Diet And Psoriasis: What’s The Connection
Can your diet help keep psoriasis under control? Maybe. An observational study published online July 25, 2018, by JAMA Dermatology found that people with psoriasis who followed a Mediterranean diet an eating pattern rich in fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fish, fruit, nuts, and extra-virgin olive oil experienced fewer severe flare-ups. This was only an association and more research is needed, but experts believe the Mediterranean diet contains many foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body and may offer extra protection against psoriasis triggers.
How To Stop Psoriasis Itching At Night
There are a number of ways to stop psoriasis itching at night but before we delve into the subject in detail, I want to share some personal experiences of the countless times I wished I could find some relief from the addictive itch.
As you will know, when you start to itch your psoriasis in bed at nighttime, it basically is impossible to stop. The amount of times I have ruined a bedsheet with blood stains from excessive scratching is just too many to remember. And also lets not forget, the more you scratch the longer the psoriasis healing time.
Lets be honest, I know scratching psoriasis feels good but my biggest tip is to teach yourself not to start. Please also note that when you start to take care of your diet and use the right topical ointments, your propensity to itch decreases considerably.
So for psoriasis itching relief, please read the following advice which will help you set up your sleep environment to lessen the incentive to scratch!
What Type Of Psoriasis Treatment Will I Need
Several treatment options can relieve psoriasis. Creams or ointments may be enough to improve the rash in small areas of skin. If the rash affects larger areas, or you also have joint pain, you may need other treatments. Joint pain may be a sign that you have arthritis.
Your provider will decide on a treatment plan based on:
- Severity of the rash.
- Vitamin A or retinoid creams.
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How Psoriasis Is Diagnosed
A GP can often diagnose psoriasis based on the appearance of your skin.
In rare cases, a small sample of skin called a biopsy will be sent to the laboratory for examination under a microscope.
You may be referred to a specialist in diagnosing and treating skin conditions if your doctor is uncertain about your diagnosis, or if your condition is severe.
If your doctor suspects you have psoriatic arthritis, which is sometimes a complication of psoriasis, you may be referred to a doctor who specialises in arthritis .
You may have blood tests to rule out other conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, and X-rays of the affected joints may be taken.
How Can You Ease Your Symptoms
Dr. Fernandez recommends using a moisturizing cream or ointment if you have either eczema or psoriasis. Keeping your skin moist is helpful because youre more likely to itch if your skin is dry.
Your skin can also benefit from these general health tips:
- Drink alcohol only in moderation.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Drink more water.
- Get plenty of exercise.
There is no cure for psoriasis and multiple types of eczema, including atopic dermatitis. But you can help limit the symptoms by getting proper treatment and taking good care of your skin, Dr. Fernandez says.
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Soothe With Apple Cider Vinegar
Psoriasis lesions on your scalp can itch beyond belief. To find relief, mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water. Dab the solution on your scalp two to three times a week. Rinse after a few minutes to keep your scalp from becoming irritated by the vinegar. One caution: Don’t try this if the skin on your scalp is cracked or bleeding.
What Causes Psoriasis Outbreaks
Psoriasis outbreaks differ from person to person. No one knows exactly what causes flare-ups. Common psoriasis triggers may include:
- Skin injury .
- Streptococcal or other infection that affects the immune system.
- Certain prescription medications .
- Cold weather, when people have less exposure to sunlight and humidity and more to hot, dry indoor air.
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Moisturize To The Max
Keeping your skin moist is extremely important, says Dr. Yosipovitch, because moisture reduces redness and allows your skin to heal. Thick, petroleum-like moisturizers are better than thin, watery lotions for itch relief. Cooking oil or shortening can also sub for drugstore moisturizers and be less expensive. Apply moisturizer and prescription creams or ointments alongside any prescription topicals right after your bath or shower to lock in natural skin oils. Bonus tip: Keep your creams in the fridge for a cooling effect.
But This Doesnt Have To Be Your Reality
You can control and clear your psoriasis from the inside without toxic medications.
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- What is psoriasis?
- What actually causes your psoriasis to flare up
- What you put in your mouth can make it worse
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Why Psoriasis Itch Occurs
The clinical name for an itch is pruritus. It can be triggered by many things, including infections, allergies, chronic diseases, drugs, and even pregnancy. In a great many cases, there is no known cause.
An itch originates in nerve receptors in the skin known as nociceptors. These receptors are known to be stimulated by histamine, a substance secreted by the immune system during an allergic response that causes the receptors to misfire. While this explains why an allergic rash is so itchy, it is unclear why an itch may occur with other conditions.
