What is Psoriasis?
The term ‘psoriasis’ is quite complex but it is a very common skin disease. Simply put, psoriasis occurs when skin cells grow in quick succession. The body does not get rid of these excess skin cells which results in their accumulation. Ultimately, these skin cells pile up on the surface of the skin. Psoriasis is a cause of great discomfort to the sufferer because it causes severe itching and pain. It results in thick red, dry patches on the skin. The symptoms could become mild or severe at different times. Generally, the symptoms decrease in the summer season and increase in the winter season. Psoriasis can develop at any age but people who fall in the age cap of 15-30 are more likely to develop psoriasis. It is deemed as a life long condition. A number of natural home remedies have been found beneficial in the treatment of psoriasis.
Basically, there are five types of psoriasis. Usually, the sufferers of the disease experience one type of psoriasis at a time. There is no overlapping. Psoriasis can be of the following types:
Plaque psoriasis: It is quite common. About 80% of psoriasis patients suffer from this type of psoriasis. Due to this type of psoriasis, the skin develops thick and scaly patches. Such patches may be red, white, or silvery in color. Elbows, scalp, knees, and lower back are more prone to develop plaque psoriasis.
Inverse psoriasis: Overweight people and those who have deep skin folds are more likely to develop inverse psoriasis. It develops smooth or shiny bright red colored lesions on the skin. Armpits, groin areas, area under the breasts, and other skin folds around the genitals and the buttocks are more likely to develop inverse psoriasis. Irritation caused by friction and sweating worsens the situation.
Pustular psoriasis: It is not very common. It appears on smaller areas of hand, feet or on finger nails. The main feature of pustular psoriasis is the development of white blisters of pus.
Guttate psoriasis: It is characterized by small drop-like spots. The trunk and limbs are more prone to this type of psoriasis.
Erythrodermic psoriasis: This type of psoriasis requires immediate medical assistance. It may further cause infection, pneumonia and even congestive heart failure. It covers the entire body with a red, peeling rash that can itch or burn intensely.
Causes of Psoriasis
A genetic predisposition running in families seems to increase the risk but does not guarantee the development of psoriasis. The immune system plays an important role in developing this disease. Even environmental factors cannot be ignored. Till date, the exact cause of developing psoriasis remains a mystery.
In most of the cases, Erythrodermic psoriasis is found to be triggered by severe sunburn, by corticosteroids and by other medications like lithium and anti-malarial drugs. Any previously untreated or poorly treated psoriasis can aggravate the problem and lead to the development of Erythrodermic psoriasis. Hence, it is remedial measures should be adopted so that the disease may not get worse.
Upper respiratory infections, tonsillitis, streptococcal, stress, throat infections, injury to the skin and the administration of certain drugs like anti malarials drugs and beta-blockers are the chief culprits in the development of Guttate psoriasis.
Internal medications, overexposure to UV light, pregnancy, irritating topical agents, systemic steroids, infections, stress and sudden reduction or complete withdrawal of systemic medications or potent topical steroids are the potential causes of Pustular psoriasis.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
In a number of studies, a significant number of psoriasis patients have reported that their psoriasis goes through cycles, that is, it causes problems for a few weeks or months, and then the symptoms ease or stop. The symptoms and the intensity of symptoms of the disease vary from person to person. It is not contagious. Apart from the skin in general, psoriasis can affect the nails, joints and scalp as well. The skin tends to become thick, red, scaly and cracked. There is a feeling of itching, soreness or burning. The nails begin to pull away from the nail bed or tend to develop ridges. The joints become stiff and swollen in the case of psoriatic arthritis.
Natural Home Remedies for Psoriasis
• Tea tree oil may have a bad smell but when it comes to the healing of psoriasis, tea tree oil wins hands down.
• Drinking green tea along with turmeric is one of the simplest natural home remedies for psoriasis.
• Regular application of seawater is beneficial in the treatment of psoriasis.
• Take one teaspoon of wheat germ oil, one teaspoon of castor oil and one cup sunflower oil. Prepare a lotion-like mixture of these ingredients and apply on the affected areas. This therapy provides immense amount of relief to the sufferer.
• Wash cabbage leaves and remove the thick vein-like structures present on them. Use these leaves in the form of compresses. It is extremely helpful in the treatment of psoriasis.
• Take four cups of water and boil four marigold heads in it for a couple of minutes. Cool it and apply to heal the psoriasis affected area. In case the affected area is scalp, massage the scalp with the help of this mixture and wash it off with a shampoo (mild one). Cider vinegar or lemon juice can be added in the rinsing water to facilitate a thorough wash. This might seem a bit complex but this remedy is considered very useful in curing psoriasis.
• Add one teaspoon of lime juice to a cup of fresh bitter gourd juice. Drink this mixture on an empty stomach. This therapy is bound to be effective if continued consistently till about six months.
• Cashew nut oil is another important natural and safe home remedy for psoriasis.
• Take a small cup of olive oil and add one drop of oregano oil and two drops of calendula oil in it. Apply this mixture on the affected area; acts as an effective cure.
Diet for Psoriasis
Green leafy vegetables are found to be helpful in reducing psoriasis to a great extent but not in eliminating the disease altogether. Red meat, red wine, monosodium glutamate, hot spices, funk food, chillies, strawberries, tomatoes and other acidic foods tend to aggravate the problem.
Bitter gourd, broccoli, cabbage and other fruits and vegetables rich in zinc and vitamin E help in dealing with psoriasis. Boiled vegetables are also a good source of healthy vitamins that can help in the treatment as well as prevention of psoriasis.