More than 125 million people worldwide live with psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune disease that causes red, scaly patches to appear on the skin.
What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
This skin condition causes a build up of itchy, thick, red skin with flaky, silver-white patches called scales, with other symptoms including:
- Severe dandruff on the scalp.
- Joint pain or aching and perhaps a symptom of psoriatic arthritis. Roughly 30% of those with psoriasis also develop psoriatic arthritis.
- Nail changes, including thick yellow-brown nails, dents and nail lifts off from the skin.
- Genital lesions in males.
Are there ways to treat psoriasis?
is one way. This is a treatment in which your skin is carefully exposed to ultraviolet light.
Sunlight is often found to be a natural way to help in the treatment of psoriasis but artificial light known as phototherapy is an ultraviolet light therapy performed under medical supervision in a clinic, at a doctor's office or even in your own home.
There are two types of UVB treatment – the first is narrow band UVB light bulbs which put out a smaller range of light while the second is broad band UVB treatment. The former appears to be the more successful of the two, helping to clear up psoriasis more quickly and with long periods of remission.
Phototherapy has been found to be most effective in those who have moderately bad psoriasis – that is where 20% or more of the skin is affected. Side effects can mean the skin turning more red and itching but these are usually temporary.
Sunlight is a form of phototherapy too
Positive results for psoriasis can also be achieved with natural sunlight
. Sunlight exposure in the hour before and after noon to as much of the skin as possible and until the skin turns slightly pink is the way to go. Frequent short sessions work best so start with 5 to 10 minutes and increase by another 30 seconds each day, making sure to look out for any adverse reactions.
Be patient as it can take weeks for a good result from both phototherapy and sunlight therapy.
Other ways to treat psoriasis
- Doctors will often suggest topical treatments, such as retinoid containing vitamin D or A, skin lotions with salicylic or lactic acid to remove the scaling, ointments that contain coal tar or anthralin, cortisone creams or even dandruff shampoos. Other suggestions include systemic treatments (pills or injections) that affect the body’s immune response. Of course these are all far from being natural.
- Oatmeal baths, keeping the skin clean and moist and of course avoiding your specific psoriasis triggers, may help reduce the number of flare-ups. Stress is an important trigger making it vital for sufferers to practice relaxation techniques and stress reduction. Injury to the skin from puncture wounds, sunburn (but not sunlight) or scratches can also trigger a psoriasis flare up while certain medications will be detrimental for psoriasis sufferers. Another trigger to bear in mind is the risk of infections - particularly earache, bronchitis, tonsillitis or a respiratory infection while a strep throat is often associated with a form of psoriasis in children.
Seawater is particularly beneficial to the skin, increasing its elasticity and improving its outer appearance. Studies show that salt water helps in treating skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis and acne. Although the results are not seen immediately, swimming regularly in salt water will gradually improve the appearance and condition of these three disorders. In addition, swimming is a good way to relieve stress and to reduce the inflammation of joints and muscles without being too strenuous. Salt water contains bromide and this mineral helps in relieving muscle pains and soreness. Even if you live far from the ocean, many pools are now changing from being chlorine based to giving you the salt water swimming experience.
If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis, don't let it become a worse problem but find a safe solution that suits you and your skin.
- Our own suggestion for a natural remedy is H-Psoriasis Formula which is a breakthrough topical homeopathic product for psoriasis with pure natural essential oils and providing a safe and effective treatment with no harmful chemicals or additives. With its deep penetrating action, H-Psoriasis Formula will be gentle on your skin but will not cause irritation, itching, burning or scarring. It is good to know that the product is FDA registered and works for most types of psoriasis including erythrodermic psoriasis, pustular psoriasis, guttate, inverse and psoriatic arthritis.