The skin disorder known as psoriasis is characterized by the presence of raised and inflamed red patches on the surface of the skin-these affected areas are also usually covered by whitish or silvery scales. Though the condition of psoriasis tends to chronically affect an individual, it is not a contagious skin condition and is not spread by touch or proximity to the affected individual. While psoriasis can strike a person at any age, the disorder typically becomes evident in people who are between the ages of ten and thirty. Psoriasis rashes in the majority of sufferers has a tendency to occur in specific areas of the body, the rash caused by psoriasis tends to be confined to the skin on the scalp, the elbows, the skin on the knees, the skin along the lower back, or in the buttocks of most patients. In addition, psoriasis may also affect the fingernails and the toenails of sufferers and can these areas of the body often become yellow or are pitted in appearance. The symptoms of most cases of psoriasis produces no great pain or discomfort and it is almost never itchy, however, the flare up of psoriasis breaking out on the skin is very unsightly, and mars the aesthetic structure of the skin in the regions of the body it affects. The performance of daily and ongoing activities can become very difficult for many individuals who make up about fifteen per cent of psoriasis cases-these individuals can often develop a very severe and widespread rash all along the body, as a result of which they may suffer extreme discomfort and may be rendered incapable of performing routine and daily tasks. In addition, in approximately five per cent of psoriasis cases, the sufferers may complain of tremendous pain in the joints and extreme swelling in such areas which may resemble the physical symptoms of much more serious illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis.
The actual occurrence of the rash on the skin is due to the replication of skin cells at a much faster rate than what is normal for the person. Human skin is sloughed off and shed in rough cycles and in a continuous basis, the cells of the skin originate from very deep in the many layers of the outer body surface and normally the cycling time for old skin is approximately twenty eight days, in this time the skin arrives to the surface from deep within, here it is slowly sloughed off and shed over time. The whole turnover time may only take right days in those areas of the skin which is affected by the psoriasis-this characteristic high turnover of the cells is what causes the problem known as psoriasis. Moreover, the rapid accumulation of all of these new cells on the surface, does not give all of them an opportunity for gradual maturation and thus may of these cells are not shed for long periods of time. In such areas, the skin becomes very red and gets inflamed, as cells keep accumulating; the area slowly develops an overlapping and white scaly patch or patches of cells-the typical sign of psoriasis.
The underlying reason for the accelerated growth of skin in areas of the body affected by psoriasis is still not known and needs further scientific investigations, these areas of psoriasis lesions formation seem to have a spontaneous accelerated growth of skin cells. A genetic linkage has been attributed to the disorder by some experts, this is because at least one in three individuals affected by psoriasis tends to have a family history of the disease-the disorder may well be hereditary in such cases. It is also believes that the onset of psoriasis is triggered by the long term use of certain stimulants such as alcohol, the exposure to continuous stress and anxieties, the presence of sunburn, the exposure of the skin to cold temperatures for long periods of time, the exposure to dry air, the presence of skin injury, due to a throat infection, and due to the use of certain medications, the presence of these factors may not cause the disorder but can certainly worsen already existing lesions on the body.
Supplements and herbs
The use of the following supplements and herbal remedies can aid in dealing with a sudden outbreak or flare up of psoriasis, the use of these supplements can be done one at a time or they can be used in combination treatments. It usually takes a month for the majority of individual sufferers to report or experience signs of improvement and a reduction in the psoriasis. The omega-3 essential fatty acids are abundantly found in all fish oils and in herbal flaxseed oil, these beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids act as blockers of the action of an acid known as arachidonic acid, this chemical compound is what induces inflammation in the human body. Psoriasis patients tend to have very low or marginal levels of the omega-3 acids. The powerful antioxidant action of many nutritional supplements such as the grape seed extract and the alpha-lipoic acid may aid in the active prevention of damage to the skin cells in psoriasis patients. The inflammation reducing plant bases natural compounds called as flavonoids are found in good amounts in both these herbal remedies.
The health of skin and nails is maintained by the vitamin A within the body, the mineral zinc also promotes healing in damaged nails and skin-both of these nutrients must be supplement on a regular and long term basis in the treatment of psoriasis. As the supplementation of the essential mineral zinc over a very long period of time will interfere with the absorption of copper in the digestive tract, corresponding supplements of copper are necessary to offset any chances of a deficiency developing in the body. The anti-inflammatory properties of the milk thistle herb can be used to bring the rash of psoriasis under control. This herb also gradually slows down the abnormal proliferation of skin cells in the body. Widely available in many health food stores, the fumaric acid cream can be applied as treatment during such outbreaks of rashes, the application of the fumaric acid cream directly to the skin lesions thrice daily will help bring about a reduction in the size of the lesions and will provide immense relief from the intense pain and itching sensations induced by psoriasis.
