Psoriasis is considered to be genetically linked and is an inflammatory disease that affects around 3% of the population. It is characterised by skin cells that multiply much faster than normal cells. When these cells reach the surface and die, raised, red plaques often covered with white scales form.
It is also considered an auto-immune condition caused by an overactive immune system that launches an inflammatory response within the body.
Psoriasis symptoms can include:
- Red patches of skin covered with silvery scales
- Small scaling spots
- Dry, cracked skin
- Itchy, burning or soreness
- Itchy plaques
- Small bleeding points when scale is peeled away.
Hereditary predisposition is necessary before the disease can be triggered by environmental factors.
Some of the triggers that cause psoriasis to flare up include:
- Sore throat (streptococci)
- Trauma to the skin including a cut, scrape, insect bit, infection or sunburn
- Certain drugs can also have an effect
- Consumption of animal proteins, such as, red meat and dairy products
Psoriasis is definitely not contagious.
Psoriasis often requires medical treatment and there are a range of treatments available.
You can also find more about psoriasis on the medical based websites.
There are a number of things you can do to ensure the best management of your psoriasis which will hopefully help to minimise the condition. While there may be some trial and error to determine what works best for you, some of the actions you can take include:
- Keep the skin moist at all times, avoid allowing your skin to dry out.
- Take fewer baths and showers to avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils.
- Manage your diet, increased body mass is associated with psoriasis, and for these individuals the treatment may be more difficult.
- Tar based shampoos may be of assistance.
- When bathing adding oil, salts or fine ground oatmeal may be of assistance.
- Avoid very cold weather, if possible.
- Use a humidifier.
- Never pick at patches or scales.
- Get some sun but not too much, don’t stay in the sun for too long. Use a sunscreen.
- Manage stress levels if required through yoga or light exercise and maintain a healthy diet.
- Reduce alcohol consumption.
Some of the natural remedies that may assist psoriasis symptoms include:
- Aloe vera gel or creams that are rich in aloe vera
- Apple cider vinegar to relieve itch from scalp psoriasis
- All-natural skin care products that do not contain fragrances, chemicals or preservatives
- Acupuncture or Reiki for stress reduction
- Use of gentle cleansers, such as, natural olive oil soaps that do not strip the oils from the skin.
Psoriasis is a frustrating and difficult condition. It is best managed at home through a disciplined approach in your lifestyle while accepting that on occasion medical intervention will be of assistance.
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