Psoriasis

Psoriasis is red scaly (silvery white) patches which can appear anywhere on the skin.

CAUSES:

  • Unknown.
  • Possibly genetically determined.
  • Common between 15-30 years.
  • Precipitating factors are:
  • Psychological emotional stress.
  • Cold weather.
  • Injury.
  • Septic focus.
  • Drugs like Steroids, Brufen, Lithium, Anti-malarials and Beta – adrenergic blockers.

SIGN AND SYMPTOMS:

  • Usually affects both sides of body symmetrically.
  • Well circumscribed red, dry plaques (flat areas on the skin) of various sizes, covered with scales.
  • Removal of scales gives rise to pin-point bleeding points.
  • Sites can be anywhere on the body especially on e.g. elbow, knees, sacrum and occiput.
  • Lesions are coin shaped or circular with central clearing.
  • Joints can get affected especially finger joints.
  • Nails frequently become pitted and thick with brownish black discoloration.

DIETARY MANAGEMENT:

Avoid:

  • Avoid precipitating or trigger factors.
  • Avoid food you are allergic to.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol.
  • Avoid foods high in fat or sugar.
  • Avoid non-vegetarian food – meat, poultry.

DO:

  • Warmth may help to control relapses.
  • Do regular exercise helps by improving blood circulation.
  • Practice yoga will help in reducing stress.

CONSUME:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat fresh and raw fruits and vegetables as they provide antioxidants and flavanoids which help in reducing inflammation and boosting up immunity.
  • Consume figs and fish oil might help you feel better.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet – Proper nutrition will improve general health and reduce the severity of the disease. Do not over eat even healthy foods.
  • Limit intake of red meat and dairy products.
  • Eat foods that contain psoralen before you walk out in sun – Celery, carrots, citrus, figs, fennel, and parsnips. It makes the skin more sun-sensitive to the positive effects of UV light. But do not over expose to sun.
  • Consume oily fish, may help reduce the inflammation associated with psoriasis – mackerel, salmon, black cod, albacore tuna, herring and sardines.
  • Have a low-calorie diet if you are over weight – about 1,200 calories per day. Some researches have shown relations between psoriasis and obesity.
  • Consume gluten free diet, it benefits individuals with psoriasis (Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in some cereals, particularly wheat) – avoid wheat, rye, barley and oats they contain gluten.
  • Increase intake of vitamin D.
  • Increase intake of omega 3 fatty acids and reduce intake of omega 6 fatty acids (ratio of 2:1), omega 3 fatty acid has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Food rich in omega 3:
  • – Canola oil, flaxseed, flax seed oil, walnuts and green leafy vegetables like purslane, fish – Atlantic salmon, Atlantic halibut, Atlantic mackerel, Atlantic and Pacific herring, sardines, bluefish, tuna and cold water fish.
  • Reduce (do not completely avoid) intake of food rich in omega 6:
  • – Cereals, vegetable oils, whole-grain breads, baked goods and margarines, eggs and poultry.
  • Consume diet rich in vitamin A and zinc, helps in regeneration of the skin.
  • Increase intake of vitamin C, it helps maintain healthy skin.
  • Have coriander leaves frequently, its high in vitamin C and helps to maintain healthy skin.
  • You can have 3-4 strands of saffron in milk, it is beneficial for skin.
  • Basil leaves (tulsi) are said to be helpful in skin ailments, eat 3-4 fresh leaves daily.