Just like you, I wondered can Psoriasis be cured?
For years I have endured hot summers in long-sleeved shirts and trousers because I was too embarrassed by my Psoriasis.
Everywhere I would go I would have to answer what felt like countless questions about what was wrong with my legs.
From my early 20’s I have struggled to manage my Psoriasis symptoms and I had all but given up on finding a fix and the dream of once again be able to enjoy wearing shorts again.
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I can now see that I have robbed myself of a lot of fun times, playing at the beach with my wife and kids and Boy have I suffered on the hottest of summer days.
Today as I write this, I am happy to say that I’m in a much better space. I’m in the midst of a beautiful summer and this is my first time wearing shorts in 7 years! Gosh, it feels great!
Hey, I’m Craig; I hope you find this article helpful in your search for easing the symptoms of your psoriasis and ultimately getting your immune system back to its best.
How Many People Have Psoriasis?
When you begin your search a cure for Psoriasis it quickly became very evident how common psoriasis is.
You may not know this but there is a staggering 400 million!! people globally that suffer from Psoriasis.
I know it can be a struggle, especially if you are experiencing a flare up right now. I encourage you to persevere, and in a bit of time, I know that you too will begin to see success in managing your psoriasis symptoms.
Keep in mind, that Psoriasis is not something you will always have to suffer through because you can and will learn to manage it.
What is Psoriasis?
To look at, it would be easy to think of psoriasis as just another skin condition. But unlike other skin conditions, the visible signs are only a manifestation of a chronic disease that affects your immune system.
It is recognizable by a red rash that is patchy, which becomes slivery with white scales. The most common form is called psoriasis vulgaris (vulgaris means common). This is most common in adults, however, children can also get it.
Its effects can range from very mild to severe and it can be found anywhere on the body. Most commonly you will find it appearing on your the knees, elbows, and scalp.
The below photos are a couple of examples:
If you have Psoriasis, the symptoms that you are seeing on the surface of the skin are only telling you a very small part of the story.
Understanding what is causing the symptoms that you are seeing on the surface of your skin, you will be better equipped to select from the vast array of treatments in managing your psoriasis.
Your Immune System And Psoriasis
In a healthy functioning body, your skin takes about 28 to 30 days to produce new skin cells and shed the old ones.
When you have plaque Psoriasis your immune system becomes overactive and triggers inflammation of the skin. This is what causes the initial red blotching on the skin surface.
In reaction to the inflammation, your body starts producing new skin cells that are pushed to the skins surface supper fast, in 3 to 4 days, unlike the normal 28 to 30 days.
When this happens your body is unable to keep up with this rapid production and begins to shed these new skin cells at the rate at which they are being produced.
The result of this is the old, dead skin cells begin to accumulate and pile up on one another. As these begin to reach the skin surface you are quickly able to see the thick, itchy, flakes that are widely referenced to as Plaques.
What Is The Main Cause Of Psoriasis?
Unfortunately there is no conclusive evidence as to what causes psoriasis, however, it is widely believed to be related to an immune system problem that involves the production of white blood cells (neutrophils) and more specifically malfunctioning T cells.
The T cells job is to actively travel throughout the body fighting against foreign bodies (bacteria, Viruses). When you have Psoriasis it is these T cells which mistakenly attack your healthy skin cells with the intent to heal a wound or fight an infection.
The overactive T cells trigger the production of healthy skin cells which travel to the skin surface causing the redness and skin inflammation you will be familiar with.
This creates an ongoing cycle as the body battles against the inflammation by creating white blood cells.
What Triggers Psoriasis?
Over time you will become more and more familiar with the things that cause psoriasis flare ups for you.
What I have found is by keeping a diary over the course of a few months I was able to identify some of the things I was doing and consuming that would cause flare up so I can now manage things better.
These are a few common factors that are known to trigger psoriasis :
• Infections, such as strep throat or skin infections
• Injury to the skin, such as a cut or scrape, a bug bite, or a severe sunburn
• Heavy alcohol consumption
• Vitamin D deficiency
• Certain medications — including lithium, which is prescribed for bipolar disorder, high blood pressure medications such as beta blockers, antimalarial drugs, and iodides
• Poor Diet
• Lack of sleep
What Are The Best Treatments for Psoriasis?
If you have been managing your Psoriasis for some time, you will know already of a vast array of ointments, creams, and gels that are available.
There are so many and it’s easy to become a little overwhelmed!!
What I have found is that there is not one single product that has provided me with results but rather using a few products used in conjunction with one another.
Here Are My Top Tips For Managing Psoriasis
But we want these changes you make to be introduced in a way that is manageable and able to be sustained.
Try and be mindful that slow lasting change is better than fast drastic change where you give up on because it’s too hard.
A Good Probiotic
Gut health and the role it plays in our immune system until recent times had largely been overlooked. The evidence (and research) is mounting on its importance to our body’s ecosystem.
Over time the good enzymes in our digestive system are depleted by the food and drink we consume. Probiotics are the best ways to reintroduce healthy bacteria back into your gut.
Probiotics reintroduce good enzymes which help you build your immune system so that your body can digest food, expel toxins, and fight inflammation that leads to psoriasis.
They also allow our bodies to get the most out of the good food we eat.
How To Chose The Best Probiotic For Psoriasis
Because there are so many of probiotics for you to choose from it will be a little overwhelming to know which to choose.
But DON’T WORRY the probiotics you decide on will largely come down to your budget.
Some of these can be less effective than others, however, on the whole, if you are introducing good bacteria to your gut you are still in a much better space than if you don’t.
For example, when I started on probiotics I just started with a cheap supermarket brand and as my budget allowed I moved on to better quality probiotics.
Have A Good Diet.
Yeah I know what you’re thinking, but this isn’t a pitch for ketogenic.
If we all reflected on our current diets we would probably agree that there is so much of our food that has slipped into our diets simply because they are convenient and taste amazing!
The downside to all of this is they just are not good for us at all.
For me to gain control of my Psoriasis has meant a reduction in heavily processed foods I was consuming.
Today, my diet is largely plant-based (still love my meat) and I have actively reduced the sugar from my diet. The darn stuff is in everything!!
Now, there are heaps of helpful websites that will provide you with a better understanding of what this will look like for you. My only words of advice here is, slow sustainable change is effective.
For 99% of us going cold turkey is going to be miserable so little and often.
Here is a link to paleo cookbook that I have been using for a while that might help get your creative juices moving.
I know from personal experience this can be incredibly hard to manage. In fact, when the pressure is on at work it’s not uncommon for me wake for no reason at 2 am.
I’ll toss and turn till morning and rob my body of the good sleep it needs to repair and restore itself.
This is when I know I need to get back on top of things.