Psoriasis is a common skin disorder in which skin cells replicated 10 times faster than they should. While the skin cells multiply rapidly, the rate of old cells sloughing off remains the same. The excess cells begin to build up and present as bumpy red patches that are covered with silvery or whitish scales and plaques. It most commonly occurs on the scalp, elbows, knees, buttocks, lower back, and backs of wrists, however, it can technically occur anywhere on the body. These patchy rashes do not usually itch, however, they may bleed if you do scratch them.
There tend to be cycles in which the symptoms of the condition come and go while leaving no scars but some mild skin irregularities.
Psoriasis tends to be associated with other conditions such as Diabetes Type II, Inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, depression, and anxiety.
Types of Psoriasis
There are 5 known types of Psoriasis (as well as conditions that can be caused by Psoriasis such as Psoriatic Arthritis):
– Plaque Psoriasis -> The most common type that is characterized by the formation of red itch patches covered in silvery plaques
– Guttate Psoriasis -> Mainly occurs during childhood and results in small pink spots on the torso and limbs.
– Pustular Psoriasis -> Characterized by pus-filled blisters and red skin and they typically form on the hands and feet.
– Inverse Psoriasis -> Occurs in the parts of the body that one sweats from the most – armpits, under the breasts, groin, and certain parts of the genitals. It is characterized by inflamed skin that appears to be reddish and shiny.
– Erythrodermic Psoriasis -> A rare type of Psoriasis that causes large sections of skin to slough off. Typically, the skin appears to be sunburned and becomes scaly. This is a pretty severe condition and can be life-threatening.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
– Red, Inflammed patches of skin covered in silvery scales or plaques
– Dry skin that may appear thick and tends to crack
– Thick, distorted, dull nails
– Joint pain
– Soreness around the affected skin patches
– Blisters on the palms and soles of feet in pustular psoriasis
As I said before, these symptoms may come and go in cycles. There are also certain triggers such as stress, infections, alcohol, sunburn, and cold that can result in flares.
According to modern medicine, the exact cause is unknown. Current research suggests that genetics and immune system dysregulation play a role in its development.
It appears as though some people inherit genes that increase their chances of developing the condition, however, there appears to be a very small percentage of people who actually go on to get Psoriasis.
Autoimmunity plays a major role in this condition by attacking the skin cells, triggering rapid skin cell proliferation.
Neem is an Ayurvedic herb known for its ability to heal wounds, treat skin conditions, and boost the immune system. It is also used in Ayurvedic medicine for treating conditions characterized by excessive growth such as tumors and conditions such as Psoriasis. In a double-blind clinical trial, patients given an aqueous extract of Neem leaves in addition to Coal tar experiences quicker and better responses to treatment (see study). In another clinical trial, the combination of Neem and Tulsi taken internally along with the external application of Neem-Tulsi-Henna Oil resulted in 80% of patients making a complete recovery, 13.3% improved, and 6.6% mildly improved (see study)
Chamomile & Pumpkin Seed Oil (Oleogel)
Chamomile is well known for traditionally being used to treat sleeplessness, dysmenorrhea, and anxiety. It has also been extensively studied for its ability to treat atopic eczema, diaper rash, phlebitis, and radiation dermatitis. Pumpkin seed oil is typically used for male pattern hair loss, benign prostate hyperplasia, and alopecia areata. It is also a rich source of Zinc, which is often found to be deficient in patients with Psoriasis. Experimental research supports its use in skin inflammation and keratinocyte hyperproliferation. In a clinical trial, the topical application of a chamomile-pumpkin seed oil oleogel in patients with Plaque Psoriasis resulted in a significant reduction in severity (see study).
Fish oil is a commonly used supplement and source of omega-3 fatty acids. It contains two kinds of Omega-3 fatty acids: EPA & DHA. It is typically used for controlling high triglycerides, depression, SLE, ADHD, stress and is showing much promise in several other conditions. Fish Oil is a potent anti-inflammatory and is often given along with curcumin and Vitamin D to control inflammatory conditions. In the case of Psoriasis, supplementing with Fish Oil significantly lessens symptoms such as itching, erythema, and scaling (see study).
As with most autoimmune conditions, it is important to consume foods that have anti-inflammatory properties and a considerable amount of antioxidants. Foods such as Salmon and Mackerel contains Omega 3 fatty acids and are typically the source of Fish oil. Salmon also has a powerful antioxidant known as astaxanthin.
Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts drastically increase glutathione (the body’s master antioxidant) in the body. This helps to control oxidation and improve liver function.
Foods such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples, gooseberries, and brazil nuts offer a powerful punch of antioxidants as well. These can help with preventing DNA damage and reducing oxidation.
Speak to a holistic doctor of Ayurvedic doctor about how to include these foods in your diet and how to time their use.
To book a consultation with me, click here
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
by Dr. Nishal R.
Copyright © 2020