If you are reading this, there is a good chance that you or someone you love has psoriasis. There are currently 7 and a half million Americans with psoriasis according to the National Psoriasis Foundation. Psoriasis, though not contagious, is a chronic disease that affects your skin.
Psoriasis breakouts occur when the body’s immune system causes skins cells to build up rapidly on the surface. The result is thick silvery scales and red, itchy (and sometimes painful) patches.
Nobody knows for sure what causes psoriasis, but most believe that a mixture of genetics and issues with the immune system lead to the development of psoriasis.
Different people get psoriasis in different ways. For some it is debilitating, while for others it is just means that their skin itches a little bit. Unfortunately there is no cure, but below you will find the 5 psoriasis treatments that we see working the best.
1. The Sun
This option is great to try first because it is free and it is very effective for some people. The treatment is simply to spend time in the sun. Make sure to start off slowly – the last thing that you want is a sunburn.
We recommend spending 5-10 minutes in the sun per day to start while slowly working up to a maximum of 25 minutes. Just note, this is not a super fast solution, but many report great improvement after giving this a try.
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are quite popular and with good reason – they work as an anti-inflammatory. These acids are found in oily fish like trout and salmon and usually come in a pill form.
A relatively new use that they are looking at for this fish oil is in the treatment of psoriasis. One trial found that taking fish oil for 8 weeks led to a modest improvement in psoriasis symptoms such as itching, redness and scaling.
Just a note on these pills – while they all contain the fatty acids, only some of them taste like fish. If you buy the cheapest brands, be prepared to be burping a fishy taste all day. But the better brands that I have used eliminate that fishy taste which in my opinion makes it worth the extra money!
3. Laser Treatment
If your psoriasis is moderate to severe, then laser treatment may be something that you want to look into. With the major breakthroughs being made in lasers and optics, it was only natural that some would make their way into the psoriasis treatment area.
There are several forms that the laser therapy can take (make sure to talk to your doctor about them if you have moderate to severe psoriasis). Depending on the kind of laser being used, these treatments can occur anywhere from several times a week to once every few weeks and it generally takes a few weeks to know if it is working.
It seems simple enough, but simple moisturizers can make a world of difference to some psoriasis sufferers. Make sure to talk to your dermatologist beforehand to find out which moisturizers will work best and which should be avoided because they may exacerbate the problem.
You may also want to ask your dermatologist if there are any simple household items that can be used as a moisturizer. We have heard of people using certain shortenings and cooking oils for a cheaper but still effective alternative.
5. Lifestyle Changes
Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you may want to cut out the smoking and drinking. Studies have shown that alcohol and tobacco consumption can make psoriasis worse. Also, a healthier, more natural eating diet has helped many. Some people we know swear by a gluten free diet, while others have started eating vegetarian with great success. So, a lifestyle change might be in order to help you cut down on the severity of your psoriasis symptoms.