February 07, 2014

Psorasis

    Psoriasis is a long-term (chronic) skin condition that causes skin cells to grow too quickly thus resulting in inflammation, redness, skin irritation and plaques. The severity of this condition varies from person to person. 
     To put it simply, a normal skin cell takes about a month to mature, but in those with psoriasis, this process takes only 3 or 4 days. These skin cells are poorly developed, and they can't shed fast enough. Instead, they pile up—forming raised, scaly "plaques" that itch and leave skin below red and inflamed. 
     Psoriasis condition may be triggered in an individual due to bacterial and viral infections, sunburn, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, exposure to little sunlight, dry weather or dry skin conditions. Other suspected triggers include damage to the skin from injury, dryness, or chafing and reaction to certain drugs and infections (such as strep throat). It is also a genetic condition that may be passed on in the family (one in three cases are genetic, although it sometimes skips a generation).

     Also, doctors have observed that stress can spark new outbreaks (or make existing cases worse). 
    Psoriasis patients have an increased risk of developing certain diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, inflammatory bowel disease; cardiovascular disease and possibly cancer.

Symptoms


  • Psoriasis can be mild, with small areas of rash. 
  • Psoriasis can be moderate or severe, with inflamed skin and raised red areas topped with loose, silvery, scaling skin. 
  • Severe psoriasis is severe tend to affect the skin making it itchy and tender. Large and uncomfortable skin patches may also be observed.
  • Psoriatic arthritis causes joints to become swollen, tender, and painful. It can also affect the fingernails and toenails, causing the nails to pit, change colour, and separate from the nail bed. Dead skin may start building up under the nails.

Tips to control Psoriasis


  • Moisturizers are extremely effective at preventing psoriasis such as plain petroleum jelly or those that contain lactic acid (tip – apply it within 3 minutes after leaving the shower or bathtub and apply the moisturizer everywhere and not just on plaques).
  • Exposure to sunlight is extremely helpful for treating psoriasis as it enhances e production of vitamin D, which may be effective in controlling psoriasis.
  • Alcohol consumption, smoking and stress need to be controlled to a greater extent as they cause the symptoms to flare up and aggravate the condition. 
  • Managing your mental state—through exercise, relaxation techniques, or whatever mellows you out—is one way to keep your condition under control.
  • Infections can worsen the condition. Infections such as strep throat can cause guttate psoriasis (or “Eruptive Psoriasis”) to appear suddenly, especially in children. Care should be taken to avoid infections.
  • Mixing 2 tablespoons of Olive oil in a glass of milk and adding to bath water helps
  • A healthy, balanced diet rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A, B, D and E and most importantly omega 3 fatty acids can help in reducing the itching and inflammation of skin.

Foods that help 


A balanced diet is recommended to psoriasis patients which will help maintain a healthy weight and minimize the risk of acquiring this condition. 

Psoriasis diet should include the following:

  • Cleansing juices of carrot, beet cucumber and grapes
  • Vitamin A and D which help promote healthy skin (carrots, almonds and sunlight)
  • Lean protein like skinless chicken
  • Fruits and vegetables like peaches, pineapple, apple, sprouts and green leafy vegetables
  • Whole grains like whole wheat chapattis
  • Nuts such as sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
  • Omega 3 fatty acids found in oil rich fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon
  • Dried figs
  • Red chilies
  • Almonds 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar


Foods to avoid


Certain foods have a negative impact on psoriasis thus aggravating this condition. Such foods need to be avoided to reduce the impact of the disease. Foods having a negative impact on psoriasis include the following:
  • Saturated and Trans fats
  • Refined carbohydrates such as pasta and white rice
  • Gluten found in bakery products
  • Processed foods
  • Full fat dairy
  • Red meat
  • Citrus fruits and vegetables, like tomatoes, because of high acidity levels
  • Animal products like milk, eggs and butter
  • Tea and coffee
If you have plaques on your face, neck, legs, or other areas that require shaving, use an electric razor instead of a blade. An electric razor won't cut skin as easily, and every time you cut yourself, you risk new lesions


References

                           WebMD,  
                           NCBI,  
                           psoriasis.org
                           Prevention,
                           Picture

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