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What can I do about Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition characterised by the rapid buildup of skin cells, leading to the development of thick, red, and scaly patches on the skin.


The exact cause of psoriasis is not fully understood however research suggests incorporating dietary modifications, probiotics, and stress management techniques can be valuable aids in addition to conventional therapies. Let's explores the potential benefits of diet and proper nutrition, probiotics, and stress management in alleviating psoriasis symptoms and improving overall well-being. As well as mentioning some scientific studies and what they found.

Woman scratching her back with red and inflamed skin

1. Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and healthy fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids) can help reduce inflammation associated with psoriasis. Studies suggest that diets high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, including vitamins A, C, D, E, selenium, and zinc, may have a positive impact on psoriasis symptoms.


2. Gluten-Free Diet: Some individuals with psoriasis have gained relief from eliminating gluten-containing foods, as gluten sensitivity or celiac disease can exacerbate symptoms in certain cases.


3. Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for managing psoriasis, as excess weight can worsen inflammation and trigger flare-ups. A balanced diet, combined with regular exercise, can help achieve and sustain a healthy weight.


Probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that promote gut health. Emerging evidence suggests a potential link between gut dysbiosis and psoriasis. Probiotics, either through dietary sources or supplements, may help restore a healthy balance of gut bacteria, potentially improving psoriasis symptoms.


Prebiotics: Prebiotics are dietary fibres that serve as nourishment for probiotics. Including prebiotic-rich foods such as garlic, onions, bananas, asparagus, and whole grains in the diet can support the growth and activity of beneficial gut bacteria.


Numerous studies have suggested a strong association between stress and the worsening of psoriasis symptoms. Stress triggers a cascade of physiological responses in the body, including the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which can disrupt the immune system and contribute to inflammation. This immune dysregulation can exacerbate psoriasis flare-ups and prolong their duration.


A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that individuals with psoriasis experienced more severe symptoms during periods of high stress compared to low-stress periods. Another study published in the Archives of Dermatology revealed that stress, particularly major life events and psychological stressors, correlated with an increased risk of developing psoriasis or experiencing disease progression.


1. Stress Reduction Techniques: Chronic stress can trigger and exacerbate psoriasis flare-ups. Incorporating stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, having good sleep, deep breathing exercises, and engaging in hobbies or activities that promote relaxation can help manage stress levels and potentially alleviate psoriasis symptoms.


2. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT): CBT techniques can assist individuals in identifying and challenging negative thought patterns and behaviours associated with stress. CBT can empower individuals to develop effective coping strategies, enhance resilience, and promote psychological well-being.


3. Physical Activity: Regular exercise not only promotes overall well-being but also helps manage stress. Engaging in activities such as forest bathing, walking, jogging, swimming, or dancing can reduce stress levels and potentially alleviate psoriasis symptoms.


Unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing psoriasis, finding a functional natural health provider, incorporating proper nutrition, probiotics, and a stress management techniques will all contribute to improving the outcomes and quality of life for individuals living with psoriasis.


Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that affects the skin, causing red, scaly patches to develop. While there is no cure for psoriasis, several research studies have investigated various treatment options that can help manage and improve the symptoms. Here are some notable studies that have explored improvement methods for people suffering from psoriasis:



*While these are scientific studies natural methods of treatment have shown great promise. Visit a a natural practitioner to find out more*



What have the studies found?



1.1 A double-blind, randomised, vehicle-controlled study of the efficacy and safety of a calcipotriol / betamethasone dipropionate two-compound product (Dovobet / Daivobet) in the treatment of psoriasis vulgaris. (Luger et al., 2002)


Findings: This study demonstrated the efficacy and safety of a combination of calcipotriol and betamethasone dipropionate for the treatment of psoriasis vulgaris.


1.2 Topical therapies for treatment-resistant psoriasis: evidence from a systematic review. (Papp et al., 2013)


Findings: This systematic review evaluated various topical treatments and concluded that corticosteroids, vitamin D analogs, and combination therapies were effective in the management of treatment-resistant psoriasis.



2.1 Narrowband UVB phototherapy for early-stage mycosis fungoides. (Zackheim et al., 1999)


This study investigated the use of narrowband UVB phototherapy for early-stage mycosis fungoides, a type of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma that can mimic psoriasis. It demonstrated that narrowband UVB phototherapy was effective and well-tolerated in treating early-stage mycosis fungoides.


2.2 Efficacy and safety of targeted UVB phototherapy in psoriasis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. (Li et al., 2019)


Findings: This meta-analysis evaluated the efficacy and safety of targeted UVB phototherapy for psoriasis and found that it was an effective treatment option for psoriasis with a low risk of side effects.


3. Biologic Therapies:


3.1 Efficacy and safety of secukinumab in the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. (Saunte et al., 2017)


Findings: This meta-analysis examined the efficacy and safety of secukinumab, a biologic therapy targeting interleukin-17A, in the treatment of moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. It concluded that secukinumab was effective and well-tolerated in reducing psoriasis symptoms.


3.2 A Phase 3 Randomized Trial of Tildrakizumab in Moderate-to-Severe Psoriasis. (Papp et al., 2018)


Findings: This study evaluated the efficacy and safety of tildrakizumab, an interleukin-23 inhibitor, in patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis. It demonstrated that tildrakizumab was effective in achieving significant and sustained improvements in psoriasis symptoms.


3.3 Effects of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation in psoriasis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. (Duan et al., 2019)


Findings: This systematic review and meta-analysis examined the effects of omega-3 fatty acids supplementation in psoriasis. It concluded that omega-3 fatty acids supplementation could provide some benefits in reducing psoriasis severity and improving clinical outcomes.



4.1 Effect of weight loss on the severity of psoriasis: A randomised clinical study. (Naldi et al., 2010)


Findings: This randomised clinical study investigated the impact of weight loss on the severity of psoriasis symptoms. It showed that weight reduction had a positive effect on improving psoriasis severity, suggesting that lifestyle interventions such as weight loss can be beneficial for psoriasis management.


4.2 Impact of smoking and smoking cessation on the clinical outcome of patients with psoriasis. (Fortes et al., 2005)


Findings: This study examined the impact of smoking and smoking cessation on the clinical outcome of patients with psoriasis. It revealed that smoking cessation led to improvements in psoriasis severity and treatment response.


References


1. Garg A., et al. (2007). Psychological stress perturbs epidermal permeability barrier homeostasis: implications for the pathogenesis of stress-associated skin disorders. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 126(4), 788-792.


2. Picardi, A., et al. (2005). Stressful life events, social support, attachment security, and alexithymia in vitiligo. A case-control study. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 74(6), 408-415.


3. Fortune, D. G., et al. (2002). Psychological stress, distress, and disability in patients with psoriasis: consensus and variation in the contribution of illness perceptions, coping, and alexithymia. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 41(2), 157-174.


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