By now, psoriasis is a very well known autoimmune disorder. Do you ever notice inflamed, scaly patches on your body and wondered what they were (and what you should do about them)? Then psoriasis just might be the cause.
While there are a number of treatments available for psoriasis, the scaly patches that can develop all over your body can be a bit scary to decipher and sort out how to relieve symptoms. We understand the hesitance surrounding what’s effective and what isn’t and have complied a list of all things psoriasis, including what you should (and definitely should not) do if you suspect you might have the condition. Let’s get started.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a condition in which the immune system gets angry at the skin, leading to red, scaly plaques. Usually, you'll see these plaques on the elbows and knees, but psoriasis can appear anywhere, including the scalp, lower back, nails, and even the genitals.
Want to get even more specific? Psoriasis is a genetic, autoimmune, inflammatory condition in which your skin cells divide too quickly and do not shed quickly enough. These extra cells that don't get shed fast enough are what creates the inflamed, scaly plaques on the surface of the skin. Psoriasis is considered to be a common and a chronic condition, meaning that it's usually a life-long disease and that flare-ups often come and go at any time.
Even though psoriasis symptoms mainly manifest on the skin, the condition isn't only skin deep — it is an autoimmune disorder. Having psoriasis can also make you more susceptible to developing other diseases. Some of these that are often associated with psoriasis are psoriatic arthritis, metabolic syndrome, elevated triglycerides, increased risk for heart disease, and obesity. If you’re concerned you may have any of these, then consulting your dermatologist or physician is best for the next steps.
What Do You Do About It?
Don't just go to Google images and try to diagnose yourself. A dermatologist will have to examine your skin in order to make a diagnosis and determine which form of the disorder you have. Once you've been diagnosed, you can discuss treatment plans. There are now many treatment options available, including topical creams, injections, and lifestyle alterations.
The proper treatment regimen will depend on how mild or severe your case is, as well as what kind of psoriasis you have. For mild cases, skin care is important. Full-body moisturizers and topical steroids are also useful for itching and inflammation.
Other topical options for mild cases include cortisones and vitamin D creams. More severe cases may require systemic medications like pills or shots to keep the inflammation calm. If you have scalp psoriasis, it’s suggested to use over-the-counter tar shampoos to help relieve dandruff and itching.
Phototherapy could also be a viable option. UV light is generally a no-no in dermatology since we know that too much can be associated with the development of skin cancer and melanoma. However, it has an anti-inflammatory effect on psoriatic skin and is a very useful option for reducing skin disease and symptoms.
Yet, what about the natural approach? Tar shampoo has adverse effects, steroid creams cause other issues, and Phototherapy is still controversial as a psoriasis treatment. Perhaps natural remedies are the best solution for psoriasis…
What Not To Do
When it comes to psoriasis, certain lifestyle choices can greatly affect and even trigger flare-ups. Lifestyle is very important and an anti-inflammatory diet that's rich in fruits, vegetables, and fish, probiotics, and vitamin D supplements is recommended for those with psoriasis. Alcohol in excess and smoking can also make psoriasis worse. In addition to alcohol and smoking, stress can also exacerbate symptoms.
One thing that can significantly worsen your psoriasis symptoms, although it may be even more tempting than an extra glass of wine with dinner: Picking at your scaly skin. Rubbing and picking at the skin will actually worsen the spots, just like if you had chickenpox or a scab. Not only that, but it will lead to scarring and a long road of slow healing to repair the damaged skin. Psoriasis tends to develop in sites of skin trauma, including cuts and scratches.
Now, for the proper care of your psoriasis, why not try the natural route? Luckily, finding the best psoriasis cream or skin care products comes easily here! At Wild Naturals, discover our whole line of eczema & psoriasis crafted products ranging from face, body, and hair care. Find the true relief from your psoriasis. Shop the Wild Naturals store today!