Psoriasis

NOTE: There are a number of types of psoriasis. I will only consider the plaque psoriasis here.

Skin Conditions

If you have a skin problem it is important to get a diagnosis.

Symptoms

Red patches with raised silvery plaques, often oval, sometimes irregular in shape. These may itch or burn. Psoriasis is usually found on knees, elbows, the trunk, or scalp. It usually begins in early adulthood. Fingernails may become pitted and ridged in some cases. Psoriasis may also be associated with inflammation of joints (psoriatic arthritis).

Causes

An immune system imbalance in which T cells (a variety of white blood cell) causes skin cells to replicate more quickly than normal.
There is a familial element in the cause of psoriasis.
There are several possible triggers that may lead to flare-ups:

  1. Injury to the skin, including that caused by scratching
  2. Streptococcal infections
  3. Taking some medical drugs. Lithium, Beta-blockers, non-steroidal anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) e.g. ibuprofen
  4. Hormonal changes as in puberty and menopause.
  5. Stress
  6. Alcohol

Treatment

There is no cure for psoriasis as yet but it can be controlled.
When you have a flare-up think about what might have changed in your life. Look at diet, stress levels, climate change, medication, and injury
Some lifestyle changes can help alleviate or remove the symptoms:

Herbs for Topical use

Herbs for Internal use

I would strongly suggest that if you wish to takes these herbs it is advisable to visit a local herbalist who will prescribe herbs after considering your case history and examining your skin. As with other skin diseases, the liver needs to be supported because of its role in the elimination of toxins. Normalising bowel function is important as is dealing with any existing gut infection. Where stress is a factor, a nervine will be included to aid relaxation.

Drinking tea made from young nettles tops and cleavers in the spring is advisable for those suffering from skin problems.

Please Note
Information given here should not replace consultation with you doctor.

See also Trapped Wind - Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Insomnia - Eczema

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page rewritten 6th August 2009