Psoriasis. It’s a common enough skin condition. But it’s not widely understood, even by those who have it.
Psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes skin cells to multiply at a rate much faster than usual. Skin cells might multiply at a rate ten times their average growth speed. The result is bumpy, itchy red patches of skin and scaly, flaking white spots here and there.
Skin cells are constantly growing, multiplying, and dying. The skin is the body’s first defense against the outside world, so it makes sense that the skin would regularly repair and “regrow” itself.
Now imagine that new skin cells are growing at a rate far faster than old skin cells are dying off. That might put some weird images in our head, like something out of a science fiction novel or a superhero action movie.
But let’s not forget that this accelerated skin growth is occurring on a cellular level, and it is only happening in specific parts of the skin.
Psoriasis can occur anywhere on the body. Sometimes psoriasis will “flare-up” in certain areas, recede, then show up in a different area. Common places for psoriasis to crop up are the scalp, elbows, armpits, face, knees, and lower back.
What Causes Psoriasis?
To better understand what psoriasis is, first we have to understand what causes psoriasis. First off, psoriasis is not contagious. Psoriasis can be hereditary, but it is not a skin condition that is transferred by contact with others. Secondly, psoriasis can manifest at any point in an individual’s life. Sometimes symptoms can fade away and go dormant for years. It’s a very unpredictable skin condition.
But here’s the real shocker. As for what causes psoriasis to occur in some people and not in others, no one really knows. Scientists are still looking for an exact, direct cause. However, some theories have been forthcoming.
For one, most experts believe that psoriasis is caused by an irregularity within the immune system. Quoting WebMD1 on the matter: “Something wrong with the immune system causes inflammation, triggering new skin cells to form too quickly. Normally, skin cells are replaced every 10 to 30 days. With psoriasis, new cells grow every 3 to 4 days. The buildup of old cells being replaced by new ones creates those silver scales.”
The WebMD article goes on to talk about the genetic component of psoriasis, how this immune system disorder is often passed down from one generation to the next. However, it’s worth noting that the condition often skips a generation.
Is Psoriasis Here to Stay?
It seems as though psoriasis is something that some people are just born with. Sometimes it develops later on in life. It depends on the individual. Either way, it is a condition that is wholly unique to the individual. No two cases of psoriasis look exactly the same. And while there is no known cure for psoriasis, there are methods of treating the symptoms of psoriasis.
People who struggle with psoriasis and its many symptoms shouldn’t be dismayed. There are methods to help prevent psoriasis symptoms. And there are ways to treat psoriasis symptoms, should they crop up.
What Can We Do to Prevent Psoriasis Symptoms?
An article on Healthline2 offers some excellent information on preventing psoriasis symptoms. Let’s not forget, one of the best medicines is prevention. And it makes sense too. If we can prevent an illness or malady from ever coming about, we’re already ahead of the game.
And it seems logical that preventing something from occurring is usually simpler and more manageable than treating the issue once it has occurred.
There are several approaches to preventing psoriasis flareups. We’ve included a few below:
- Eat a healthy diet. Diet is connected to skin health. What we eat affects all aspects of our health. People who know they are prone to psoriasis outbreaks and who want to prevent symptoms should reduce their consumption of alcohol, gluten, potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. Those same individuals should add omega-3s, fish oil, and vegetables to their diet.
- People with psoriasis should avoid smoking. (And thankfully, there is a mountain of other health benefits that go along with avoiding cigarettes).
- Don’t forget to protect the skin. People with psoriasis should use sunscreen when going out in the sun. They should also wear coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and long pants when going out in cold, dry weather.
- Decrease stress. While it may be more challenging to monitor, stress has a direct relationship to psoriasis flare-ups. Finding ways to de-stress can prevent such outbreaks from occurring.
- Get plenty of sleep. Let’s not forget that our time spent sleeping is the time when the body can heal itself. It’s a time when the body hits the reset button. Ensuring that we get enough sleep at night is one way to help prevent psoriasis symptoms.
- Take warm, not hot showers. Psoriasis flare-ups can be triggered when hot water is applied to the skin. Especially during the winter months, people with psoriasis should avoid hot, long showers.
From using a humidifier in the home to taking an oatmeal bath, there are lots of ways to prevent psoriasis symptoms. Most experts will recommend utilizing all of these methods, as different approaches will have varying results for different people.
What Can We Do to Treat Psoriasis Symptoms?
There are several treatments for psoriasis. Most medical experts will recommend a prescription drug or some form of medicinal approach. However, there are also plenty of home remedies and simple treatments that one can do to alleviate symptoms.
Probably the simplest and easiest method of treating psoriasis symptoms is by applying a psoriasis skin cream to the skin every day. Organic aloe vera skin creams can also help with psoriasis, as can other skin lotions and natural face creams. Any organic skin lotion which serves to moisturize the skin is going to have benefits in alleviating psoriasis.
There’s another bonus to addressing psoriasis symptoms. According to the WebMD article we cited earlier, when people treat their symptoms of psoriasis, their risk of other inflammation-based diseases goes down. That could mean lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome, etc.
People can get a lot of benefit out of treating psoriasis symptoms. Not only do patients experience better looking, better feeling skin, but they are also taking care of their bodies in general by treating psoriasis symptoms. They are protecting themselves from other ailments, all while keeping their skin healthy and looking fantastic.
Just another reason to moisturize!