Living & Dealing with - Psoriasis
What is Psorasis?
Psoriasis is a genetic disease that affects the layers of the skin. It is characterized by red patches and possibility of shed silvery skin called 'scales' on the top layer. There are many forms of Psoriasis some affecting deep layers of the body, others only appear on the surface of the skin.
Psoriasis is caused by skin cells repairing damaged skin, they replace themselves every few days. This causes the notorious red patches from inflammation under the skin. These red patches can be painful or itchy, or they can even feel like they're burning slightly.
When new patches show up, or you notice that your Psoriasis is beginning to come back, these are termed as 'Flare Ups'
Psoriasis is generally measured in mild, moderate, and severe types.
There is currently no cure. There are however, a long list of home remedies, treatments, and medicine you can use to help control it.
My case of psoriasis is a mild form. It has appeared on my hands, elbows, knees, under my arms, and the back of my legs. Sometimes even on my eye lids.
(I would have used pictures of my own condition, but they've nearly cleared up as I've written this, should my condition change I might provide pictures later on.)
Causes and Triggers
Psoriasis being a genetic disease; it can be dormant without showing on your body until later in your life, or it could affect you at birth.
I had my Psoriasis show and begin to affect me between 10-13 years old.
There has been a few things that I can link to my flare ups to.
Anxiety/Stress - Starting School Junior high/High School really brought up my Psoriasis. Two weeks before School began or during school would leave me with it on my hands, elbows, and knees really badly. It was embarrassing for friends of mine or strangers to ask what happened to my hands.
Stress has been linked as the main cause for Flare ups. I recommend you find something that helps you cope or can relieve stress.
Damaging Skin - Now this can be from anything. I sometimes get a bit of Psoriasis appearing on my top eyelid; from mornings when I'd wake up and rub my eyes, or rubbing them when I had something in my eye. Scratching an area of my skin repeatedly, washing under my armpits. These have all caused a significant flare up on my body. It seems even some friction from materials or fabrics can also cause a new area to flare up or an already existing area to continue.
I'd say it's important for you to notice when you keep scratching/rubbing an area repeatedly, apply a lotion, cream, and/or anti-itch cream to stop yourself from continuing.
As someone who doesn't trust prescription drugs, due to their long list of side effects including thoughts of suicide and depression. I've scoured the internet and researched things that I can easily find in a grocery store or drug store such as Rite Aid, also a few things I learned from my doctor.
Moisturizing - The first important step to dealing and treating with it, keep your skin healthy and moisturized. Drinking water and using any typical lotion or moisturizing creams can greatly help you eliminate your scales and reduce redness. I recommend using a very neutral lotion. Something from Nivea, or Dial. Something with too many perfume chemicals could further irritate your skin. (Or in my case have you break out in an allergic reaction rash). I am not sure if a slight burning sensation of the skin when lotion is applied to a patch of Psoriasis is bad or not.
Nutritional treatments- This is the biggest thing I use for fighting my Psoriasis; it started off with learning I could use Vitamin D from my doctor. She prescribed to me a gelcap, this small blueish gelcap contained 50,000 Vitamin D. I took it once a week and started noticing changes within a few days. Since then I also purchased a bottle of 100-250 gelcap Vitamin D from any local store that has a vitamin isle. (Ask your doctor if you can have a similar treatment like mine).
Fish oil is another thing I've recently been using. Fish Oil contains a type of natural acid that combats the effects of inflammation of the skin, this can relieve you of itching and clear up your red patches.
I recommend you try finding a liquid dosage of Fish Oil. It'll be the most concentrated and extremely effective. I found a large bottle of it at my local Vitamin Shoppe. You can also purchase soft gel capsules. These can be extremely big to swallow, (I've had a few moments when it actually hurt when I swallowed these capsules because they went down in a weird angle.)
Coconut Oil - A new thing I had heard was a treatment for Psoriasis, I've not looked into the sciences behind how it treats Psoriasis, but it works similar to Fish Oil. Coconut Oil helps to relieve inflammation through some sort of fatty acid. It also can be used as a natural lotion that hydrates and moisturizes the skin.
I managed to get cold-pressed, virgin Coconut Oil at my grocery store around 5-6 dollars a much cheaper alternative to expensive cremes and lotions. I would not recommend Coconut Oil capsules to take, ingesting too much Coconut Oil can raise your cholesterol levels.
Diet - Diet can be a big thing for you to get the nutrition your body needs and provide you with helpful minerals and vitamins to cut your flare ups.
The only liquids I drink are tea and water, I've stopped drinking Soda entirely for a years now. Foods I eat don't include fast food or heavily processed frozen foods. I normally try eating a fillet of Tilapia for dinner. Drinking a lot of water can provide your skin with natural moisture. Baked fish can reward you with natural fish oil that can also help with your Psoriasis.
There are other things I have heard that can help with Psoriasis such as Dead Sea Salt. I've not attempted this treatment.
I may be luckier then most that have to deal with Psoriasis, I noticed my skin will heal itself of my red patches and all traces of Psoriasis. It generally will not appear on that certain healed area again.
I do hope that my personal treatments will be better alternatives for you or someone you might know with Psoriasis.
I also recommend you try and be as open to your doctor no matter how embarrassing it is. They can really help you with locating a treatment that is best for you!
If you have any treatments yourself that you would to talk about, please put it down in the comments below, I'll do my best to approve them as fast as possible.