Many Herbally Radiant customers suffer from skin allergies and skin disorders like psoriasis. Besides embarrassingly visible, this takes psychological toll severely with disrupted social interactions and self-image issues.
What is psoriasis? It is a common, chronic condition in which the skin develops red, itchy patches and thick, silvery scales. Autoimmunity is suspected as the core problem, and the course of the disease typically involves periods of symptom flares alternating with periods of remission.
The human body produces new skin cells at the lowest skin level. Gradually those cells move up through the layers of skin until they reach the outermost level, where they eventually die and flake off. The whole cycle - skin cell production to skin death and flaking off - takes between 21-28 days. In psoriasis, the cycle takes only between 2 to 6 days; resulting in a rapid buildup of cells on the skin’s surface, causing red, flaky, scaly, crusty patches covered with silvery scales, which are then shed.
What are the symptoms? The hallmark of psoriasis is the appearance of one or more small patches of thick skin. These areas are usually not painful, but are readily visible, often embarrassing.
Experts are not sure what causes psoriasis. Most believe there is a genetic component that can be triggered by a prolonged injury to the skin, skin infections, sunburns, cuts or scrapes, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, mental stress, and over-medications.
Aloe Vera: Gel from the aloe plant can be applied to the skin up to three times a day. Research shows it can help reduce redness and scaling associated with psoriasis. Look for creams containing 0.5% aloe.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Used by ancient cultures as a disinfectant, it may help relieve scalp itch from psoriasis. Some people dilute it with water on a 1-to-1 ratio that helps prevent a burning sensation. Skip this remedy if your scalp skin is cracked, or has open wounds, or bleeds.
Dead Sea Salts : Adding Dead Sea or Epsom salts to bath water and soaking in the tub for about 15 minutes may help remove scales and ease itching. Be sure to moisturize skin thereafter.
Oats : Considered one of nature's best skin soothers, oat paste, or taking bath in oats has been found to relieve itchy skin and reduce redness.
Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is from the leaves of a plant that is native to Australia. Tea tree oil is believed to have antiseptic qualities and can be applied to the skin. Some people find using shampoos with tea tree oil helps relieve their scalp psoriasis.
Turmeric : This herb is being frequently studied for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric also has the ability to alter gene expression. A 2012 review by the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology highlights turmeric's ability to alter TNF cytokine expression. This is the likely reason some patients find it helpful in minimizing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis flares.
Mahonia Aquifolium (Oregon Grape) : Mahonia is a powerful antimicrobial herb that plays a role in immune response. Studies show that applying a cream containing 10% mahonia is effective in treating mild to moderate psoriasis.
(In serious cases, consult your doctor. Also, do not take some herbal remedies if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have medical conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.)
Dietary changes: Follow an anti-inflammatory diet, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly those rich in carotenoids (mangoes, corn, sweet potatoes, carrots and squash, as well as leafy greens and tomatoes).
Herbally Radiant physician is available, by appointment, for free consultation.