Sunday, December 18, 2011

UV Light Therapy For Psoriasis – Natural vs Artificial Light

For many patients with psoriasis, one of the best treatments for psoriasis lesions has been found to be ultraviolet (uv) light found in the sun's rays. Why uv light therapy for psoriasis works on psoriasis lesions is still a mystery. Patients can either use natural light or artificial light to treat the symptoms of psoriasis.

Ultraviolet Light

There are three forms of ultraviolet light found in the sun's rays and they are UVC which are usually blocked by the ozone layer for the most part and have no benefit for uv light therapy for psoriasis.

UVB rays are responsible for tanning skin and cannot pass through glass. These rays are also longer than UVC which are the shortest of all ultraviolet rays. UVB rays have been identified as being effective when used in uv light therapy for psoriasis.

UVA rays are the longest and can tan the skin and these rays are commonly used in tanning salons. While they are also used in uv light therapy for psoriasis, they are ineffective when they are used on their own. When combined with a drug, UVA is very effective for psoriasis treatment.

Natural Sunlight

It may seem like the most natural thing to do to simply go out into the sun if you are seeking relief from psoriasis symptoms. Like any other treatment for psoriasis, it can be effective for some people but also ineffective for others. When effective, remissions from the symptoms can last for a few weeks but again this can vary from one person to another.

Before using natural sunlight in uv light therapy for psoriasis, it is important to consult your dermatologist in order for him or her to determine your skin type. Your skin type will usually determine how effective phototherapy will be for you and a dermatologist has tools that will effectively test your skin.

Skin type and therefore sun sensitivity is affected by various factors besides skin color such as any medications you may be taking so it is important to tell your doctor about any medications you are be taking so that there is a proper skin analysis and determination of your skin's photosensitivity.

When using natural sunlight for uv light therapy for psoriasis, it is important to stick to a schedule and be persistent as it may take some time before you notice any benefits. It is also important to be cautious to prevent overexposure. Your doctor may suggest how long you may sunbathe to prevent overexposure leading to severe sunburns. Do wear sunscreen and protective sunglasses that can block uva and uvb rays on areas that are free from psoriasis lesions. Also stay out of the midday sun which is at its strongest and most dangerous at this time.

As with anyone who spends time in sunlight, it increases the risk over the long term of premature aging of the skin, freckles and in more serious cases skin cancer so it is important to have the skin evaluated by a doctor periodically when using uv light therapy for psoriasis treatment. If you notice any suspicious skin changes, notify your doctor immediately and stay out of the sun.
Artificial Light

This can be administered in a doctor's office or in the comfort of the home with the purchase of UVB home units. UVB light fixtures that give off artificial light have been found to be very effective for many but not all psoriasis sufferers.

A prescription is necessary if a sufferer is considering a home unit to use for uv light therapy for psoriasis. The cost for these home units varies from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. Heath insurance may be able to cover the cost for these home units.

UVB home therapy will work great if you live far away from your doctor's office, if you are pregnant, if the patient is a child and if there is only so much that health insurance can cover in terms of doctor's office visits.

Whether used at home or in a doctor's office, these units can lead to a vast improvement in psoriasis symptoms and clear lesions quickly. Treatment can be stopped when lesions clear up but many patients adopt a maintenance regimen which requires several treatments each month to prolong the remission of psoriasis lesions.

With UVB units whether used at home or in a doctor's office, protective wraparound glasses are important as well as applying sunscreen to areas that are very sensitive to ultraviolet light such as the face and the back of the hands. Other precautions to take include covering the genitals for male patients. Also, only the patient should use the unit.

Some UVB units found in a dermatologist's office may be able to clear skin faster while preventing burning as well as lowering the risk of skin cancer. Just like sunlight, artificial light can also increase the risk of premature aging, developing freckles as well skin cancer so skin monitoring is important.

This is only some information on uv light therapy for psoriasis using natural sunlight or artificial light to clear psoriasis lesions. Some patients may choose one over the other or use a combination of both for treatment. Using artificial light may be more beneficial as it is administered in a controlled setting but nonetheless, any form of light therapy is definitely beneficial for many psoriasis sufferers. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Common Systemic Drugs Prescribed For the Treatment Of Psoriasis

While there is no psoriasis cure, there are many treatment therapies that can help to alleviate the various symptoms of psoriasis or prevent flare-ups. Many treatment methods include home remedies for psoriasis, implementing a psoriasis diet, light therapy for psoriasis, homeopathy, acupuncture for psoriasis, topical treatments, etc. Taking medications internally is known as systematic therapy. Systemic therapy is usually suggested in cases of moderate to severe psoriasis.

As is common with many psoriasis treatments, what works for one patient will not necessarily work for another. This does not mean that a patient should give up on finding treatment that works for him or her. It just means that their search for a treatment regimen that works will take a little longer and they will have to try various combinations of home remedies for psoriasis, light therapy for psoriasis, acupuncture, herbs, topical creams and gels and so forth.

The following are common systemic medications that are used for the treatment of psoriasis. While they may be great at clearing up psoriasis flare-ups, they may also lead to very unpleasant side effects so talk to your doctor before, during and after use.

1. Methotrexate

Psoriasis results from the abnormal turnover of skin cells. Methothrexate has provided relief for many psoriasis sufferers by interfering with this rapid skin regeneration otherwise known as being an antimetabolite.

Methotrexate is great as a systemic treatment option for moderate to severe psoriasis as well as the painful psoriatic psoriasis in addition to other types of psoriasis such as pustular psoriasis, erythrodermic psoriasis and severe plaque psoriasis.

This drug is usually taken in pill form or an injection is administered to the patient and a doctor may tell you to only take it once a week. Follow-up while on this medication is necessary to monitor the patient's reaction to the drug.

Side effects: May include loss of appetite, diarrhea, nausea, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, etc.

2. Cyclosporine

When topical medications, light therapy for psoriasis or even home remedies for psoriasis fail as well as many other treatments for psoriasis, Cyclosporine is usually recommended for those with moderate to severe resistant plaque type psoriasis.