All the homeopathic remedies given here can be taken by the patients once every day at a potency of 30c for a treatment period lasting several weeks at a time. The strength of the medication will need modification if no substantial improvement is observed or if any signs of initial alleviation disappear on further dosage. It is suggested that the higher strengths or potencies, such as at 200c be used only about once a week-gradual treatment is the best option for the patient recovering from psoriasis.
Arsenicum is to be used as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of patients affected by psoriasis in which the physical symptoms include the development of red patches which form as large and grayish white scales covering a red base on the affected area. Physical symptoms typical in such patients include the development of extreme dry skin, which has a very rough texture, and is almost parchment like to feel. This form of psoriasis tends to occur along the scalp and the upper limbs, along the back of the hand, in the knees and in the chest. This form of psoriasis often comes accompanied by intense burning, and extreme itching sensations, the skin is given to very easy bleeding, affected areas are often extremely red, and tend to be inflamed. Other symptoms which are also apparent in affected individual include the presence of chills passing along the body; the person is also mostly physically tired at all times of the day and night. The patient may picks at his or her own skin out of desperation. Psychological symptoms that tend to occur in such individuals include extreme fastidious behavior; the person is also often obsessive about things and may be fixed on some imaginary goal. She or he will also have a lot of insecurities and emotional problems like anxiety; the individual also tends to suffer from extreme restlessness. The condition of the patient can greatly worsen after exposure to cold air out of doors, the symptoms also tend to worsen if the patient scratches his or her body, and symptoms also worsen after midnight and in the early mornings. The condition of the patient improves with warmth, and bathing with warm water can soothe some of the physical symptoms. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Arsenicum as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the condition.
- Arsenicum iodatum
Arsenicum iodatum is to be used as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of individuals affected by psoriasis. Physical symptoms can include the presence of extreme dryness in the skin, a scaly complexion coupled with extreme itching at all times along the affected area of the body. Physical symptoms are also characterized by a lot of large scales which peel off over a period of time, this peeling away of the skin often leave a raw and exuding, heavily inflamed surface visible as a sore red spot on the skin. This remedy is to be used in the treatment of psoriasis that affects the scalp, the wrists, the hands and the palms, and the whole body in some cases. Psychological symptoms evident in the patient include the presence of extreme restlessness. The psychological trait resembles the form of psoriasis that is treated using Arsenicum but differs from that type by the presence of hot sensations, and not chills along the body. Such individuals tend to be under weight and are characterized by extreme thinness. The sore spots along the skin tend to produce an extremely acrid discharge at all times. Conditions such as hay fever, sudden colds and flu's. The presence of asthma and an overactive thyroid can also sometimes be seen in such patients. The condition of the patient tends to worsen in very dry or very cold weather, the person also feels symptoms worsening when exposed to heat, when staying in a warm room, or when undertaking physical exertion. The condition of the patient can improve out in the open air. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Arsenicum iodatum as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the condition.
Berberis is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals suffering from long term psoriasis and other skin disorders like eczema. The physical symptoms include the presence of rough and pimply feeling skin, coupled with bran-like scales on the surface of the skin. The person also develops itching spots along the skin; these often spread to the whole of the body can induce a lot of discomfort. The psoriasis also breaks out in eruptions along the scalp, and these can often extend to the region of the face and along the neck of the individual. In addition, the person is also affected by acne, and a general poor skin complexion. The liver often develops a tonic condition. The person also suffers from swelling in the glands present all along the body. This form of the condition is characterized by a lack of perspiration and an inability to sweat as pores on the skin often become clogged. The condition of the patient can often worsen towards the evening, and is affected at night, the person also undergoes a worsening of the symptoms with continued rest or with too much or too strenuous movements. The condition of the patient can improve when taking a cold bath using very cold water. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Berberis as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of psoriasis.
Graphites is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals affected by psoriasis in which the symptoms include the presence of thickened and hardened scales on the skin, the skin is also affected by cracks and fissures which cause a great deal of discomfort. Physical symptoms also include the presence of intense itching and burning sensations. The individual may scratch his or her skin till it turns raw from so much irritation. The skin may also ooze out a honey like fluid from the cracks and fissures, these tend to crust up and cover the affected areas of the skin. The skin is also very easily affected by infection from different sources, and is very easily scarred because of the physical symptoms. This form of the disorder tends to affect the genital region, the areas of the palms, the skin along the back of hand, the skin behind the ears, and the folds of skin that form in the joints. The person has very little to no perspiration in the skin. Physical symptoms also tend to include the presence of chill running up and down the skin; the patients tend to become overweight and are often constipated. Psychological symptoms include timidity, the person develops many doubts about a great many things and situations, such individuals typically lack confidence and are always afraid of new events or situations. The condition of the patient can greatly worsen on being exposed to cold weather, to cold drafts, the symptoms also worsen at night, and when the person is in a warm bed, in general patients also tend to suffer a worsening of the symptoms during menstruation. The condition of the patient can improve with the application of some heat along the affected areas of the skin, and exposure to the air on the sea shore or beach will improve the symptoms. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Graphites as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of psoriasis.
