Psoriasis is a complex and frustrating skin disorder.(1) I have had psoriasis on different parts of my body since I was a small child. Unfortunately this was something my father passed down as it is often hereditary. It first began on my hands and feet when I was about 7, and continued to be a strange seasonal thing on my hands every fall until I was about 17. Then it went away and I had no issues until about 5 years ago when it came back. My psoriasis is thankfully mild and stays on my lower legs and hand. Why only one hand and not the other I’m not sure, but it is itchy, red, and horrible! It is worse in the winter when my skin is dry and when I stress. Some of the things that I have noticed to be helpful is attempting to not stress. I try to meditate and exercise for stress relief. I also do topical treatments, and an anti-inflammatory diet.
A topical treatment that I find helpful is to take a bath with Himalayan pink salt and bentonite clay. This clay is primarily made of a mineral called montmorillonite that carries a negative ion charge. This helps to pull toxins from your body, promote circulation, and restore proper skin PH. Himalayan salt has 84 trace minerals that help to cleanse and detoxify the skin and seems to soothe the itchy psoriasis. I put one cup of the salt with ½ cup of clay in the bath and soak for at least 20 minutes 1 time a week. These really help my skin to heal from the psoriasis flares and make the skin not as itchy as it is healing, because if any of you have ever had psoriasis you know it itches like crazy!
After I get out of the bath I apply a skin salve that I make. It is in an olive oil base that has several different herbs that help with skin issues and health. I formulated it to help with this specific issue. Ingesting hemp seed oil and using it topically has also proven to help with eczema and psoriasis issues(2) and I have noticed an improvement in the frequency of the psoriasis out breaks when I do this. Other topical treatments include sunlight and corticosteroids. I have only tried the topical corticosteroids once. While it did stop the itching it did not allow the skin to heal and in fact made it very thin. I’m not saying this isn’t a viable treatment for psoriasis just that it did not work for me. I also only use natural soaps on my skin as they are less drying. Olive oil soaps or hemp seed oil soaps that I have made seem to work the best.
An anti-inflammatory diet (3) is also of help when dealing with skin issues. Whenever something is happening on your skin you should also consider what is happening within. Our skin is our largest detoxifying organ and if something is chronic-like psoriasis- think about your gut too. I have several digestive issues which I’m sure are the root cause of this chronic skin condition for me. I am gluten intolerant and my mother has been diagnosed with full blown celiac disease so I know I inherited that one from her. I am also allergic to several foods so I have to be careful about what I eat. When I am not careful my skin reacts. I take high grade probiotics, Vitamin D3, Fish oils, Chia seeds, and Hemp seed oil, B vitamins and several Ayurvedic herbs to help heal my gut as it was damaged by years of eating the glutens and not knowing I was allergic.
This seems to be a problem that I have yet to resolve in my own body but I do feel like I am making progress! I hope any of this information was helpful in your own battles with skin issues.
Please check back next week when I share some interesting teaching that I have been listening to that have helped me to stress less and be more in the moment