Cyclosporine works by suppressing an aspect of the immune system that is responsible for psoriasis flare-ups and works very rapidly when compared to other systemic medications such as methrotrexate and retinoids. Relief usually begins to be noticed during the first four to eight weeks. It is usually administered to patients in pill form once a day. When treatment is discontinued, psoriasis symptoms will usually return.

Side effects: Cyclosporine should be discontinued after a year because it can lead to permanent kidney damage. This drug may also increase the risk of cancer, lead to high blood pressure, excessive hair growth, nausea, diarrhea, tremor, etc.

3. Oral Retinoids

These are synthetic drugs that are derived from vitamin A and its product, vitamin A acid which are very beneficial for skin. One of the common drugs derived from vitamin A is isotretinoin or Accutane which is used for the treatment of severe acne. Acitretin or Soriatane is another oral retinoid that is derived from vitamin A and is used to treat severe forms of psoriasis.

These derivatives of vitamin A directly affect the differentiation and growth of skin cells which is why they are great treatment options for severe cases of skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis. Soriatane and Accutane can both be used to clear psoriasis. These drugs can also work better when used in combination with uv light therapy for psoriasis.

When using Soriatane, it may take several weeks or months to see any results but the results may last for up to a year. The condition may get worse before it gets better after starting treatment. Soriatane works by slowing the rapid skin regeneration associated with psoriasis and helps to reduce the redness, thickness and scaling that may be noticed. Accutane may help with this as well. A daily dose should be taken with meals.

Side effects: Birth defects are commonly associated with oral retinoids so pregnant women or women planning to get pregnant are discouraged from taking these oral retinoids. Other side effects include inflammation of the pancreas, increased fats in the blood, uv light sensitivity and burns, etc.

There are many other drugs that can be prescribed for systemic treatment of psoriasis. Due to the cost and potential side effects that may be permanent, it is important to try other treatment therapies first such as acupuncture, home remedies for psoriasis, topical treatments, following a psoriasis diet, light therapy for psoriasis, etc.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Using Topical Treatments For The Treatment of Psoriasis

Treating psoriasis can be a complex process and the treatment regimen varies from one sufferer to another. Drug therapies can be used, home remedies for psoriasis can also be used, following a psoriasis diet can also be beneficial and this article discusses the use of topical treatments for the treatment of psoriasis.

Topical Treatments Commonly Used For Psoriasis

1. Moisturizer

Most people with psoriasis usually start with ensuring that they keep the skin moisturized to prevent it drying out and leading to psoriasis flare-ups. Using moisturizer liberally is possibly one of the best home remedies for psoriasis. It is definitely the easiest and least expensive way to control psoriasis. Using a moisturizer that contains an ingredient such as salicylic acid may also help to not only moisturize the skin but to remove the scales that are associated with psoriasis flare-ups.

As mentioned, consistent use of moisturizer is one of the best home remedies for psoriasis and a sufferer should try to apply it to slightly damp skin immediately after a bath or shower to help lock in the moisture on the skin.

2. Coal Tars and Anthralin

These are probably the oldest methods for treating psoriasis symptoms and a generally effective. Shampoos that contain tar are quite effective at treating scalp psoriasis and are generally available over the counter.

Some products containing tar may only be obtained with a prescription such as crude coal bars in up to a 2% ointment base. They are quite messy and may stain in addition to having a strong odor which is why they are mainly used in medical centers.

Refined tar in preparations such as liquor carbonis detergent can be added to various body and scalp ointments and lotions to treat the symptoms of psoriasis.

Anthralin is usually used for treating patches of psoriasis that are isolated. It does stain the skin and clothing and its application may be tedious but can still be used in the comfort of your home. It is also used in combination with light therapy for psoriasis for greater results.

3. Corticosteroids

Topical corticosteroids are excellent for psoriasis treatment because they help to slow the rate at which skin cells turnover as well as reduce skin inflammation. Sufferers usually use topical steroids at different strengths and they come in the form of lotions, gels, creams, foams, sprays, tape, ointments, etc. Topical steroids are not only effective but easy to use and greatly help the skin to look better which builds confidence in the sufferer.

Another way to apply topical steroids is by a doctor injecting low concentrations directly into the lesions.

The good results from topical corticosteroids do not last for very long however unless a high potency steroid is used. A high potency steroid can only be used on limited skin areas for a short period of time otherwise it could lead to various side effects such as thinning skin and stretch marks. Excessive use can also make psoriasis worse.

When you decide to stop using topical corticosteroids, it is important to not stop cold turkey. Slowly wean yourself off the steroids to prevent making lesions worse if you abruptly stop.

4. Tazorac

Vitamin A has been used for a long time to treat various skin problems from acne to wrinkles and fine lines. Consuming Vitamin A supplements on the other hand has resulted in sometimes fatal results or other health problems in some people. In order to effectively use the vitamin A without the negative side effects, synthetic topical forms were developed that are safe to use.

Tazorac is one such form and frequently used to treat the symptoms of psoriasis and requires one daily application only and can help to prevent psoriasis flare-ups in many patients for up to twelve weeks or longer.

Available in two strengths, Tazorac dries quickly, does not have an odor and does not stain skin or clothing. It effectively slows down the growth rate of the skin cells associated with psoriasis flare-ups in most patients. It is powerful enough to be used to treat tough types of psoriasis such as scalp psoriasis and psoriasis that affects the nails.

It can be effectively used in combination with other medications such as light therapy for psoriasis and high potency steroids for even better results.

The main side effect associated with its use is that is can cause skin irritation in some patients enough to stop treatment. Avoiding skin irritation can be done by using very small amounts and applying it correctly. Only small amounts are needed anyway. It is also not recommended for delicate areas of the skin such as the genitals or skin around the eyes.

While on the treatment, sun exposure is usually discouraged as it can increase the risk of having severe sunburn. It is also quite drying so applying a moisturizer first before the treatment and allowing it to dry is recommended.

The above are only a few topical medications for the treatment of the symptoms of psoriasis. Combining these treatments with other psoriasis therapies such as other home remedies for psoriasis, drug therapies, etc, may also produce even more positive results. Since there isn't a psoriasis sure, a sufferer may have to try various treatment combinations to find what works the best for him or her.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Top Alternative Therapies For The Treatment of Psoriasis

Many psoriasis sufferers use various drug therapies for the treatment of the symptoms of psoriasis with varying degrees of success making it necessary to look for treatment alternatives including the use of home remedies for psoriasis. Many sufferers usually have to use a combination of various treatment methods in order to obtain relief from this chronic skin condition. Listed below are the top alternative therapies for the treatment of psoriasis.

