Who does it affect?
Psoriasis affects around 2% of the population. It can affect people of any age, although it’s most common between 15 and 35. It can run in families, so if both of your parents have it, then there is roughly a 60% chance that you will suffer from it too.
There are many different types of psoriasis (click here to read more detailed information) but the most common is plaque (discoid) psoriasis, which affects around 90% of sufferers.
What causes psoriasis?
Psoriasis is thought to be an autoimmune condition, caused by the body replacing skin cells too quickly. The exact cause is unknown, but it appears to be an inherited trait that flares up when certain ‘trigger’ events take place. These triggers can include dietary changes, smoking, hormonal changes, medications, infections, skin injuries and environmental factors. Alcohol, dust mite allergy and harsh chemicals in toiletries can also be factors in flare-ups.
How can you make it better?
You can’t control your genes, but you can control your diet. For psoriasis sufferers, it is a case of moderation and variety so a fad diet is not necessary.
Suggested food and drink to limit include: fatty meat (especially pork), sugars, cow’s milk, margarine, vegetable oils and alcohol.
A Mediterranean-style diet with low levels of arachidonic acid and plenty of selenium, chromium, zinc, vitamins A, C, D & E may help improve symptoms. The USA’s National Psoriasis Foundation recommends an anti-inflammatory diet rich in coldwater fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, including tuna, mackerel, salmon and trout. Colourful fresh fruit and veg may also help reduce inflammation, including broccoli, kale, spinach, blueberries strawberries and mangoes.
It’s important to choose skincare without irritating ingredients and harsh chemicals. Look for products that help alleviate the symptoms as well as treat the cause.
At The Healthy House we offer a wide range of comforting, soothing skincare products designed specifically with problem skin in mind. The following products are all suitable for psoriasis sufferers:
- The MediCleanse range helps prevent further thickening, irritation, secondary infections and scarring. The products include helpful natural ingredients such as willow bark (a natural source of salicylic acid that helps remove the thick layers of overgrown skin common to all forms of psoriasis) and natural anti-inflammatory Leleshwa oil. The products are based on jojoba and coconut oil cleansers and do not contain SLES, parabens, alcohol, fragrances, mineral oils, waxes, coal tar, sulphates or other known irritants. The MediCleanse range is powerful enough to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis but gentle enough for routine use to prevent a psoriasis outbreak.
“For chronic eczema & psoriasis this is the best cream I have found. Beats anything on the market hands down. And the bottle lasts really well too”. Customer review of Medicleanse moisturising lotion, Feefo
- Dermabalm Moisturiser is formulated from all-natural plant based ingredients and is suitable for psoriasis sufferers with skin prone to dry, itchy patches. It is intensely hydrating and perfect for relieving dryness.
- Hope’s Relief Moisturising Lotion is a non-greasy formula that gently hydrates your skin with olive oil, mango butter, shea butter, calendula and rosehip.
- Purepotions Bath Oil and Salve are 100% natural with no synthetic colours or fragrances added. The richly-moisturising salve is made from a beeswax base that holds the moisture to the skin, with the added benefit of hemp oil which is rich in EFAs (essential fatty acids). The bath oil helps counteract the drying effects of bathing in water.
- Salcura Zeoderm Skin Repair Moisturiser is a 100% natural cream that has been specially formulated for troubling skin conditions such as psoriasis. It contains a unique blend of nano-minerals and vital nutrients. Zeoderm is quickly absorbed, non sticky and penetrates deep down for maximum moisturisation. It is formed from natural volcanic micro porous silicate minerals (zeolites) and is non toxic. Many other Salcura products in the range are also suitable for psoriasis sufferers – please check each product page before purchasing or give us a call if you are unsure.
More top tips
- Long hot baths can dehydrate irritated skin and exacerbate symptoms of psoriasis. Try switching to lukewarm showers lasting less than 10 minutes instead.
- Consider using a humidifier. They can help counteract the itchy, drying effects of central heating in the winter by helping to replace lost moisture in the skin.
- Some people find that chlorine in bathing water filters irritate sensitive skin. If this affects you, consider a shower or bath water filter.
- Specialist clothing may help if wool fibres tend to make your symptoms worse. Try wearing organic cotton or DermaSilk layers underneath your clothing to prevent further irritation.
Disclaimer: Information included in this website is intended for information purposes only and is not to be used as a substitute for consultation with a medical practitioner.