The Choice Between Drugs Or Natural Remedies For Psoriasis
A new medication has recently been licensed to target psoriasis, that painful skin condition that affects 7.5 million in the USA and 1.8 million in the UK.
Known as Cosentyx, this drug (during trials) is said to have given patients relief from their symptoms for up to a year or longer. However, it is not a cure and it is certainly not cheap.
What the experts say
Leading specialist Professor Chris Griffiths (of Royal Salford Hospital in the UK) says the new treatment could be the most significant development of the past decade. ‘We are seeing patients with no disease for a year or more. This is not a cure, but if you can keep people symptom-free for long periods it’s a huge advance.‘
In the past, seriously ill patients have been offered chemotherapy or organ transplant anti-rejection drugs. Specialists are understandably (considering the side effects) reluctant to prescribe such powerful medicines for all but the most severe cases, calling this ‘a sledgehammer to crack a nut’. Such drugs (after initially working in some) eventually fail or have to be halted because of severe toxicity.
During the trials, the drug Cosentyx outperformed other drugs approved by the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the treatment of psoriasis.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a serious skin condition, triggered by an immune system fault, that causes the overproduction of skin cells. Psoriasis runs in families with one in three sufferers having a close relative with the condition. As well as being a severe and painful condition, it can also take an emotional toll.
There are 4 different types of psoriasis
- Plaque psoriasis. This is the most common type with raised red patches and a build up of dead skin or scales known as plaques. This usually appears on knees, elbows and the scalp. Symptoms are itchiness and pain. There can also be cracking and bleeding.
- Pustular psoriasis. This is a rarer type characterized by small pustules (whitehead-like lesions) which are found all over the body or confined to the palms, soles and other isolated areas of the body.
- Guttate psoriasis. This type is most frequently found in children and is characterized by numerous small, red drop-like scaly macules that develop rapidly over a wide area of skin, often appearing after an infection such as strep throat.
- Inverse psoriasis. This type occurs in the armpit, under the breast, in skin folds, around the groin, in the cleft between the buttocks and around the genitals. The skin usually appears pink and irritated but lacks the thick scales seen in other forms of psoriasis.
While it is good news for psoriasis sufferers that great strides have been made in finding a successful treatment, they should also be aware that there are natural treatment routes to follow.
What are the natural treatments that can be used?
- The scalp can suffer from psoriasis. Add plenty of apple cider vinegar to your scalp, allowing it to soak for for approximately 45 minutes before thoroughly rinsing with warm water and shampooing as normal with a natural herbal shampoo (one that contains natural oils but minus any of that toxic sodium laurel sulfate). Repeat this action every second day for maximum benefit during an outbreak.
- Change to a gluten-free diet – which eliminates wheat, barley, and rye – and you could notice a huge improvement in the psoriasis.
- Include fatty fish in your diet (rich in omega-3 fatty acids) or take a supplement such as flax seed oil or krill oil to help reduce inflammation and reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.
- Vitamin D and the importance of high vitamin D levels as a natural psoriasis treatment have been confirmed in recent studies when this feel good hormone was found to moderate immunity in psoriasis. Vitamin D from sun exposure is the best way to optimize such levels, helping to boost the immune system and improve the psoriasis, but if this is not always possible, adding a vitamin D3 supplement is the next best choice.
- Salt water with swimming in the ocean, taking seawater baths or applying seawater to the affected area of the psoriasis daily.
- Avoid all chemical based soaps and other products and change to natural personal toiletries. Some sufferers have found coal tar based soap such as Wright’s Soap to be very helpful but then there is some controversy about the ingredients and whether they are carcinogenic.
- Of course a healthy diet is great for improving every kind of condition but there are certain fruits and vegetables that can be especially beneficial for psoriasis and these include beets, grapes, cucumber, dark green leafy varieties and carrots.
- H-Psoriasis is our own natural home remedy for this condition and is particularly successful in ridding the body of psoriasis symptoms such as pain, irritation and itching quickly and safely.