If you have psoriasis, you're familiar with the struggle of flaking, itchy and irritated skin. You probably own lots of long-sleeved clothing to hide the scars. Maybe you've even exhausted all the medication you can think of.
A HINDRANCE TO EVERYDAY LIFE
The National Psoriasis Foundation reports that people with psoriasis experience higher rates of anxiety and depression than the general population, which can, in turn, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and actions. The debilitating condition interferes with normal life and causes mental pressure.
If you're living with psoriasis, we hope the information below offers you insights on how to control the flare-ups.
What is psoriasis?
It is a genetic disease that causes red, scaly lesions on the skin. Scientists believe it occurs due to a malfunctioning immune system.
When the immune system mistakenly speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells, these cells accumulate rapidly on the surface. The body can't shed them fast enough, leading to the unsightly red patches.
What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
In addition to the scaly patches on the surface of the skin, psoriasis produces several symptoms. The most affected areas are the palms, elbows, knees, lower back, legs, scalp, face, and the soles of the feet. Some people experience symptoms on the fingernails, toenails, and inside the mouth.
Other symptoms include:
• Redness and inflammation
• Thick, red skin with silvery scales
• Swollen and stiff joints
• Patches that itch or feel sore
• Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
• Thickened, pitted, or ridged nails
• Small scaling spots
• Dandruff-like scaling
Flare-ups refer to the ebb and flow of these symptoms- they appear for a few weeks or months then subside.
Various things can trigger the immune malfunction that causes flare-ups. Common triggers include:
• Cuts and scrapes
• Bug bites
• Cold weather
• Excess alcohol consumption
• Some medications, including beta-blockers and antimalarial drugs
You're more at risk of the disease if you have close family members with psoriasis, if you suffer from frequent viral and bacterial infections, if you are obese or you smoke.
If you notice any signs of psoriasis, consult your doctor first. They will provide the right treatments, including internal medications that help return skin cell activity to normal.
Light therapy uses natural or artificial ultraviolet light to slow the rate of skin cell turnover. There are many types of light therapy, so if one doesn't work for you, talk to your dermatologist about trying another one. Many people with psoriasis also experience fewer flare-ups with regular, short periods of exposure to the sun.
If you're looking for natural alternatives to manage psoriasis, try these remedies:
1. WASH REGULARLY
Cleanse your skin gently every day, and add oatmeal and Epsom salts for their moisturizing effect.
2. AVOID YOUR TRIGGERS
Whenever you experience a flare-up, take note of your circumstances at the time. Doing so over a few weeks or months will help you identify the trigger(s). When you've figured them out, try to avoid them as much as possible.
3. TAKE A FISH OIL SUPPLEMENT
Some studies indicate that taking a daily fish oil supplement can help decrease the inflammation associated with psoriasis.
4. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
For scalp psoriasis, applying organic apple cider vinegar to the scalp several times a week might help. Ensure you dilute it with water (1-to-1 ratio) since ACV is highly acidic.
5. DEAD SEA SALTS
These remove scales and alleviate itching. Add these salts to a warm bath and soak in it for about 15 minutes. Use a moisture-rich lotion or cream after the shower.
The Sole Toscana Beauty Team