What is Psoriasis and what are the symptoms?
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, 8 million Americans struggle with psoriasis, and approximately one third of them will develop arthritis at some point in their lives.
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disease, characterized by an inflammatory condition of the skin and fast skin prolifiration. The body makes new skin cells in days rather than months, resulting in the formation of skin plaques (leathery, itchy and scaly skin). It often manifests in elbows, knees, nails, scalp and causes stiff joints.
What are Psoriasis causes?
Although the exact causes haven't been clearly established, it is thought that Psoriasis has a genetic factor, and can also be triggered by stress, strep infections, medications and trauma. Scientists have established connections to fatty liver, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and depression.
Dr. Mark Hyman, a leading functional medicine practitioner, has outlined the 3 biggest culprits of Psoriasis as:
- Gluten sensitivity.
- Yeast overgrowth in the gut.
- Heavy metal exposure.
Dr Hyman maintains that if these 3 culprits are removed, Psoriasis will naturally resolve itself eliminating the need for steroids, creams and invasive procedures.
What are the common Psoriasis treatments?
There are the major treatments that are currently advised /prescribed by doctors:
- Topicals: they are typically corticosteroids that help slow down proliferation.
- Phototherapy: basically sun light. It is recommended to spend time in diet sunlight (UVB), which has shown to be beneficial in improving psoriasis.
- Systemics / Biologics: medications that suppress the immune system.
What are some natural remedies for Psoriasis?
- Consuming an anti-inflammatory diet, rich in whole foods, omega-3 fatty acids, berries, dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes and nuts. Also, including anti-inflammatory herbs such as rosemary, turmeric and ginger.
- Intermittent fasting once or twice a week for at least 16 hours may trigger autophagy helping the body recycle damaged cells.
- Gluten has been associated with many skin dysfunctions including psoriasis. So it is advised to go gluten-free for at least 30 days and note any improvements in the skin.
- Eliminate dairy consumption and watch for any notable improvements.
- Supplements: It is recommended to take the following to strengthen immunity and restore gut health. We've included product recommendations at the end of this blog.
- Omega-3 Fish oil
- Vitamin D
- Topical ingredients:
- Coal Tar Shampoos are beneficial for scalp Psoriasis.
- Salicylic Acid wash / cleanser helps loose scaly skin on the face and body.
- AHA products help dissolve top skin layer, helloing loosed some of the build up.
- Selenium Sufide Shampoo (dandruff shampoo)
- Coconut oil used as an overnight mask on the scalp, or to apply on affected areas on the body.
- Other helpful practices / advice:
- Practice active relaxation techniques like meditation, massage & yoga to help reduce and manage stress.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Exercise regularly.
- Consult a functional medicine practitioner if all of the above doesn't improve your condition.
- Get tested for heavy metal toxicity.
- Clean up your environment and use toxin-free products for cosmetic, home cleaning, and laundry detergents.
- Avoid fragrances and other hormone-disrupting ingredients.
The best clean skincare products for Psoriasis
Here is a skincare routine listed in order of use:
- Blu Fern Hydrating Milk Cleanser PM only
- Graydon Face Foam Cleanser AM + PM
- Earth Harbor Luna Rain Phyto-Resurfacing Serum PM only, twice a week.
- Arcana Veil of Rest Recovery Face Serum AM and PM
- Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30 AM only.
- Graydon Super Sensitive Skin Stuff Face + Eye Ceramide Cream PM only.
The best supplements for Psoriasis
- The Nue Co Prebiotic + Probiotic
- Thorne Research Vitamin D-5000
- Perricone MD Nutriceuticals Omega-3 Supplement
- Naomi Organic Trans-Resveratrol Supplement with Quercetin
- Moon Juice Super Beauty Antioxidant Skin Protection
If you have this condition and have insight to share with our community, please do so in the comment section below. We appreciate your insight and contribution!