Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that is characterised by red, flaky patches on the skin. The condition usually affects the scalp, knees, elbows, hands, feet, and lower back.
Plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis, where these red, flaky patches may appear on any part of the body. Other common types of psoriasis include nail psoriasis and scalp psoriasis. Scalp psoriasis could look like dandruff due to the silvery flakes of dry skin.
There are 2 known causes of psoriasis: genetics and the immune system.
Certain genes make you more susceptible to developing psoriasis. If you have an immediate family member with psoriasis, you are generally more likely to develop the condition yourself, although chances are not a lot higher.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, in which the immune system causes skin cells to regenerate faster than normal. These excess skin cells get pushed to the surface, which form the plaques that we commonly associate with psoriasis when they pile up.
Mild psoriasis symptoms can be relieved at home. Here are 10 things you can do at home to manage your symptoms:
Keeping your skin moisturised can help to prevent plaques from forming. Applying a moisturiser for sensitive skin two to three times a day will help reduce flaking and itching so you can feel a bit more comfortable in your skin.
Many common soaps and moisturisers contain fragrances and dyes that will irritate your skin. Although they may not smell as good, make sure to only use products made for sensitive skin.
The food you eat may be contributing to your psoriasis flare-ups. Cut out, or at least reduce, the amount of red meat, saturated fats, refined sugar, and alcohol in your diet as these foods may cause flare-ups.
Cold-water fish (like cod and salmon), seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Adding more of such foods to your diet can help reduce inflammation.
UVB rays in sunlight can help slow down the growth of excess skin cells triggered by psoriasis. While it’s not difficult to get sun exposure in sunny Singapore, try to get more morning sun and make sure to cover healthy skin with sunscreen and clothing.
Some medications could increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. Consult a doctor before purposefully seeking sun exposure.
A lukewarm bath with Epsom salts, colloidal oatmeal, and suitable mineral oils can reduce itching and moisturise the skin, helping to soothe and relieve some symptoms.
Make sure that the water is not too hot as it could irritate your skin further. Moisturise immediately after your bath for maximum benefits.
Living with a chronic condition like psoriasis can be stressful, which in turn triggers more flare-ups, leading to a vicious cycle. Stress-relieving activities like practicing yoga and getting moderate exercise can help. Here are 4 tips for stress management from NTUC Health to reduce flare-ups of psoriasis.
Fish oil, milk thistle, vitamin D, Oregon grape, evening primrose oil, and probiotics could help manage the mild symptoms of psoriasis. These are available in the form of dietary supplements, which are portable and easy to consume.
Check with your doctor before starting any supplements to make sure there are no drug interactions.
Applying aloe vera gel or a cream that contains aloe vera directly onto the skin may help reduce redness and inflammation. Products containing aloe vera are widely available - try to use something that contains at least 0.5 per cent aloe vera.
Research suggests that curcumin, an active ingredient found in turmeric, can be effective in treating psoriasis. Curcumin is available in pill or capsule form, or you could also incorporate turmeric into your diet by sprinkling some on your food.
Smoking increases your risk of developing a variety of health conditions, one of which is psoriasis. If you already suffer from psoriasis, smoking could also make your symptoms worse.
Every person’s psoriasis symptoms and triggers are different, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution to treating and managing psoriasis. A combination of medical therapy with at-home remedy would best help reduce and even eliminate symptoms.
It is best to consult a doctor before starting on any supplements or home remedies to ensure that it is safe and suitable for your condition. For a quick and easy consultation in the comfort of your home, download the Speedoc app and try our video consultation service.