes right now that will help you get better. The key to most autoimmune diseases – and the root of so many illnesses and deaths – is lowering body-wide inflammation. That means cutting out the pro-inflammatory habits such as smoking, alcohol, and consumption of junk food that does nothing but steal from you.
Boost your intake of water, fatty fish (salmon, tuna, or sardines), and detoxifying green tea. Fill your diet with colorful produce: kale, red bell peppers, rainbow chard, cantaloupe, carrots, mango, tomatoes, and watermelon are foods your skin will love. Lower how much white sugar, flour, or rice you consume or eliminate it entirely and cut out the sodas!
2. Stop the Stress! Stress leads to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to disease. That’s it, end of story. You need to stop or at least lower your personal stress levels to get that inflammation under control.
Take a moment to evaluate the current or ongoing stress in your life. Are there areas where you can make changes? What causes the most stress in your life?
Don’t be afraid to begin removing toxic people, don’t hesitate to start looking for another job if you hate the one you have, and don’t make yourself the lowest priority in your life. Take up yoga, get a massage, or simply learn a few deep breathing techniques that can help manage stress.
3. Baby Your Skin! Moisturize regularly (and liberally) with organic coconut oil or olive oil. Rub it everywhere your skin is inflamed and consider adding a few drops of tea tree oil to soothe particularly bad outbreaks.
Soak in a tub of warm water with a cup of sea salts dissolved in it, gently pat skin dry, and moisturize faithfully. Take fewer showers if possible and avoid using very hot water when you do.
Be cautious in the sun but do not avoid it! Many patients with psoriasis see an improvement in their symptoms with careful exposure to our most prevalent source of vitamin D. Fifteen minutes in the morning or late afternoon could show an excellent improvement. Any longer, make sure you’re applying natural sunscreen or covering your skin. You want the benefits of the sun but you definitely do not want to burn!
Utilizing natural remedies for psoriasis take patience and consistency. You can’t skip days of skin care if you want to see improvement. Don’t expect a miracle but with time and care, your psoriasis symptoms are going to get better. Naturally.