What scientists do know is that nociceptors are most abundant in the transition between the outer layer of skin and the layer of skin just below it . Perhaps not surprisingly, this is also the region where psoriasis originates.
As an autoimmune disorder, psoriasis is caused by an immune assault on normal cells in the dermis. The resulting inflammation triggers a chain reaction in which skin cells in the dermal/epidermal transition begin to multiply faster than they can be shed. What results are the dry, flaky plaques recognized as psoriasis.
The autoimmune assault of psoriasis is believed to overstimulate dermal receptors, sometimes causing itching. The itch may be intensified by flaking and dryness , which allow environmental irritants into tiny cracks and fissures.
What Else Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
If you have psoriasis, ask your healthcare provider:
- How can I prevent outbreaks and control symptoms?
- What medication will work best for me?
- What else should I do to improve symptoms?
- What are my options if creams dont work?
- Will psoriasis ever go away?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Psoriasis, an itchy skin condition, can come and go throughout your life. Its related to an overactive immune response and is not contagious. If you have skin changes that arent going away, talk to your healthcare provider. There is no cure for psoriasis, but psoriasis treatments can improve symptoms. Your provider may prescribe a special cream or moisturizer or medications. Other therapies are available if creams or medicines dont work. Maintaining your overall health will also help improve symptoms.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/17/2020.
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Stop The Itch: Top Ten Psoriasis Triggers
In honor of Psoriasis Awareness Month, were devoting August to raising awareness about psoriatic disease and its effects on the more than 7.5 million people living with this condition. This week, we are taking a look at ways you can prevent your psoriasis from flaring up by avoiding known triggers. If you have psoriasis, you may already be aware of some of the things that can cause you to have a flare-up. The tricky thing is that what causes a flare-up for one person may not affect another. There are several things that researchers have found to be common triggers for those suffering from psoriasis.
Treatment: Where To Start
The most common treatments for mild cases are medications that you put directly on your scalp. If you have a more severe case or have psoriasis elsewhere on your body, you may need a medication that treats your whole body. You can take these medications by mouth or injection.
If your psoriasis doesn’t respond well after repeated use of one medication, your doctor may replace or combine it with another type of treatment.
One of the first steps is to soften and remove scales. This makes it easier for medications to do their job.
- Apply over-the-counter products to your scalp to help soften scales and make them easier to peel off. Look for products with the active ingredients salicylic acid, lactic acid, urea, zinc pyrithione, or selenium sulfide.
- Gently loosen the scales with a brush or fine-toothed comb.
- Shampoo your scalp to remove the scales, using a salicylic acid shampoo or soap.
- Apply thick creams to your scalp while it’s still damp to hold in the moisture.
To apply medication:
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Scratching Can Irritate Your Skin Which Can Lead To A Psoriasis Flare
It might not be just the red, scaly plaques from psoriasis that drives you nuts. The itch that goes along with psoriasis can bother you even in places that are lesion free. Up to 90 percent of people with psoriasis experience itching, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, and it can impact your quality of life. It can interfere with your sleep, increase your stress, and even take a toll on your sex life.
“It’s not always a pure itch,” says Gil Yosipovitch, MD, a professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida. Instead, you might feel a burning or pinching sensation. And though the urge to scratch can be hard to resist, scratching can just make psoriasis symptoms worse. Scratching can damage your skin, leading to infection or skin injuries that can trigger a psoriasis flare.
Following your psoriasis treatment plan is the best way to prevent bothersome itching. But there are other steps you can take to find relief when itching strikes.
How Do Health Care Professionals Diagnose Scalp Psoriasis
The fact that the scalp is a hair-bearing area in most people produces challenges in diagnosis as well as treatment. If scaling plaques are present on portions of the body in a distribution characteristic of psoriasis, then the diagnosis of the scalp disease is much easier to make.
The most important consideration in treating scalp psoriasis is getting an effective medication into the skin. Both the hair and any scale covering the disease act as an impediment to treatment. Removal of the scale in a nontraumatic fashion is very important. This can be accomplished by shampooing frequently. Using tar, selenium, or salicylic acid-containing shampoos can be helpful. This may have to be done at least twice a day initially if the scale is sufficiently thick. Gently rubbing off the scale with the fingertips and not the nails is important.