Use Of Herbs

Many home remedies for psoriasis use various herbs to treat the symptoms of psoriasis. The use of herbs is probably one of the oldest forms of medicine dating back many centuries. In China for instance, the use of herbs is just as popular if not more so than conventional treatment methods.

Usually the herbal treatment is tailor made for each patient which makes sense especially for psoriasis patients for whom treatment usually varies from one patient to another because there isn't a psoriasis cure at the present time and what works for one sufferer may not work for another.

Herbs are also popular with psoriasis sufferers because they are usually much cheaper than prescription medications and other medications. The use of herbs is also very popular because the herbal industry usually emphasizes going beyond the treatment of the symptoms and seeks to deal with the root cause. 

Common herbs that are used to treat skin conditions including psoriasis that can be implemented in various home remedies for psoriasis include, aloe, witch hazel, milk thistle extract also known as silymarin and capsaicin (obtained from hot peppers).

Before implementing herbal treatments, it is important to use caution and discuss the use of this alternative treatment with your doctor. Some herbs may cause an allergic reaction, increase the risk of liver damage, etc, so you need to be cautious. You can also obtain information on various herbs by contacting various institutions such as the American Holistic Medical Association.

Use of Holistic Medicine

Used for many centuries by Hindus and Greeks, this approach seeks to not only address the physical manifestations of disease but also seeks to address the patient as a whole and his or her physical, emotional and spiritual needs using powers of natural therapy. Holistic medicine relies on the patient being able to heal him or herself by healing the mind and body in order to restore balance and harmony thereby eradicating all disease sine the environment in the body will no longer be conducive for the development of sickness and disease.

Use of Acupuncture

This is an ancient Chinese practice that views the body as a system of energy pathways and treatment usually involves determining where the discrepancy is located in these energy pathways as well as where energy is blocked and fixing it using various needles at inserted into the areas where the blockages are located.

Acupuncture with psoriasis sufferers is usually used in combination with herbal treatments. Acupuncture is especially beneficial for patients that suffer from psoriatic arthritis and can help to alleviate the joint pain associated with this condition.

Use of Homeopathy

This treatment therapy was started over two centuries ago by a German pharmacist and physician named Samuel Hahnemann. Homeopathy is used with the goal of being able to stimulate the body's defenses against sickness and disease. This is accomplished by administering small doses of certain substances that are like the disease such as gold, sulphur, copper, etc.

When using homeopathy, patients are usually advised against taking other strong medications such as prescription medications. How and why this therapy works remains unknown. It simply follows a philosophy of like cures like.

Before being given a dosage, the patient will usually be asked many questions such as their lifestyle, needs, feelings, etc. This treatment method is usually slower and also tailored to each patient's individual needs. While on this therapy, some psoriasis patients may get worse before seeing any improvements which many practitioners believe means that the treatment is working.

Use of Naturopathy

This form of treatment dates back to Hippocrates (400 B.C) and follows a philosophy that the body can heal itself by following the proper nutrition and right lifestyle and has the belief that toxins are the cause of disease and sickness in the human body.

In order to remove toxins, a patient may be advised to do various things such as consume more water, alter eating habits (follow a psoriasis diet for psoriasis sufferers), reduce or eliminate the consumption of sugar, alcohol and caffeine, quit smoking if a smoker, adopt an exercise regimen, use various supplements, reduce stress using various relaxations techniques, etc. As you can see, the emphasis is on health and not necessarily fighting the various symptoms of the disease.

These are some of the top therapies for the treatment of psoriasis that have been shown to be very effective with many sufferers either used alone or in combination with other treatments including home remedies for psoriasis

Monday, August 29, 2011

Psoriasis Diets – The Importance of Proper Nutrition For Psoriasis Sufferers

With any disease, ensuring that the sufferer gets adequate rest, manages stress, exercises, and follows a healthy eating plan are very important when trying to overcome any sickness. The last item is of especially great importance to psoriasis sufferers to help control the condition by following a proper psoriasis diet.

Importance of a Psoriasis Diet

While there currently exists no cure for psoriasis, there are various drug therapies as well as home remedies for psoriasis that can help to alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis. Another way to manage this chronic skin condition is by following a psoriasis diet which requires making adjustments to the food consumed to help with the various symptoms of psoriasis.

While psoriasis can not be managed with a psoriasis diet alone, it can certainly help and there is no harm in trying. Psoriasis is such a complicated condition to treat and various therapies such as the use of various medicines, home remedies for psoriasis, light therapies, psoriasis diets, etc may be required before finding what works to control your particular case of psoriasis. This search and trial and error to find what works may be arduous but it is important not to lose hope and to keep trying until you find what works for you.

In addition to the various methods discussed previously, if you find that changing your diet or using various food supplements seems to help control the condition without harming you, it would seem prudent to continue with this psoriasis diet and/or food supplements.

Implementing proper nutrition is very important for a psoriasis diet especially when you think about the heavy loss of skin that results from the scales created with psoriasis as well as the inflammation during the entire period of a psoriasis flare-up which could possibly lead to nutritional deficiencies. The skin which is usually affected by psoriasis is the largest organ in the body and needs various nutrients to remain healthy. Following a proper psoriasis diet could help to add back and maintain optimal levels of nutritients.

