Psoriasis is a common inflammatory chronic dermatopathy. According to studies, a significant proportion of the population (1-3%), both adults and children, have psoriasis.
Even if at first psoriasis can terrify you, because it affects the quality of life and your confidence, there are ways to fight it back!
What is psoriasis
It is a chronic dermatopathy characterized by inflammation. It is classified in mild, moderate and severe psoriasis. Although it is a common disease, we do not know yet what causes it and triggers its appearance. It is believed to be an autoimmune disease and it is not contagious.
The skin with psoriasis differs from the normal one on the rate of cell renewal. In particular, the normal skin renews its keratinocytes normally approximately every month (28 days). Psoriatic skin, however, replaces its cells 7 times faster, in just 4-5 days. The result of accelerating keratinocyte production is to create hyperkeratosis and thicken the epidermis.
Causes and triggers
Psoriasis is a multifactorial disease with a hereditary background. Genetic predisposition is one of the main contributors to psoriasis. It is considered an autoimmune disease, as the immune system attacks the skin cells, by mistake. However, there are some environmental factors that can lead to the appearance and/or exacerbation of psoriasis such as
- infection by pathogenic microorganisms
- skin injuries or sunburn
- medicines (with lithium or beta-blockers)
- high alcohol consumption
Symptoms and signs
It occurs with the appearance of hyperkeratosis and erythematous plaques, which may be either obvious or not. The skin is red, dry, it may appear itchy and gives a feeling of peeling. In some serious cases, there is intense pain. Psoriasis can lead to psoriatic arthritis, which occurs in 10-15% of people with psoriasis.
Common signs of psoriasis are where there is intense friction, such as elbows, knees, abdomen and back. In some cases and depending on the severity of psoriasis, it can also appear on the scalp, legs, hands and mucous membranes.
Psoriasis is not cured, however, it goes through periods of recession and exacerbation. It is not contagious and therefore there is no risk of being transmitted from person to person.
Diet and lifestyle
Some general guidelines for treating psoriasis are:
- avoid drinking alcohol
- reducing consumption of simple sugars and sugar
- reduce consumption of saturated fat
- increase consumption of omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA)
- adopt a gluten-free diet
A gluten-free diet seems to help reduce the intensity of symptoms of psoriasis. The reason is that psoriasis shares the same metabolic pathways as celiac disease, so people have a sensitivity to gliadin.
As psoriasis is an inflammatory disease, it is very important to strengthen the body with anti-inflammatory substances. Many studies have shown that people with psoriasis have decreased levels of omega 3 fatty acids and elevated levels of omega 6 fatty acids. Because of this, it is believed that taking omega 3 fatty acids through supplements helps reduce inflammation and better manage symptoms.
Creams and topical treatments
To treat psoriasis and to reduce the intensity of symptoms, there are many creams and products for skin care, such as shampoos or moisturizers. In severe cases, corticosteroids are used.
The goal of local therapies is to:
- reduce the inflammation of the skin
- reduce itching
- moisturize the dry skin
- help remove flakes
- reduce its roughness
In Vita4you you can find a great variety of products to treat psoriasis.