Petroleum is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individual suffering from psoriasis in which the symptoms may include the presence of very dry skin; the skin in such patients also tends to be extremely sensitive. Physical symptoms also include the roughening and thickening of the skin till it become almost leathery to the touch along the affected areas of the body. The skin is also very tight and constricted along the affected area of the body. The skin also tends to break out into eruptions along areas such as the palms, the skin along the fingertips, and the skin in the bends of the joints, as well as in the skin that lies behind the ears, the skin along the genitals also tends to be affected by psoriasis. The skin of the patient is also affected by deep and raw cracks along the surface. These affected areas of the skin do not have a tendency to heal quickly and tends to bleed a lot, as well as becoming infected very quickly. The skin also tends to develop a lot of brown spots all along the surface. The physical symptoms also include tremendous itching, and the patient may scratch until the skin bleeds profusely. The affected areas of the body often become cold following a period of constant scratching. The condition of the patient can often worsen during the winter, and on being exposed to cold air, symptoms also worsen under motion, and at nighttime. The condition of the patient improve when he or she exposes the affected parts of the skin to warm air, and in dry weather symptoms tends to subside. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Petroleum as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of psoriasis.
Sepia is to be used as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of individual suffering from psoriasis in which the skin tends to develop a lot of circular and dry patches as part of the symptom, the skin also turns shiny white, and develops fatty scales along the surface of the affected areas. Physical symptoms also include the presence of thickened and dry skin along the affected areas of the body. This form of condition has a tendency to be chronic and affects the skin in areas of the body such as the eyelids, along the skin on the chin, the skin on the limbs, the skin along the genitals, the skin on the anus, and the skin in the bends of the elbow and the knee joints. Physical symptoms also include the presence of intense itching sensations when the person is in bed due to the warmth in the bed. The affected areas worsen and do not get better by scratching, but scratching tends to produce a burning sensation in the area afterwards. The skin is also characterized by the presence of brown spots or warts all along the affected area of the body. The skin also tends to be affected by circular eruptions all over the affected region. The person tends to suffer from chills all along the body, and he or she is worn out physically and mentally, the patients are also very depressed at most times. This form of psoriasis is often developed during pregnancy, while the mother is breastfeeding, and is the form of the disorder that affects women during menopause. Physical symptoms also include the falling away of hair on the head. The condition of the patient often worsens during menstruation, on being exposed to the cold air, to damp conditions or if the skin is wet. The condition of the patient can improve when the person stays in a warm room or when he or she baths using warm water.
Additional things you may do
Expose the skin for sometime to sunlight everyday. Standing and exposing the skin to sunlight for just fifteen to thirty minutes every day may bring some improvement to the lesions of psoriasis within three to six weeks of regular exposure. It is also suggested that you use applications of a sunscreen with a SPF of at least fifteen or even greater to the affected areas of the skin as a guard against possible sunburn. In addition, the use of a humidifier in the winter moths will help the skin heal faster. Lesions from psoriasis have a greater tendency to form due to dry indoor air. The entire body can also be treated by the application of a moisturizer all along the affected parts. This cream must be especially used on the lesions. The moisturizer used will better prevent dryness from affecting the affected skin and it will also substantially reduce the itching sensations along the affected areas of the body. A very good option is the use of herbal aloe vera gel as a moisturizer. Diets should include a fatty fish meat as these are high in omega-3 fatty acids essential to the health of skin. Options in the choice of food fishes include fishes like the mackerel, the sardines, tuna, salmon, and herring. Fish oils taken in the form of capsules can also work well.
- Grape seed extract, 100 mg two times daily. Should contain 92%-95% of proanthocyanidins.
- Milk thistle, 150 mg two times daily.
- Vitamin A, 25,000 IU daily for four weeks, then 10,000 IU a day. If you are pregnant or consider pregnancy, do not exceed 5,000 IU daily.
- Essential fatty acids, 1,000 mg fish oils thrice daily; 14grams of flaxseed oil every morning. If you have diabetes, take less than 2,000 mg of fish oils daily; higher doses of fish oils can worsen blood sugar control.
- Copper / Zinc, 2 mg of copper and 30 mg of zinc daily. When you use zinc longer than 4 weeks, add copper.
- Alpha-lipoic acid, 150 mg every morning. Take with or without food.
Other beneficial herbs
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- From Jon
- Cayenne used topically works great since it also stops any itching and pain in the area and only takes about 10-30 seconds to apply it directly once or twice to get effective use of it. And it can even be used quickly in long hair for scalp treatment without worrying about discoloration, smell, or dryness (from tannins in leaves). And there's not even a reason to limit it to the affected areas, especially since it also works against acne.