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Do All Types Of Psoriasis Itch
Plaque psoriasis, a type that causes scaly, often gray-looking patches, is the most common type of psoriasis. It is also the most common cause of psoriatic itching, although other forms of psoriasis may also itch.
However, the severity of an itch may vary between one flare and the next. One psoriasis flare may only cause mild itching, while the following flare could result in severe itching sensations.
It is possible for one person to have multiple types of psoriasis at once and develop lesions that do not itch or only cause mild itching.
Many treatment options are available to help people who experience psoriatic itching.
Complementary And Alternative Remedies
Some people use complementary and alternative remedies, such as acupuncture, to prevent psoriasis from spreading. Other strategies, such as meditation and therapy, may help some people cope with the emotional effects and social stigma of having psoriasis.
Although there is some evidence that specific environmental factors might trigger psoriasis, those factors vary from between patients. This makes it almost impossible to prevent psoriasis developing for the first time. However, it might be possible to prevent subsequent flare-ups by keeping track of triggers.
A person with psoriasis might find that their psoriasis gets worse with stress, aftersunburn, or when they eat certain foods. Avoiding these triggers can lengthen the time between flare-ups, and may prevent an early flare-up from spreading.
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Cool Or Warm Compresses
Some people might experience temporary relief from the itching by using cold compresses and taking cool showers.
Others also find that warm compresses ease the pain, so alternating between warm and cold compresses may help with both itching and discomfort.
People should not take hot baths and try to avoid being in the shower for longer than 10 minutes, as this can increase irritation. Applying lotion after a cool bath can help a person retain moisture in the skin, reducing the risk of dryness and itching.
Psoriasis: How Pharmacists Can Help Stop The Itch
Matthew Thaller, PharmD Candidate 2020St. John’s University, College of Pharmacy & Health SciencesQueens, New York
Emily M. Ambizas, PharmD, MPH, BCGPAssociate Clinical ProfessorSt. John’s University, College of Pharmacy & Health SciencesQueens, New YorkWhitestone, New York
US Pharm. 2020 45:8-11.
Psoriasis, once thought of as a dermatologic disorder, is now recognized as a chronic, systemic immune-mediated inflammatory condition that speeds up the growth cycle in skin cells.1,2 It is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the United States, affecting more than 8 million Americans.3 While it can affect anyone at any age, there appears to be a bimodal age distribution, with those aged 18 to 39 years and 50 to 69 years most affected.
Psoriasis is typically characterized by erythematous patches, as well as silvery, scaly patches typically found in areas of high movement, such as elbows and knees. It can also affect the scalp, lower back, face, nails, palms and soles, and intertriginous areas.2,4 Disease burden can be seen in its negative physical, psychiatric, and social tolls. Far from being a cosmetic problem, psoriasis can greatly affect a patients quality of life psoriatic patients have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.5,6 In a national survey, 88% of patients reported that psoriasis affected their overall emotional well-being, and 82% reported that it affected their enjoyment of life.7
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Treat Your Scales And Flakes
The buildup on your skin can prevent anti-itch medicated cream from penetrating deeply. So keep your scales and flakes in check. Products with salicylic acid soften the scales. Resist picking at or pulling the sloughed off skin. That could worsen your psoriasis. Instead, brush off the softened scales gently while moisturizing.
Impressive Home Remedies To Treat Psoriasis
Research has strongly supported that aloe vera based creams are effective in lessening the symptoms associated with psoriasis such as redness and scaling. Topical creams that contain 0.5% of aloe gel can be applied on affected skin regions which help in reducing scaling, itching, redness and inflammation. For best result use aloe vera gel creams thrice daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar
The potent antiseptic property of apple cider vinegar is beneficial in calming and soothing the itching and irritation caused due to scalp psoriasis. Prefer organic apple cider vinegar and dilute it with lukewarm water 1:1 ratio apply directly over the affected areas which help to avert irritation and burning sensation. The anti-itch agent of apple cider vinegar help to lessen itching. Avoid vinegar in case you have open wounds or skin is cracked or bleeding.
Dead Sea Salt/Epsom
Epsom salts work as an amazing natural remedy to ward off scales and lessen itching. Mix Epsom salts to warm bath water and allow to soak in it for 15-20 minutes. Apply a moisturizing cream after the bath to maintain the skin moisture and avert drying of the skin.
Tea Tree Oil
Home remedies provide relief from mild cases of psoriasis symptoms, however, for severe cases of psoriasis you may need a prescription medicine, consult a dermatologist and take prompt medical treatment.
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