For Psoriasis Awareness Month, we wanted to do a deep dive into psoriasis and the many natural methods you can use to treat this chronic condition.
First thing’s first: What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an uncomfortable medical condition that can cause:
- Skin rash/dryness
- Flaky/peeling skin
- Red/thickened skin
- Scaly skin
- Pain in the joints
- Dents in the nails
These are all symptoms of an underlying issue. However, because the symptoms of psoriasis commonly show up on the skin, many think of it as a skin condition alone. Scientists studying this health issue have found that psoriasis is actually a genetic condition which becomes triggered by a variety of factors. These include:
- Injury to the skin
- Immune system difficulties
The most common trigger of psoriasis is anything that creates inflammation within the body. This means that removing inflammatory elements from your diet and your environment can really help as you work to treat psoriasis.
While many dermatologists can provide medicated creams and drugs for the psoriasis treatment, you also have natural options at your disposal. Here are five holistic methods for managing your psoriasis symptoms:
1. Remove inflammation from your diet by getting food allergy testing and by including more anti-inflammatory foods to your daily menu. One fantastic anti-inflammatory that you can probably add to many of your dishes is turmeric. This herb tastes good and it’s an excellent solution for many health issues caused by inflammation.
Also, now that we are in the thick of summer, there are so many foods available for a well-rounded anti-inflammatory diet. Veggies, fruits, legumes, and seeds are both high in fiber and antioxidants and they are in season right now! So, if you are waiting to hear back on your allergy test results, you can be reasonably sure that seasonal fruits and veggies will help you reduce inflammation on an immediate basis.
2. Try boosting your immune system with probiotic foods and/or supplements. Probiotic foods like kefir, cultured veggies, yogurt, and kombucha can all help your immune system fight flare-ups.
3. Use natural oils and other moisturizers to help ease flare-ups. Many oils like coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil can help soothe psoriasis flare-ups. There are also many wonderful herbs and essential oils that can soothe your scaly skin. These include aloe vera, Oregon grape, thyme oil, rose oil, and lavender oil.
Also, while you are moisturizing and treating your skin issues, be sure to drink plenty of water and supplement with electrolytes as needed. Drinking enough water will help keep your skin moist and help your body to recover from immune distress.
Finally, if you enjoy the taste of drinking aloe vera, this plant can assist in re-hydrating your body. Aloe vera has all sorts of great vitamins and minerals along with plenty of good, old-fashioned water. Coconut water is another great, healthy option for hydration – if you don’t want to stick to chugging water alone.
4. Find out if you have vitamin deficiencies and supplement them. Vitamins B12 and D have been found to be lower in people who have triggered the psoriasis gene. However, you can also get a full blood panel and take a look at it with your nutritionist to find out what other vitamins can help boost your body as it fights psoriasis.
5. De-stress. One of the common triggers for psoriasis is stress. And, many of us have so much to do in our everyday life that carving out time to reduce stress can seem like an impossible (and stressful) task. However, there are always little things that can help you make your day brighter. Here are just a few suggestions that shouldn’t take much time – but can still help you reduce stress:
- Start your day with a joke or motivational calendar.
- Give yourself a “sleep in” day where you get to add an extra half hour either to the beginning or end of your nightly snooze.
- Find a book you’ve wanted to read and keep it in your bathroom or your purse. When you’re in line somewhere or sitting on the toilet, take the book out and enjoy a few pages.
- Take those mandatory breaks at work and actually go outside during the day.
- Park farther away from work so you get in a few extra minutes of walking.
- Add in an easy, 15-minute workout to your schedule one or two days a week. You can do aerobics, yoga, go for a jog, or enjoy palates.
- Take five minutes a day to stand up from your desk, stretch, and do some deep breathing.
- Buy yourself flowers when you go grocery shopping and arrange them so you get to see them every morning.
Often, little things add up over time and help you feel calmer and less stressed out overall.
There are many ways to treat psoriasis holistically. Find out how we can help! Set up an appointment with Flow Natural Health Care today!