Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that covers the skin in abnormal flaky patches. Although this disease affects your skin, the root of its occurrence begins in your immune system. Its cause is not fully understood. The distribution and appearance of the rash are the only medical sign that might help a medical practitioner to diagnose the disease. It comes from a type of white blood cells known as T cells that are designed to shield your body from infection or diseases. However, if these cells accidentally become active, they set off other immune responses leading to psoriasis.
There are five types of psoriasis – guttate, inverse, plaque, pustular and erythrodermic. The commonly affected areas are scalp, back of the forearms, navel and shins. These are painful and itchy and interfere with daily basic functions like sleep and self-care.
Although there is no known cure, you can try a bunch of things to prevent the flare-ups caused by Psoriasis:
1. Eat healthy –
Diet plays an important role in managing psoriasis. Avoid fatty snacks and red meat and replace them with seeds, nuts, cold water fish and omega 3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation.
2. Supplementary pills –
Consuming 4 to 6 pills containing fish-oil has shown excellent results in managing psoriasis.
3. Apply olive oil –
when topically applied to the infected area, it has soothing effects.
4. Do not use perfumed products –
Perfumes, deodorants and soaps contain chemicals that may irritate your skin and inflame psoriasis. Go for products with “sensitive skin” labels.
5. Warm water baths –
Avoid bathing with hot water. Instead, bathe in lukewarm water with mineral oil, olive oil, milk or unscented bathing salts that will soothe the itching and inflammation.
6. Moisturize –
Dry skin is your biggest enemy. Use sensitive skin moisturizers that will keep your skin soft and supple. Do this especially after bathing.
7. Get clean –
Consumption of alcohol and smoking cigarettes will flare up your psoriasis. Avoid them.
8. Sun Therapy –
Sunbathing has become widely unpopular due to the risk of developing skin cancer. However, for people with psoriasis, it has therapeutic benefits.
9. Do not pick on the scales or patches –
Yes, it is itchy and yes you want to scratch it. However, you will make psoriasis worse by picking on the scales. If you accidentally cut yourself, an infection might set in.
10. Avoid cold weather –
Cold weather rids your skin off moisture and might flare up your psoriasis.
11. Apple cider vinegar –
Mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar, and apply it to your scalp, twice or thrice a week. Avoid it if your scalp is bleeding.
12. Eat non-citrus fruits –
Eliminate citrus fruits like limes, oranges, lemons and grapefruit from your diet as they are common allergens.
13. Relieve your anxiety –
Although scientifically not proven, results have shown that people who practice relaxation techniques like yoga are able to manage psoriasis better than those who don’t.
14. Check your medication –
Drugs like Quinidine, Lithium and Propranolol are known to flare up psoriasis. Let your doctor know about your condition before you are prescribed with any medication.
15. Watch what you eat –
Some condiments and spices like cinnamon, vinegar, mayonnaise, paprika, Tabasco sauce and ketchup are a big no-no.
What works for some people may not work for you. Consult your doctor before attempting to treat yourself.