A healthy and nutritious psoriasis diet should take into consideration the following;

  • A reduction in the amount of red meat consumed
  • A reduction in dairy products consumed that may aggravate psoriasis symptoms
  • Reduce or eliminate foods that are high in fats and sugars. Saturated fats should be reduced or eliminated as well as trans fats which are considered "bad fats." Good fats such as monounsaturated (heart helper) and polyunsaturated (physique helper) fats should be increased. Good fats are found in foods such as certain fish like salmon and tuna, walnuts, flaxseeds, soybean oil, peanut butter, olives, olive, canola and avocado oil, etc.
  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your psoriasis diet
  • Quit smoking and drinking and it has been found that even small amounts of alcohol can still worsen psoriasis symptoms
  • Consume greater amounts of fiber. Avoid any foods that have the word "enriched" in the ingredients list. Look for whole grains or packaging that says whole wheat. Fiber has great healing powers in addition to lowering cholesterol, preventing constipation and lowering the risk of cancer and heart disease. While fiber contains no nutrients, it is the only way to remove harmful toxins and chemicals quickly from the digestive tract. Being constipated as a result of not eating enough fiber will ensure that these chemicals and toxins remain in the body longer and do great harm to the body.
Fiber can also help to control weight since it helps one feel fuller sooner as maintaining a proper weight is important for psoriasis sufferers. Being obese will prevent you from responding to treatment or you will respond to treatment very slowly and relapse quickly when treatments are stopped.
  • Reduce the consumption of smoked, salt cured or nitrite preserved foods
  • Ensure that the psoriasis diet contains varied foods

It also goes without saying that before starting a psoriasis diet or adding food supplements to help with psoriasis treatment, it may be important for you to discuss it with your doctor first.

While finding an effective treatment for psoriasis can be a very complicated process involving various drugs, light therapy for psoriasis, home remedies for psoriasis, etc, following a psoriasis diet can also help to control the symptoms of psoriasis when used in combination with various other therapies.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What Are The Scalp Psoriasis Signs and Symptoms?

While psoriasis affects up to 3% of the population, of this percentage of psoriasis sufferers, up to 50% of them suffer from scalp psoriasis making it one of the most common and persistent types of psoriasis. It can also be one of the most difficult to treat while at the same time robbing a sufferer of their self esteem because the signs and symptoms are sometimes clearly visible to other people.

Signs and Symptoms of Scalp Psoriasis

Although the exact cause of psoriasis remains a mystery, many researchers believe that it mainly comes about through an abnormality in the immune system that causes skin to regenerate at an accelerated rate leading to skin cells piling on top of each other is evidenced by raised, red, sometimes itchy, thick areas of the skin covered with silvery/white scales. It can also affect other areas such as the nails and joints (psoriatic arthritis). Why this abnormality in the immune system occurs is unknown. Genes or the environment may be to blame but no one knows for certain.

Scalp psoriasis is evidenced by silvery/white scales on the scalp that may be thick and form thick crusts when the scales are packed tightly together which can be very itchy. Attempting to treat these scales like dandruff by picking and scratching can only make the condition worse.

The severity of this type of psoriasis can vary between mild cases that are usually not very noticeable to very severe cases when the scales can drop onto the shoulders and collar and look like a bad case of dandruff which can be quite embarrassing for the sufferer in addition to being very itchy.

A small area of the scalp can be affected or it can cover the entire scalp in severe cases of scalp psoriasis. Flare-ups usually appear behind the ears and along the hairline and may then spread over greater areas of the scalp. This condition can also affect the ear canal when enough scales spread to this area and can impact hearing.

Severe cases of scalp psoriasis may affect the hair roots leading to hair loss but most cases do not affect the hair roots. If a sufferer experiences hair loss associated with scalp psoriasis, the hair can grow back once the condition is effectively managed.

Treatment For Scalp Psoriasis

Since there isn't a known cure for psoriasis, treating scalp psoriasis to help minimize flare-ups can be quite a challenge as what can work for one sufferer may not necessarily work for another and will usually involve a lot of trial and error. Patience and perseverance is required in order to find the treatment therapy that will work for you.

Some of the conventional treatment therapies for scalp psoriasis include the use of medicated shampoos that contain salicylic acid, tar, selenium sulfide, steroids, etc. Various scalp solutions containing steroids can also be prescribed in the form of gels, foams, lotions, etc. Other medications that may be prescribed include Anthralin, Topical Vitamin D analogues, etc, to help to reduce cell turnover leading to the silvery/white scales. There are also many effective natural remedies but most of these will involve a lot of trial and error.

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Understanding Psoriasis Causes As Well As Knowing The Symptoms of Psoriasis

Psoriasis seems to have had an elevated profile in recent days since Kim Kardashian disclosed that she struggles with this chronic skin condition. Understanding psoriasis causes as well as knowing the symptoms of psoriasis will help in finding the treatment that will work for a psoriasis sufferer which may include trying various home remedies for psoriasis in the hopes of managing this skin condition.

What Causes Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic (recurring and long lasting) skin disease that affects about 1 to 2% of the general population. It is not contagious. This skin disease is evidenced by thick, itchy, red, raised skin areas that are covered with silvery white scales that commonly affect areas such as the scalp, knees, elbows, lower back although any area of the body can be affected by psoriasis.

If you are wondering what causes psoriasis, there is currently no single identified cause although many researchers believe that certain factors such as the genes, the immune system, the environment and skin cells may play a part in the advent of psoriasis.

While genes play an important role, one will not necessarily get this disease if they have a family history of the condition and another will not avoid the condition simply because there is no family history of the condition. Understanding why psoriasis develops in a particular individual is very complicated and there are no easy or clear cut answers.

It is however accepted that the immune system is critical to the development of psoriasis. Psoriatic skin regenerates skin in three to four days which is extremely faster than the normal skin regeneration period which occurs on average after twenty eight to thirty days. The overactive skin regeneration associated with psoriasis leads to the raised skin patches or plaques.

It is greatly believed that this increased skin regeneration process is the result of "faulty wiring" in the immune system which causes abnormal reactions in the skin.

Though psoriasis can develop at any age, it is commonly diagnosed is men and women between the ages of 15 and 35. And while this condition can affect anyone of any racial background, it seems to affect less people of Native American, Japanese, Inuit, West African and African American backgrounds which leads to the conclusion that environmental factors may play an important role in the development or avoidance of psoriasis.

Psoriasis Flare-Up Triggers

Psoriasis symptoms can be triggered by various factors such as infection, the climate, some medications, injury to the skin as well as stress. When trying to control these flare-ups, it is important to recognize the particular triggers and try to control them as a way to manage psoriasis in addition to using various drugs as well as home remedies for psoriasis.

Know The Symptoms of Psoriasis

Knowing the symptoms of psoriasis will help in finding treatment as well as knowing what the trigger as that led to the development of a particular symptom. The symptoms of psoriasis vary depending on the type and severity of the psoriasis and the appearance of psoriasis can vary from one sufferer to another which also means that various treatments such as home remedies for psoriasis will affect sufferers differently.

