ALTERNATIVE DOCTOR, LLC
Psoriasis is a skin disorder that appears as raised reddish-pink areas covered with silvery scales and red borders. Psoriasis most commonly appears on the scalp elbows knees groin and lower back. It "comes and goes and may appear as a few spots or involve large areas. It is not contagious, either to other body parts or other people. More than 6 million people in the United States have psoriasis, which is seen in both sexes and all age groups. It can be triggered by emotional stress and can run in families. Severe cases can be physically painful and emotionally traumatic due to its unsightly appearance. Approximately 10 percent of psoriasis sufferers develop psoriatic arthritis, a painful arthritic condition.
Signs and Symptoms
The following are symptoms of psoriasis.
What Causes It?
The cause of psoriasis is uncertain but researchers do know that it involves a higher-than-normal rate of skin-cell production. Dead skin cells accumulate and form thick patches. Several underlying factors may trigger the disorder or flare-ups including the following.
What to Expect at Your Provider's Office
Your health care provider will examine your skin and ask questions about your physical and emotional health. You may need a blood test to check levels of calcium zinc and certain other elements.
It is important to eat a healthy diet and avoid foods that trigger your psoriasis. Be sure to include vitamin and mineral supplements in your diet. Your provider will prescribe oral and topical medications to relieve pain and heal sores. Solar and ultraviolet (UV) light therapies also are helpful.
Topical creams include the following.
Systemic drugs are taken orally and are used for more severe conditions.
Over the Counter
Complementary and Alternative Therapies
You may benefit from mind/body therapies and stress management. Exercise can help too as can drinking plenty of water.
Herbs may be used as dried extracts (capsules powders teas) glycerites (glycerine extracts) or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Teas should be made with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers and 10 to 20 minutes for roots.
Mix equal parts of the above herbs and use 1 cup tea three times per day or 30 to 60 drops tincture three times per day. This is especially effective if sipped. Take 5 to 15 minutes before meals to stimulate digestion. Coleus (Coleus forskohlii) (tincture 1 ml three times a day) has been used historically for psoriasis.
Topical creams may relieve discomfort. Chickweed (Stellaria media) relieves itching and marigold (Calendula officinalis) speeds healing of open lesions.
Be aware that homeopathic treatment of skin problems can result in an initial worsening before resolution.
See your provider regularly until your psoriasis is under control.
In pregnancy oral medications can be damaging to a fetus and topical creams can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
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