Psoriasis: What You Need to Know


Psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease, unleashes a whirlwind of skin cell activity, causing them to multiply at an alarming rate. This uncontrolled proliferation leads to the formation of red, itchy, and scaly patches that can erupt anywhere on the body, most commonly on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back.

What are the symptoms?

The hallmark of psoriasis is the appearance of thick, red, scaly patches on the skin. These patches, accompanied by itching, burning, soreness, dry skin, cracked skin, bleeding, and thickened nails, can significantly impact one’s quality of life.

Skin health, autoimmune conditions:  Psoriasis
Guttate psoriasis” by Bobjgalindo is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

What causes psoriasis?

Although the exact cause of psoriasis remains shrouded in mystery, experts believe it stems from an autoimmune disorder, where the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s cells. Genetics, stress, infections, skin injuries, and certain medications can also act as triggers or exacerbate psoriasis flares.

How is psoriasis treated?

Unfortunately, there is no definitive cure for psoriasis, but various treatment options can effectively manage the symptoms.

  • Topical medications applied directly to the skin, work to reduce inflammation and scaling. Examples include corticosteroids, vitamin D analogues, and coal tar.
  • Phototherapy, another treatment modality, harnesses the power of ultraviolet light to slow the growth of skin cells. This treatment can be administered at home or in a doctor’s office.
  • Systemic medications, taken orally or by injection, exert their effects throughout the body to combat inflammation. Methotrexate, ciclosporin, and acitretin are prime examples of systemic medications.
  • Biologics, a newer class of medications, target specific components of the immune system. These cutting-edge therapies have proven highly effective in managing moderate to severe psoriasis.

In addition to the above treatment options, wholefood supplements that show promise, like Superfoods Plus for its gut health/immune support benefits, are also worth considering.

How can I live with psoriasis?

Beyond medical interventions, individuals with psoriasis can implement lifestyle changes to complement their treatment plan and enhance their overall well-being.

  • Get regular exercise: Regular exercise, at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week, helps reduce stress and inflammation, both of which can trigger flare-ups.
  • Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting processed foods, red meat, and alcohol, contributes to overall health and may help mitigate psoriasis symptoms.
  • Manage stress: Effective stress management techniques, such as yoga, meditation, or spending time in nature, play a crucial role in reducing flare-ups.
  • Get enough sleep: Prioritizing sleep, aiming for 7-8 hours each night allows the body to adequately rest and better combat infection and inflammation.
  • Moisturize your skin: Regular skin moisturization using a thick, fragrance-free moisturizer helps keep the skin hydrated and reduces irritation.
  • Avoid scratching: Avoiding scratching, even when tempted, is crucial as it can worsen psoriasis symptoms. Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help alleviate itching.
  • Talk to your doctor: Maintaining open communication with your doctor is essential to developing and optimizing a personalized treatment plan, receiving support, and accessing valuable resources.

In addition to these lifestyle changes, consider incorporating wholefood supplements like Superfoods Plus into your daily routine. This organic supplement offers a blend of nutrient-rich superfoods that support gut health and immune function, both of which play a role in managing psoriasis. While individual results may vary, Superfoods Plus can be a useful addition to your psoriasis management toolbox.

Remember, while this information provides valuable insights, it is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult with your healthcare provider before initiating any new treatment or making significant lifestyle changes.

Cover photo by Eszter Miller

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