Psoriasis usually appears as dry, red, raised, scaly patches of skin. About 15 to 30% of psoriasis sufferers also suffer from arthritis causing what is known as psoriatic arthritis evidenced by swollen, tender and stiff joints. Psoriasis can also affect the nails and cause crumbling of the nail bed as well as deformity with the nails.

There are many drug therapies to deal with the symptoms of psoriasis and many such as home remedies for psoriasis will usually involve a lot of trial and error because what will work for one sufferer may not necessarily work for another. Even though psoriasis can affect only small areas, its impact on a sufferer can still be great since we live in an image obsessed world and every slight imperfection can lead to ridicule or the loss of self esteem. The skin is the largest organ of the body and is visible to other people and suffering from psoriasis can be very burdensome.

It is important not to give up on finding the treatment for psoriasis that will work for you which may include using various home remedies for psoriasis that will be effective at controlling this disease. There currently exists no known psoriasis cure but there are various therapies that will work at reducing or eliminating flare-ups many of which are discussed on this website.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Using Light Therapy For Psoriasis Treatment

While finding the most effective treatment for psoriasis can be a challenge including finding effective home remedies for psoriasis, light therapy for psoriasis is another treatment method that has been found to be effective for many psoriasis sufferers. The use of natural sunlight or artificial light for the treatment of psoriasis has been known to be beneficial for those with psoriasis.

Light Therapy For Psoriasis

Usually finding the treatment that works to prevent psoriasis flare-ups will involve a lot of trial and error especially if you are searching for natural psoriasis treatments that will help you reduce or eliminate the various symptoms of psoriasis. This is certainly true when experimenting with various home remedies for psoriasis and what is more natural than using sunlight to treat psoriasis.

While sunlight is natural, it can also be deadly if care is not used when using light therapy for psoriasis. There are three types of radiation that are associated with sunlight – ultraviolet (UV) radiation, infrared radiation and the visible light spectrum.

  1. Ultraviolet Radiation

Ultraviolet light waves are the most effective light therapy for psoriasis treatment.

  1. Infrared Radiation

This light cannot be seen but can be felt in the form of heat in some cases (longer infrared light waves). Shorter infrared light waves on the other hand cannot be felt.

  1. Visible Light Spectrum

These are the only light waves that can be seen and they are seen in the form of colors of the rainbow.

UV Light Waves and Psoriasis

As mentioned previously, UV light waves are the most beneficial part of sunlight that are generally used during light therapy for psoriasis. The three types of UV rays in sunlight are;

  • UVC
  • UVB
  • UVA

Light therapy for psoriasis uses mainly UVA and/or UVB light waves. UVC rays cannot penetrate the earth's protective ozone layer.

UVB rays are the main part of sunlight that cause a change in skin color or a tan and these rays are also responsible for sunburn. UVB can be used on their own or in combination with various other treatments including home remedies for psoriasis in order to treat psoriasis and prevent flare-ups.

In the case of the use of UVA rays during light therapy for psoriasis, the treatment is only effective when the UVA rays are combined with psoralen which is a chemical that reacts with someone's DNA when in the presence of light and is mainly used in light therapy for severe acne and psoriasis. Using UVA rays without combining with psoralen will usually be ineffective in the treatment of psoriasis.

Precautions With Light Therapy For Psoriasis

While light therapy for psoriasis is an effective treatment, many dangers still persist and it is important to consult with your doctor before beginning this therapy. It is very important to gain an understanding of how your skin will react when light therapy is administered. You will need to let your doctor know first if you are taking any medications that may increase your sensitivity to UV rays, if you have other health problems that may also increase your sensitivity to UV rays as well as if you have a history of skin cancer.

If you have a history of skin cancer, light therapy for psoriasis should be avoided to prevent you from increasing your risk of developing new skin cancers. Using artificial light sources such as those used in phototherapy can increase your risk of developing melanoma (the most severe type of skin cancer) especially if the therapy is for an extended period. When using light therapy over an extended period, it is advisable to have your skin regularly checked to ensure that you do not develop melanoma or other skin cancers.

There are many therapies that are effective for treating psoriasis such as drugs, following a psoriasis diet, home remedies for psoriasis, etc, and light therapy for psoriasis is another beneficial treatment for patients with psoriasis. Before beginning this therapy, it is important to talk to your doctor because of the various damaging effects of sunlight and artificial light including skin cancers and premature aging.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Managing Stress Levels Is An Important Psoriasis Treatment

This currently incurable chronic skin results from abnormal cell production that causes skin to regenerate at the excessively faster rate of three to four days and not the usual 28 to 35 day period which leads to skin cells piling up on top of each other resulting in thick skin plaques. The exact cause for this condition remain unknown however, there are many triggers for this condition including stress. Proper stress management is one of the most important home remedies for psoriasis.

Impact Of Stress On Health
Various situations can lead to an increase in stress. Stress can result from problems dealing with work situations or the demands of a job, money worries, worries about children or parents, social problems, emotional issues, etc. When stress is not properly managed with effective tools and resources and remains over a prolonged period, it can impact a person's health negatively.

Stress can be detrimental to the body's major systems such as the heart. When under a lot of stress, an individual can report having an increased heart rate which can elevate blood pressure as well. If this impact on the heart is prolonged, it can lead to various heart problems including cardiac arrest, stroke and high blood pressure.

Other areas of the body that can be impacted include the digestive system and individuals under stress can start to experience constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, ulcers, dry mouth and throat, etc. In addition, insomnia can become an issue, or other sleeping problems. There may be tightness in the jaw, neck, chest as well as the muscles in the back.

Stress over a prolonged period of time can also affect the skin and not only lead to psoriasis flare-ups but can also lead to eczema and acne through the overproduction of adrenaline and testosterone which negatively impacts the skin. Adult acne especially in women has its roots in the level of stress and individual is under.

Stress can also lead to emotional eating which usually involves the consumption of excessive amounts of bad calories that also impacts the health when problems with obesity become an issue. Other bad behaviors that can be the result of being under a lot of stress include aggressive behavior, alcohol consumption, increased smoking habits, drug use, etc. As you can see, stress can lead to a vicious cycle that can be hard to break to the detriment of ones health is more ways than one.

