My waiting room is full of patients suffering from this awful annoying disease. Psoriasis can make people’s lives miserable…and it’s not easy to get rid of. I would like to take a few moments to explain what Psoriasis is and provide you with some alternative treatments besides anti-inflammatory drugs.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that can easily be defined by its red patches that are covered by a silver flaky surface. It’s commonly located on the epidermis of your skin, which is the top five layers. It all begins on the lower basal layer of the epidermis and produces a protein called Keratinocytes. I’ll try my best not to make this sound to scientific or medical.
In normal cell growth, these keratins migrate from the bottom layer to the surface of your skin and shed unnoticed. This continuous process can take a whole month. During Psoriasis, the Keratins proliferate very rapidly and travel quickly from the lower basal layer to the surface in about four days. Since there’s not enough time for the skin to shed these cells fast enough, they tend to accumulate into thick, dry, patches called plaques.
As these flaky areas of dead skin build up the underneath layers of skin become red and inflamed. This can be very painful and annoying not to mention cosmetically unappealing.
Here are some Healthy Answers on how you can manage your Psoriasis with natural remedies:
Sun Exposure: I know this is not great advice coming from a skin doctor. But there has been some medical proof that limited exposure to the sun and its UVA radiation can actually benefit Psoriasis. Of course, since sunburn carries the chance for skin cancer you must protect yourself with some suntan lotion and clothing on the unaffected areas.
Dry Skin Treatment: rest in a warm bath for 15 minutes or longer, apply salicylic acid to remove scaly skin, and then apply a moisturizer or Vaseline.
Fish Oils: There is some research that indicates that psoriasis reacts favorably to dietary supplementation with fish oil, perhaps because of the omega 3 fatty acids.
Evening Primrose Oil: this oil can be taken orally or applied topically to inflamed areas.
As always, please consult with your physician before beginning any new treatment method.
Jay Brachfeld M.D.
Photo Credit: saffronrouge.com