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Managing Psoriasis

Part 3 of the Vida Glow Skin Series

 by Vida Glow's Resident Nutritionist Brittany Darling

Psoriasis is a skin condition that appears as plaques, typically on the elbows, knees and scalp, although it can be in other locations on the body. The plaques are caused by a build up of skin cells that are proliferating at an unusually fast rate. The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown. It is thought that the immune system and genetics play a role.

Psoriasis is the most common condition I see in my clinical practice. Some people manage their psoriasis with a few nutritional and lifestyle changes, while others can achieve complete remission. I'm not going to lie to you, managing or eliminating psoriasis takes a lot of determination and motivation. Here I have given you my naturopathic tips on dealing with this pesty skin condition.

Possible Underlying Exacerbating Factors

  1. Systemic inflammation
  2. Underlying autoimmunity
  3. Stress, nicotine and alcohol consumption
  4. Infections (chronic strep throat or bacterial/parasitic infection in the gut)
  5. Poor digestion and intestinal permeability
  6. Vitamin D3, zinc and essential fatty acid deficiency

 

Nutritional Tips

  • Avoid gluten contain grains (wheat, spelt, rye, kamut, farro, oats, semolina and durum wheat). Be aware cross contamination from toasters and sandwich pressed etc. If Coeliac Disease is suspected, testing first is vital. HLA genotyping, anti gladin antibodies and colonoscopy is digestive symptoms are suggestive of Coeliac disease.
  • Avoid alcohol as it stimulates keratinocytes and drives inflammation.
  • Follow anti inflammatory diet high in plant based foods and antioxidants
  • If constipated, make sure you are getting 25g (women) and 30g (men) of fibre daily. The clearance of toxins and waste depends on you moving your bowels. Keep hydrated and ask me about extra support if need be.

 

Lifestyle Tips

  • Cease smoking as it stimulates keratinocytes adhesion and upward migration to the epidermis.
  • Avoid hot showers or baths. Warm is better.
  • Look at what skin products, oral care, laundry, cleaning and kitchen detergents you are coming into contact with. Try sensitive or sodium laurel sulphate free products

 

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