Stress Management Is One of The Most Important Home Remedies For Psoriasis

Once you have determined that stress is a major trigger for your psoriasis flare-ups, you will find that there are ways that you can reduce or eliminate stress. In order to reduce stress, you will need to recognize that every one deals with stress to some extent and you just need to learn to relax. In order to reduce stress;

  1. Start with physical exercise. Exercise has important stress reduction properties that will not only help you reduce stress but eliminate it as well. You can start as simply as taking a walk around the block. Yoga, reflexology, rollerblading, etc, are all great ways to reduce stress.
  2. Relax by implementing meditation, various breathing exercises, music therapy, etc, in order to relax your body and your mind. Aromatherapy is also one of the best home remedies for psoriasis using various essential oils that contain relaxing properties such as lavender essential oil, German chamomile essential oil, etc. An aromatherapy bath using a few drops of relaxing essential oils is a great way to relax at the end of the day and keep stress at bay.
  3. Herbal teas and supplements are also a great way to help you relax.
  4. Massage can also be very relaxing and help to eradicate stress. Using various relaxing and healing essential oils for massage can be an effective way with which to combat stress and is one of the best home remedies for psoriasis which will prevent psoriasis flare-ups.
These are only a few home remedies for psoriasis with which to combat psoriasis flare-ups resulting from stress. While dealing with psoriasis can be difficult, there are effective tools and techniques that you can implement to deal with psoriasis and knowing how to effectively manage stress is one of the best ways to do so.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Importance of Positive Thinking In Fighting Psoriasis

Many a battle is lost because of the state of the mind and this is especially true for a psoriasis sufferer. While various treatment options including home remedies for psoriasis, following a psoriasis diet, etc, have the potential to help control psoriasis, victory first starts in the mind and will determine whether you continue fighting this disease especially when nothing seems to be working.

Negative Thoughts and Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a difficult disease to fight especially since there is currently no known cure for this chronic skin condition of unknown origin. Due to the lack of a known cure, it is possible to let the spirit of negativity take over your emotions which is the first step in defeat.

Wallowing in negative emotions and thoughts usually keeps most people exactly where they are. Bad stuff happens. Sickness and disease happen. You are not the only one with psoriasis and you will not be the last. People are being born every day that will suffer from psoriasis. About 2% of the population has psoriasis.  Negativity is what keeps people from healing quickly, if at all.

Negativity allows you to give up and simply accept your lot in life and stop the search for an effective remedy including the continued search for effective home remedies for psoriasis or a proper psoriasis diet thereby allowing the disease to claim another victory.

Negativity allows you to think that you are powerless over the disease and there is nothing that you can do that will help you to obtain relief and keep psoriasis flare-ups to a minimum if at all, especially in the absence of a known psoriasis cure.

The Power of Positive Thinking

It cannot be explained but having positive thoughts will help you be victorious over any battle in life including psoriasis. Replacing negative energy with positive thoughts will allow you to take the power back from this disease and while the battle may be long and at times difficult, you will be sure to obtain victory if you remain positive.

It may be difficult to change from negative thoughts to positive thoughts but as long as you make a conscious effort every day to think only positive thoughts, it will become easier and easier to not automatically think negative thoughts every time some new treatment, diet change or home remedy for psoriasis does not work for you especially if it worked for someone else. Positive thoughts will keep you from wallowing in self pity which is another negative emotion.

One way to change your negative thoughts is to start with daily affirmations which will greatly help you eliminate negative energy. While negative thoughts will keep you stuck in a bad situation and stop you from even trying, positive thoughts will energize you to continue the search for the treatments, home remedies for psoriasis or to follow and stick to a proper psoriasis diet because you BELIEVE and KNOW that you will find the effective remedy for your psoriasis and claim your victory over this disease.

Because each case of psoriasis is different, treatment options will vary and what will work for one person will not work for another which means that there will be a lot of trial and error involved on the road to recovery from psoriasis. You will have to go through various medications and visits to your doctor. You will have to try various home remedies for psoriasis. You will need to tweak various aspects of your diet to find the most effective psoriasis diet, and so forth. This continued effort until you find a solution will require persistence and you will only persist if you have a positive attitude.

Affirmations that you can use include "everyday and in every way, I am getting healthier and stronger," "I am healed," "I have overcome psoriasis," etc. Visualizing yourself healed will also help you generate the positive energy to fight this condition. Keeping this picture of yourself in perfect health will help you greatly in times of great struggle.

You will not be able to overcome psoriasis until you eliminate your negative thoughts and cultivate a positive state of mind. A positive mindset will keep you motivated in the search for effective medications, home remedies for psoriasis, a proper psoriasis diet, etc, and you will be one step closer to a cure for your psoriasis. Start cultivating a positive mindset today with various affirmations.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Emotional Toll Of Dealing With Psoriasis

This chronic skin condition can be very difficult to deal with especially since there is currently no cure for psoriasis and while there may be various treatments as well as home remedies for psoriasis, this condition can still take an emotional toll on the sufferer especially if the condition is severe covering large parts of the body. If you let it, psoriasis can be quite isolating and rob you of your self esteem and confidence.

The exact cause for psoriasis remains unknown and as mentioned previously there does not currently exist a cure for this condition and it may turn into a lifelong battle. There are various treatments however as well as home remedies for psoriasis that can control the flare-ups and keep the symptoms of psoriasis at bay.

The search for effective treatments and home remedies for psoriasis can become a lifelong quest because while one solution may work for one sufferer, it may be ineffective for another psoriasis sufferer. In the meantime, the sufferer has to deal with the patches of scaly skin that are associated with this disease because of an abnormal skin regeneration process. This condition can affect any area of the body including nails and scalp. Scalp psoriasis is one of the worst to deal with because it looks like a very bad case of dandruff with the flakes on occasion dusting your shoulders.

The patches of skin can be quite unpleasant to look at and may sometimes weep which may create feelings of not only embarrassment but insecurity causing the sufferer to hide out or cover up from head to toe even in the hottest weather.

