Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition where the life-cycle of your skin cells speeds up. This means that the cells build up quickly on the skin’s surface. As a result, the excess skin cells form scales and red patches. These can make you itch, and cause pain. The condition comes and goes and there isn’t a cure. You can learn to manage the symptoms, though.
Common symptoms of psoriasis:
- Red patches of skin covered with thick scales.
- Small scaly spots.
- Dry, cracked skin.
- Itching, burning or soreness.
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails.
- Swollen and stiff joints.
Psoriasis treatments aim to reduce inflammation and clear your skin. Common ones include topical kinds like moisturisers or ointments, light therapy (exposure to sunlight) and oral or injected medications. All these may or may not be effective as each case of psoriasis is different. By using a natural, holistic approach though, you can address the problem, from the inside out.
- Eat anti-inflammatory and whole foods. Choose foods like fish which are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, red and purple berries, nuts, sweet potatoes and dark green leafy vegetables. Also, up your intake of anti-inflammatory herbs like ginger and rosemary. Try removing gluten and dairy from your diet as these may worsen your psoriasis symptoms. Talk to your doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet.
- Check your gut. Your gut plays a big role in your skin’s health. Yeast overgrowth and other issues can contribute to psoriasis. Ask your doctor to check on your gut health. Eat high-fibre foods like wholegrains, fruit and vegetables. Include fermented foods like kimchi and pickles to keep your gut healthy. Mercury and other metals may also trigger psoriasis symptoms so ask your doctor to check you for metal toxicity, too.
- Get moving regularly. Exercise is a natural anti-inflammatory which helps psoriasis, so work out regularly. You don’t have to hit the gym though, just get your body moving. Go for walks, take up a sport you enjoy, go to the park or for a jog.
- Destress yourself. According to the International Journal of Dermatology, studies show a link between psoriasis and stress. Researchers even believe that psoriasis may worsen symptoms of psoriasis.
- Practising deep relaxation can help you keep stress at bay. Do calming activities like yoga, deep breathing and journaling. Go for a massage if possible, or soak in a warm bath while reading a book.
- Take supplements. Supplements like Vitamin D, fish oil and probiotics can help manage your psoriasis symptoms. Anti-inflammatory nutrients like grape seed extract and quercetin can also help.
3 natural psoriasis helpers
1. Dead sea salts or Epsom salts can help soothe your itchy skin and remove scales. Add either to warm bath water and soak in the solution for about 15 minutes. Apply a moisturiser as soon as you’ve dried yourself.
2. Oats is an incredible skin soother. It can help reduce redness and relieves itchy skin. Apply it like a paste or take a soak in oats and water.
3. Turmeric boasts great anti-inflammatory qualities which comes from an active ingredient called curcumin. You can take it as a supplement, but an easy way is to use it in your food. Try adding it to curries and sprinkle it on other meals. Talk to your doctor about a dose that would work for you.