Psoriasis is a complex and chronic skin condition characterised by an increase in the life cycle of skin cells causing them to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin and resulting in inflammation and elevated scaly plaques that can be itchy or painful. It is commonly found on the elbows, knees, lower back, hips and scalp but can often affect the legs, trunk, eyes, and nails as well.
The cause of Psoriasis isn’t fully understood as yet, however, it is thought that genetics, environmental and lifestyle triggers, and immune dysfunction can all play a role.
Environmental and lifestyle triggers could include:
- Digestive factors such as poor digestion, liver, and bowel function
- Emotional stress
- Toxins, alcohol use, smoking
- Sunburn or trauma to the skin
- Food intolerances such as gluten
- Some medications
Immune dysfunction or an autoimmune reaction can also occur whereby some of your immune cells usually responsible for defending against viruses or bacteria can attack your healthy skin cells by mistake. These immune cells can also be overactive which triggers a rapid increase in the rate of production of healthy skin cells, causing them to build-up on the surface of the skin in thick, scaly patches.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The symptoms experienced can be different for
each person but commonly include:
- Red patches of skin covered with thick, silvery scales
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching or soreness
- Thickened, pitted or ridged nails
- Swollen and stiff joints
Psoriasis can come and go in cycles, sometimes flaring up for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a time.
A Naturopathic Approach
Because Psoriasis is multifactorial and complex, it is important that all the triggers and exacerbating factors are identified, and these are likely to vary from person to person as we are all unique and individual. A comprehensive Naturopathic approach will take these factors into consideration, addressing the big picture and the underlying causes that are specific to you.
Our Naturopathic approach takes into consideration all the physical and emotional impacts for the patient, addressing the skin health as well as identifying strategies for stress management, diet and lifestyle changes as appropriate.
Psoriasis and the impact on Emotional Wellness
A recent report that looked at the emotional wellness of 120,000 people across 184 countries suffering from Psoriasis revealed that 40% of women and 30% of men experienced significantly greater negative impact on their emotional wellness than those without Psoriasis. It was found that the loneliness, isolation, and stress associated with living with Psoriasis was a major driver for significantly lower levels of happiness.
The participants also felt that the impact that Psoriasis has on your mental wellbeing is often overlooked by mainstream health professionals.
Supporting yourself with a caring team of health professionals that will address the not only the physical but also your mental and emotional well-being can provide the support network that is often missing in the management of Psoriasis.
What to do next?
If you are looking for support with Psoriasis our Naturopaths, Acupuncturists and Emotional Wellness team can work together with you to provide this big picture approach, and help support you in achieving improvements in your health and wellbeing. Call us on 07 3367 0337 and make an appointment at our Brisbane clinic.