While you may be self conscious, psoriasis is nothing to get embarrassed about and should certainly not cause you to lose you self confidence. It is simply a chronic skin condition without a cure but is not contagious. Hiding out and refusing to leave you house or apartment should not be an option when you are suffering from the various symptoms of psoriasis.

The truth is some people will be unkind but that is their problem not yours. At the same time many other people will be supportive and help you fight this disease by providing emotional support or making various treatment suggestions that may include various home remedies for psoriasis.

You may feel isolated when you suffer from this condition and may feel very alone but this is an emotion to be fought against because while the experience of suffering is individual, it is important to remember that there are many other people going through the same thing and a support group may be just what you need either online or offline.

Almost 2% of the population suffers from this condition so that is a lot of people and you are not alone. Sharing experiences, treatment methods as well as various home remedies for psoriasis may be greatly beneficial in your fight against this disease.

While there may be days that you just want to just sit at home without the courage of going out into the open in a short sleeved top or shorts, giving into this feeling may lead to more problems for yourself. Depression and anxiety will come knocking at your door and you may be powerless to fight these emotions effectively.

A positive attitude is important to win the fight against psoriasis in order to venture out in public and face the world with this condition and continue the search for effective medications that will work for you or to continue the trial and error method of finding the best home remedies for psoriasis that will work for you.

Hiding will not help you effectively fight this condition. Being open about your condition as well your struggles or triumphs with various treatments or home remedies for psoriasis will bring you on your way to victory over this chronic skin condition. Do not let psoriasis walk away with your life.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taking A Proactive Approach To Beating Psoriasis

Everyone has an issue in their life that they struggle with whether it is weight, shyness, poverty, cancer, etc, and for about 2% of the population, psoriasis is the condition that they deal with on a daily basis. While there are many treatment options as well as various home remedies for psoriasis, taking a proactive approach with this chronic skin condition will help you defeat this disease or keep its impact on your life to a minimum.

Getting a psoriasis diagnosis should not signify the end of the world for you. It is just something that you have to deal with and that you can become successful at dealing with regardless of the type or severity of your psoriasis. While the symptoms of psoriasis can be unsightly with the dry patchy scales of skin on any area of the body such as elbows, knees, fingernails, scalp, back, genitalia, etc, a proactive approach will lead you to victory even though there isn't currently a cure for psoriasis.

A Proactive Approach To The Treatment Of Psoriasis

While the exact causes of this condition still remain unknown there may be triggers or habits that may aggravate the condition leading to the various symptoms of psoriasis. When you take a proactive approach to beating psoriasis and preventing or eliminating flare-ups, it means becoming informed about the various medications you may use to treat this disease, making lifestyle changes that may include your diet by starting to follow a proper psoriasis diet or experimenting with various home remedies for psoriasis.

Not being afraid to face this chronic skin condition and being confident that no matter how long it takes, you will find a solution that may be a particular medication or a particular home remedy for psoriasis, will help you in your fight against psoriasis.

You need to become aware of the various triggers that are aggravating your psoriasis and leading to flare-ups and other symptoms of psoriasis. Is it your diet, stress, not properly taking care of your skin, smoking, etc? Once you figure out what is causing your symptoms to flare-up, you can then determine the best way forward and in many cases use natural means by implementing various home remedies for psoriasis or by changing various bad habits.

Stress in a huge factor in many health conditions as well as psoriasis flare-ups. Poor stress management can lead to many health issues and identifying the sources of your stress and how to reduce or eliminate your stress levels is important in order to improve your health. There are various home remedies for psoriasis relating to stress reduction such as an aromatherapy bath that features essential oils known for their relaxing properties, exercise is a great way to relieve stress, a cup of herbal tea, meditation, yoga, reiki, etc.

Psoriasis symptoms may also be aggravated by various deficiencies such as a calcium deficiency. To determine what deficiencies your body may be experiencing which you may be unaware of them but which may be aggravating your psoriasis unbeknown to you, you will need to make an appointment with your doctor so that he or she can run some tests for vitamin deficiencies. A common deficiency is vitamin D which also helps with the absorption of calcium by the body. Following a proper psoriasis diet in addition to incorporating various supplements as prescribed by your doctor as well as using many home remedies for psoriasis may be one of the ways for you to beat psoriasis.

While suffering from psoriasis can be difficult and may turn into a lifelong battle in some cases, you need to exercise your power over this chronic skin condition by becoming proactive about your diet, habits, medications as well as various home remedies for psoriasis.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One Of The Easiest Home Remedies For Psoriasis Relates To Baths

Symptoms of psoriasis commonly appear on the scalp, elbows, knees, lower back and fingernails and while there are many home remedies for psoriasis that work, the first place to start with home remedies for psoriasis is with bathing practices. As of the present time, there does not yet exist a cure for psoriasis but there are many things that you can do to treat the various symptoms of psoriasis and prevent flare-ups.

Symptoms of Psoriasis

The various symptoms of psoriasis include thick patches of skin that are raised and pinkish red. These patches of skin are usually covered by silvery gray scales that are dry. In a few types of psoriasis, the symptoms may be evidenced by smooth reddish skin that may be incorrectly assumed to be some other condition and not psoriasis. In addition, a few other types of psoriasis may be pus filled bumps.

These symptoms can be aggravating and embarrassing for the sufferer and in some cases may lead to a loss of self confidence if you suffer from excessive symptoms of psoriasis over much of your body. These patches may also itch or sting. One of the most effective ways to combat this disease is through the use of various home remedies for psoriasis.

Home Remedies For Psoriasis – Bath Habits

One of the most important home remedies for psoriasis includes moisturization and bath practices. When the skin is excessively dry, it may trigger the various symptoms of psoriasis. Proper bathing procedures are a great way to deal with the various symptoms of psoriasis as well as the aches and pains that may be associated with flare-ups.

With psoriatic skin, you may be advised against taking long showers or baths in addition to avoiding very hot water by your doctor. Lukewarm water is usually advisable for psoriatic skin as well as implementing only quick showers and baths.
When implementing proper bathing practices as one of the home remedies for psoriasis, some sufferers may determine that it is not necessary to bathe or shower everyday as doing so may dry the skin excessively and lead to flare-ups. Dry skin means itchy skin which leads to flare-ups.  If you can get away with taking baths every other day, then by all means try not to bathe every day.

