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What is Psoriasis?

Updated on July 28, 2015

What is psoriasis? It’s a skin condition caused by an overactive immune system. The white blood cells called Tcells normally help protect against infection and disease. But in people with psoriasis, these cells become overactive, leading to inflammation and rapid growth of skin cells. It is believed by some specialists to also be hereditary. The cells pile up on the skin, forming thick, scaly patches.

People often ask about a psoriasis cure. You can stop looking. There isn’t one. So beware of anyone trying to peddle a magic cure. But while there isn’t a cure, there are a number of treatments available to relieve the symptoms.

Other symptoms of psoriasis may include red spots, blisters and large intense areas of redness on the body. The affected areas can be painful and itchy and the condition tends to get better at times and worse at others.

There are a number of psoriasis remedies that can relieve the symptoms ranging from Topical ointments, bath salts, concentrated coal tar solutions, ultra violet light therapy to prescription drugs. Topical ointments often contain steroids to reduce inflammation and should not be used by pregnant women. They are used to reduce itching and inflammation and removing scaly skin cells Some are available over the counter and others by prescription. .

Prescription medications can also contain steroids to reduce inflammation. In rare cases, these drugs can cause hormonal imbalances.

Light therapy involves exposure to ultraviolet light .It slows the production of skin cells, but raises the risk of skin cancer, and eye damage if not used with caution.

Systemic treatment involves either oral medication or injections. These drugs target symptoms, but can cause serious side effects, some more serious than the condition you’re trying to treat. Some of these include depression or kidney and liver damage.

Light therapy involves exposure to ultraviolet light which slows the production of skin cells. It carries a risk of skin cancer and can also damage your eyes if not done correctly.

In view of all the above factors, coal tar has become an active ingredient in many over the counter remedies such as shampoos, soaps and bath additives. Inexpensive home remedies such as adding baking soda to your bath to soften hard water also abound.

The cost of treatments can become expensive no matter what products you use. So, how does a financially strapped person cope?

As mentioned earlier, use of coal tar is common. However, the cost of a small bottle of coal tar solution, such as the popular name brand “Oxypor,” can cost over $20.00. It’s a good product but the sticker price may not be affordable to some. So what are financially strapped people to do?

“Balnetar”, a coal tar bathwater additive is another best seller which works well. But the price is about the same. Here’s one person’s thrifty idea.

If you add coal tar to your bathwater it literally ends up going down the drain. You can get a large bottle of skin lotion. A well known brand is recommended. Empty some of the contents and mix with a little coal tar solution. Apply just as you would any skin lotion. You may need to experiment a little to see what mix works best for you. Of course, there is still the smell of the coal tar to deal with. And you’ll need to be careful with clothing as it stains easily. Darker materials are suggested. This method will stretch your dollar at least ten fold, depending on how you mix it.

Read up on other home remedies and cost cutting methods. Using a little imagination maybe you can come up with your own ideas.


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