Psoriasis truly sucks and the unsightly spots impact self-esteem. Flare ups can come out of the blue and target any part of your body. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease triggered T cells that travel to the skin to attack. The skin becomes over active and swollen as skin begins to pile up and develop patches of scaly skin.
The common causes of psoriasis are:
- Poor diet
- Overactive immune system
- Emotional stress
- Poor small intestine permeability
- Bad protein digestion
- Poor liver function
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Hormonal changes
- Increased T cells floating in the bloodstream attacking the dermis and epidermis
Some people develop large patches at joints or scattered patches throughout the body. There are different types of psoriasis. Studies show a link between leaky gut and psoriasis. In my case, I have leaky gut, food allergies, stress and anxiety that impacts my break outs. Looking at the common causes of psoriasis basically puts my weaknesses to light. I have 8 of the 10 common causes which means I really need to tackle the problem. My breakouts have changed over the years. During periods of extreme stress, like my wedding, I develop patches at my hairline and scalp. My nails have always been weak and scaly. I have always gotten scattered tiny red spots around my body. This past month the quantity of these tiny spots has increased and spread from my head to my toes. I have spots on my face, neck, chest, back, torso and legs. The worst breakouts have occurred all over my face. The patches are red, swollen, itchy and unsightly. As the days progress my face gets more red, blotchy and swollen. The patches will worsen if I don’t fight back quickly. These last few weeks, I have had multiple flare ups and blotchy days. This week was the worst of all with patches on my nose, forehead, jawline, cheeks and hairline. It is time for me to fact back fast and hard. I have reached a point in my life that I refuse to use steroids or prescriptions to tackle my health issues. My body has enough stress to deal with adding a prescription and side effects is not an option. So I tackle it using holistic health strategies and natural remedies.
Here are the images of my most recent flare up:
Saturday Morning 11.24.18 Sunday Morning 11.25.18
Natural treatments for psoriasis:
- Hydrate- drink plenty of water
- Reduce stress- meditation, yoga, stretching, deep breathing and mindfulness
- Exercise – reduce stress and remove toxins throughout the body
- Natural topical remedies- essential oils, aloe, avocado oil, tea tree oil and Oregon grape extract.
- Homeopathic treatments, acupuncture and ayurvedic medicine.
- Psoriasis diet
- Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is a great way to dry up the psoriasis, remove the dead skin and reduce the redness. I notice huge difference in just a few treatments. Using essential oils remedies helps soothe and moisturize the skin but the salicylic acid is the most effective treatment I have done. Salicylic acid is sold in facial soaps, body wash, shampoo and facial peels. The strength of the acid ranges but they are all effective. I used 3% shampoo this week, scrubbing all my scaly skin and scalp. I allowed it to penetrate the scalp and skin for 5 minutes then rinsed. Since my redness was at extreme heights I reapplied it again. Using this several times a day helps speed the recovery and remove the scaly skin quickly. I woke up the next day and my face was no longer red and blotchy. I only had light pink patches on my face and neck today. But my problem is far from over, it’s time to treat the root cause fast.
Tackling the true root cause of the problem with stress reduction, supplementation and diet. You see if you don’t target the actual cause of the inflammation the problem will continue to flare up. I realize my diet has been less than ideal lately. I also have not been compliant with my Omega 3 and probiotic supplements.
Psoriasis diet is important to reduce the inflammation throughout the body. Leaky gut syndrome causes poorly digested food to travel through the bloodstream throughout the body and attack the skin causing psoriasis to flare. Leaky gut also can lead to a variety of other health issues like migraine headaches, muscle pain, chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression. Eliminating inflammatory foods from your diet involves identifying your harmful foods. Diary has never been my friend, even though I love to eat it. Dairy causes constipation, gas and psoriasis flare ups. I am also sensitive to sugar and sweets which it turns out flare up psoriasis as well. It is essential to avoid foods that trigger symptoms like, fried food, simple sugars, conventional dairy, hydrogenated oils, processed foods and alcohol.
- Probiotic foods – this enhances digestion, removes toxins, boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation. (kombucha, cultured kefir and fermented vegetables)
- Aloe- soothes the skin and digestive tract to enable healing.
- High fiber foods – reduce constipation and support healthy digestion to detox the digestive tract. (Fruits, beans, vegetables and seeds)
- Wild-caught fish
- High antioxidant foods
- Zinc – reduces pain and inflammation. (grass-fed beef, lamb, kefir, chickpeas and pumpkin seeds)
- Vitamin A – essential for skin healing (fruits and vegetables that are orange, yellow and dark green: mango, watermelon, carrots, kale and collard greens)
- Raw dairy – rich in enzymes and vitamin D (I’m skipping this one)
- Herbs & spices – provide an anti-inflammatory effect and filled with antioxidants. Pile on the turmeric.
Getting the right balance of nutrients can be hard with just diet alone. Supplementation with high quality supplements enhances healing and promote quicker recovery.
Supplements to support healing:
- Fish oil –(1,000-2,000 grams daily) Omega 3 fatty acid with vitamin D3 to reduce inflammation, enhance immune system function and aid skin healing.
- Hydrochloric acid (1-3 capsules with meals) – aids in protein digestion and reduce flare ups
- Milk thistle (250 milligrams three times a day) enhances liver detox and reduce cellular growth
- Probiotics (6 billion daily) enhance digestion by increasing good bacteria in the digestive tract. The probiotic I use enhances immune function, promotes gut integrity, builds flora and promotes brain gut connection with its unique controlled-release technology.
Essential oil remedies:
- Tea tree oil – promotes healthy immune system while cleansing and rejuvenating skin
- Frankincense oil– rejuvenates skin and reduces blemishes
- Myrr oil- helps sooth skin, cleansing and promotes youthful skin
- Cedarwood- relaxing and soothing aroma and promotes healthy clear skin
- Lavender- promotes calm, relaxation and enhances speedy skin recovery
- Geranium- calming, stress reduction qualities and promotes healthy skin
- Roman chamomile- calming and soothing effect on mind, body and skin
- Thyme- purifies and cleanses skin
- Bergamot- reduce tension and stress while promoting clear skin
- Helichyrsum- increases localized blood flow and promotes rapid skin healing.
These essential oils are all safe to use topically without dilution. Creating blends enhances the benefits by combing a variety of oils with carrier oils. Coconut oil or avocado oil are great carrier oil options. They promote skin healing by hydrating skin and reducing inflammation. Using blends helps facilitate using oils by creating personalized blends that are easy to use quickly and carry with you. I used avocado oil to create my blend, combining a variety of oils with 15 ml of carrier oil. I added 5 drops of each oil into the carrier oil. You can easily combine all of the oils together or use the ones you have on hand.
My Psoriasis Blend
Avocado oil – 15 ml
Tea tree oil – 5 drops
Lavender oil – 5 drops
Bergamot oil- 5 drops
Helichyrsum- 5 drops
Roman chamomile- 5 drops
Frankincense oil- 5 drops
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition and will be a life-long struggle but they key is learning your body, trigger foods and strategies to fight back. The psoriasis diet and supplementation will help keep you on track and reduce symptoms. Keeping salicylic acid on hand and using peels periodically on psoriasis spots will tackle the problem on the spot. Using essential oils helps hydrate and soothe the skin to promote healing. Remember to eat healthy, exercise, stress reduction strategies and use supplementation to support a healthy lifestyle and support your immune system.