After each shower or bath, it is important for a sufferer to moisturize immediately and thoroughly after patting the skin dry. Applying a good moisturizer will ensure that moisture is retained by psoriatic skin which will help prevent flare-ups. Applying moisturizer after a bath or shower is one of the easiest and best home remedies for psoriasis and will go a long way in the fight against this chronic skin condition. 
While being careful about the amount and length of baths and showers is important, the importance of baths for psoriatic skin can not be downplayed. A quick shower or bath can provide needed moisture but under no circumstances should you wait too long before applying moisturizer after a shower or bath. You need to lock in this moisture with a good moisturizer immediately after each bath or shower.
When implementing proper bath practices as one of the home remedies for psoriasis in the fight against this disease, it is recommended that you avoid rubbing motions when drying off. Simply pat yourself dry and you may want to leave a little moisture on the skin before you proceed with applying a cream or lotion.
Adding a bit of mineral oil, olive oil or vegetable oil to a bath is another one of the home remedies for psoriasis. These oils will help with skin inflammation that is prevalent with psoriatic skin in addition to helping to lock in moisture. Epsom salts added to bath water can also help with the various symptoms of psoriasis by helping fight against dry skin.
There are various home remedies for psoriasis and following proper bathing procedures and keeping moisturized at all times are some of the easiest steps to implement in the fight against psoriasis and the various symptoms of psoriasis. This website contains various information on fighting psoriasis with natural means including following a psoriasis diet.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Important Lifestyle Changes And Home Remedies for Psoriasis

Fighting psoriasis can be a lifelong battle to find the right cure for psoriasis for you and one of the ways to fight psoriasis is to make important lifestyle changes as well as use home remedies for psoriasis. It is important to not lose hope in the fight against psoriasis which can happen after trying various approaches that may have worked for someone else but fail to work for you. You just need to keep experimenting until you find the right psoriasis treatment that works for you.

Why Make Lifestyle Changes and Implement Home Remedies For Psoriasis

Dealing with psoriasis symptoms can be quite challenging. While there is no psoriasis cure, they are various habits that you can adopt that will help you to prevent psoriasis flare-ups or deal with the various psoriasis symptoms. While there are many medications, gels, lotions, etc, that can be prescribed or available over the counter, taking an inside out approach to fighting psoriasis by making lifestyle changes and experimenting with various home remedies for psoriasis is probably the best psoriasis treatment.

Over time, these various psoriasis medications, gels and creams can cost a lot of money and still leave you with a feeling of being powerless over this chronic skin condition. Making important lifestyle changes and experimenting with home remedies for psoriasis is a proactive approach to treating psoriasis and gives you a sense of power over this disease. It means that you are not going to take this disease lying down but will fight every step of the way until you find the important changes you need to make in your life and the home remedies for psoriasis that will control the flare-ups and eliminate the symptoms of psoriasis. Making these changes in also relatively inexpensive and can in some cases help you save money that you are currently spending on bad habits.

Making lifestyle changes can be difficult as we all know. We are creatures of habit and changing a habit can be one of the hardest things to do in life. When you are suffering from a chronic condition such as psoriasis, it makes it doubly important to make the lifestyle changes as one of the important ways to bring your psoriasis under control.

Important Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies To Make        

  • Diet Changes
Diet changes are one crucial area to help you not only lose weight and promote a healthier body but rid your body of various toxins that may be aggravating your disease. Start to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains and less processed foods, less sodium, sugars and the bad fats such as saturated fats. Monitoring your cholesterol levels is also very important.

  • Alcohol

One of the triggers for your psoriasis may be your alcohol intake. If you are suffering from frequent psoriasis outbreaks, consider eliminating alcohol or reducing the amount of alcohol you consume and then determine whether there is any difference in the flare-ups and frequency.

  • Smoking

For overall health and wellbeing and not just for psoriasis prevention, smoking should be eliminated. Being a smoker is one of the behaviors that may actually increase your chances of developing psoriasis in the first place and once you develop psoriasis, can increase the severity and frequency of the psoriasis flare-ups. While eliminating this behavior may be difficult when started, there are many smoking cessation programs that you can implement to help you quit this bad habit. This habit is also expensive and eliminating it will help you save money that you can use is more positive ways.

  • Stress Reduction
Stress and anxiety has been identified as triggers for psoriasis flare-ups and being able to reduce the amount of stress is one of the best treatments for psoriasis. Stress leads to many health problems besides increasing the chance of a psoriasis outbreak. In order to maintain optimal health and reduce or eliminate the symptoms of psoriasis, you need to implement a stress management system.

There are many home remedies for psoriasis related to this area of stress management that you can implement including exercising, taking time to relax or read a book, taking an aromatherapy bath infused with essential oils that contain relaxing properties such the lavender essential oil, drinking a cup of herbal tea, and many other stress relieving activities that work for you.

  • Sunlight

While sunlight is important for psoriasis sufferers as it helps to heal psoriasis lesions, spending too much time in the sun can lead to leathery skin, premature aging, age spots as well as skin cancer. While spending some time in the sun daily is one of the most important home remedies for psoriasis, only spend a few minutes in the sun in the morning and evening so that you only suffer minimal side effects from exposure to the sun. Or you can use sunscreen to cover your unaffected skin while leaving the psoriasis affected areas bare if you wish to spend more time in the sun.

  • Calendula Oil

This oil is one of the best oils and one of the best home remedies for psoriasis that a sufferer should attempt to use daily. One of the important lifestyle changes if not already a part of your life is to ensure that the skin is always moisturized at all times. Dry skin triggers psoriasis breakouts. Using oil that is infused with calendula is not only moisturizing but soothing as well. Calendula contains many anti-inflammatory properties that are important for psoriatic skin and can also help relieve pain and itching. There are many recipes for home remedies for psoriasis using calendula oil that you can find online including on this website and offline to help with psoriasis symptoms.

There are many other lifestyle changes and home remedies for psoriasis that you can implement to treat psoriasis and prevent psoriasis. The proactive approach is the best approach and the best psoriasis treatment. Not being afraid to make the necessary changes you need to make in your life to control this disease is the first step to victory.