Psoriasis is an autoimmune inflammatory condition that can be frustrating and difficult to treat. Although the exact cause is unknown, scientists believe that it is linked to an overactive immune system. There are many potential treatments for psoriasis; however, they often involve medications that cannot be taken for extended periods of time.
If you’re looking for a more natural approach to treating psoriasis, there are plenty of things to try that may help reduce your symptoms and keep flare-ups at bay.
Typically, psoriasis presents as a red and scaly rash that can appear anywhere on the body, although it is predominantly found on the scalp, elbows, knees, and trunk.
There are several different types of psoriasis, and each has slightly different symptoms. For example, Guttate psoriasis looks like small, red circular dots of flaky skin. Inverse psoriasis, on the other hand, is smooth, red and shiny, and tends to appear in skin creases such as the armpits and groin. Psoriasis often flares up when exposed to triggers, however it also has periods of remission, sometimes for months or even years.
Psoriasis is a highly personal disease, and each individual will experience different triggers that cause flare-ups. Similarly, it’s often impossible to pinpoint the reason for remission; however, being mindful of your lifestyle choices can help to lessen your symptoms.
To help, here are some of the most common psoriasis triggers.
Healthcare professionals believe that the single biggest trigger of psoriasis is stress. This is because stress causes inflammation in the body, and psoriasis is an inflammatory condition. Managing your stress levels is a key component of living a psoriasis-friendly lifestyle.
According to Psoriasis.org, the prevalence of psoriasis among smokers is higher than in the general population. In fact, a study found that women who smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day are 2.5 times more likely to experience psoriasis than nonsmokers. This may be due to the negative effect that nicotine has on the immune system and skin cell growth.
Psoriasis outbreaks are often caused by something known as the Koebner phenomenon. Koebner phenomenon occurs when the skin is broken or damaged in some way, causing new areas of psoriasis to form. Skin injuries such as intense sunburns, mosquito bites, and cuts to the skin can trigger a psoriasis outbreak.
Although psoriasis can be stubborn, you can often improve it with targeted therapy. Here are some commonly prescribed psoriasis treatments.
Coal tar is an older, well tested topical treatment for psoriasis. Although it works well for most people, the major downside is that it has a very pungent scent that some people cannot tolerate. It can also be very messy to apply, and stains clothes and surfaces easily. It’s also important to note that it’s advised not to use coal tar for extended periods.
The most popular psoriasis treatment, steroid-based creams, are often the first initial medication that doctors prescribe to treat psoriasis. Steroids help to reduce inflammation and slow the growth of skin cells. This, in turn, reduces the symptoms of redness and scaly patches. Steroid based creams can have side effects, such as the thinning of the skin, so it’s important to always follow your doctor's directions.
Biologics are effective psoriasis treatments that work very well for most people, although they are typically more expensive than most other psoriasis medications. Biologics work by suppressing your overactive immune system, which slows the growth of skin cells dan reduces the redness and plaques that psoriasis causes. Biologics can cause several side effects, and therefore should only be taken under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
UVB is a type of light therapy that is conducted under a doctor’s supervision to ensure that no negative side effects occur, such as burning of the skin. Narrow-band UVB therapy works by directing ultraviolet light at the patient’s psoriasis up to five times per week, depending on the severity. Patients often need multiple sessions before they see results.
Treating psoriasis effectively can be a process of trial and error, and may require a combination of medications and methods to find true relief. It’s crucial that you thoroughly research all psoriasis treatments before use, and consult your doctor about any lifestyle changes you plan to make.
https://www.nation.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-psoriasis/, https://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriasis/stress, https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/how-cigarettes-and-alcohol-affect-psoriasis, https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/koebner-phenomenon#1