What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a long-lasting autoimmune disease. In psoriasis, skin cells multiply 10 times faster than their normal. The volume of underlying cells, which reach the surface of the skin and die, causes red and raised plaques. These are covered with white scales. Psoriasis usually occurs on elbows, knees, and scalp, though it may also occur on palms, soles of feet or torso.
There are mainly five types of psoriasis: plaque, inverse, guttate, pustular, and erythrodermic.
What Are The Symptoms Of Psoriasis?
Symptoms of psoriasis vary from patient to patient, depending upon the type of psoriasis they have. The common symptoms of plaque psoriasis are:
- Red skin plaques covered with silver coloured loose scales. These plaques can be painful, itchy and may sometimes bleed after cracking. In severe psoriasis, the plaques of irritated skin grow and merge with each other, and cover larger areas.
- Disorder of toenails and fingernails, including pitting and discoloration of nails.
- There may be swelling and pain in joints due to psoriatic arthritis.
What Are The Causes Of Psoriasis?
- Weak immunity, in which white blood cells start attacking skin cells mistakenly.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Psoriasis?
Please follow your doctor’s advice. Also, you can manage the disease better and control flare ups by following the following tips:
- Keep your body moisturized because dry skin worsens the symptoms. Oily and thick moisturizers are better.
- Use a humidifier when it is dry to keep your skin moist.
- Reduce your alcohol intake.
Eat right, exercise, and maintain a healthy weight.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Psoriasis?
- Never pick or pick your scales or patches. It can worsen your psoriasis.
- Certain medications like lithium, propranolol, quinidine etc. are known for flaring up psoriasis. Hence, avoid taking these types of medications if you have psoriasis.
- Dry and cold weather makes symptoms worse in many people. Hence, avoid dry and cold weathers. Hot weather is better, though sometimes it may not be so.
- Avoid scrapes, bumps, cuts and infections as they can flare up a condition called Koebner's phenomenon.
- Don’t go out in sun for more than 20 minutes at a stretch. Apply sunscreen before going out.
What Are The Best Foods For Psoriasis?
Following foods should be included in the diet as they are known to reduce inflammation:
- Coldwater fish
- Flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, olive oil, and walnuts. These are plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Colorful fresh fruits and vegetables like carrots, squash and sweet potatoes, kale and broccoli, spinach, strawberries and figs, blueberries, mangoes.
- Fish oil, milk thistle, vitamin D, aloe vera, evening primrose oil and Oregon grape have been reported to ease mild symptoms of psoriasis.
What Are The Worst Foods For Psoriasis?
The following foods should be avoided as they are known to cause or increase inflammation:
- Fatty red meats
- Processed foods
- Dairy products
- Refined sugars
- Nightshade vegetables including tomatoes, potatoes and peppers.
What Are The Medicines For Psoriasis?
What Are The Tips To Manage Psoriasis?
- Avoid fragrances as most soaps and perfumes contain dyes & other chemicals that may irritate your skin.
- Take bath with lukewarm water and moisturize your body immediately after taking bath.
- Avoid stress and include yoga, meditation in your daily routine.