For years I have suffered from Plaque Psoriasis. At first it was on my face and neck, then it disappeared for nearly 5 years only to reappear about one year ago on my scalp. I have tried Denorex, Head and Shoulders, Selsun Blue and none of these products have really put a dent in the issue. I am now on the nutritional train of thought to try to irradicate this uncomfortable and at times embarrassing skin problem.
If you are unsure that you have psoriasis, please go and check in with your Natropathic Doctor or GP to ensure it’s not another skin condition or a reaction to something else in your lifestyle/eating habits.
In case you are unsure, Psoriasis characteristics are dry, reddish batches covered with silvery scales which are ITCHY it looks like this (three different stages of healing):
The cause of psoriasis is unknown, but there is some evidence of disordered arachidonic acid metabolism, which may play a pathogenic role. Studies have found that the skin of people with psoriasis contains high levels of compounds called leucotrienes, which cause inflammation. Leukotrienes are produced from arachidonic acid in the body. Arachidonic acid is found in animal fat.
A genetic predisposition to this disease is also thought to be important. There are a number of other theories regarding the cause of psoriasis, which include an auto-immune disorder, stress, environmental factors, hormones, drugs, infections and sunlight. Due to the lack of scientific evidence, however, these theories are not widely accepted. Nevertheless the disease affects the quality of and at least 10% of psoriatic patients also develop arthritis – interesting…Arthritis, yay.
NATROPATHIC SOLUTIONS – A PLACE TO START:
Other than creams, ointments and washes there are not a lot of resources out there that will smack you in the head when it comes to figuring out your personal triggers. Some interesting steps in the right direction with this from the naturopathic perspective are to improve the diet, detoxify, improve digestive health, and balance stress.
Topical treatment can help, but full resolution will only come from the inside out. From the dietary perspective, it is fundamental to eliminate the foods that trigger your immune system. I have been reading up on doing an elimination diet where suspect foods are cut out for 3 weeks to see if symptoms improve – common culprits are wheat, dairy, eggs, and soy.
An alternative to this is a blood test checking for immune system antibodies to common foods. It is interesting to note that 16% of psoriasis sufferers have an immune reaction to the gluten protein found in grains (wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, oats, rye, triticale). For these people, eliminating gluten in the diet usually solves the psoriasis, amazing!
Here are a few quick food tips below to start you off on the right track – good luck and I’ll update you with my progress as it gains momentum!
Oily fish like Salmon and Sardines
Beta Carotine – carrots, apricots and mangoes
Omega 3 fatty acids – Flax seeds
Selenium – Brazil nuts
Folic Acid/Green Leafy veggies – broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts
Zinc – shellfish and wholegrain foods
FOODS TO AVOID:
Red meats and dairy products should be eaten in moderation, since they contain arachadonic acid, a natural inflammatory substance that is believed to make psoriasis and psoriasis sores red and swollen. Avoid, prepared meats, sausages, pre-spiced meats, most cold cuts and pates. spice cakes, pickles, pickled spices and peppers, nut-based pastries, chocolate-based products.
All animal fats, eggs, processed canned foods are not to be taken as they can irritate the intestinal tract and perpetuate psoriasis outbreaks.
Psoriasis natural treatment from the outside involves using a topical cream that will alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis. This will eliminate the redness, itching, burning and flaking of the skin. It will temporarily heal the skin. We have found that the best topical treatments for psoriasis have the following ingredients:
Evening Primrose Oil – Topically applying evening primrose oil relieves inflammation, stimulates protein synthesis, repairs, and improves dry flaky skin condition.
Borage Oil – is rich in gamma linolenic acid (GLA), a “good” fat with numerous health benefits. Borage oil has been proven in many studies to reduce skin inflammation, dryness, scaliness and itching. Borage oil is very important for natural health psoriasis treatment.
Aloe Vera – Helps to hydrate and rejuvenate the skin. It can help make the skin softer, younger looking, and less wrinkled. Its healing and pain relieving properties have been well known for thousands of years. It is essential in psoriasis natural treatment.
Calendula – Helps to stimulate and regenerate the deeper layer of skin. They can help blood circulation along with strengthening the cell immunity against inflammation.