The Link Between Psoriasis And The Immune System
No one ever really considered that the immune system had any real role in psoriasis, or its painful outbreaks. Not until a new drug Cyclosporine was offered to arthritis patients. What happened next was both surprising and unexpected. Patients who were prescribed the immune suppressing drug for their arthritis symptoms , began to report a decrease in their skin attacks. Without warning, researchers were faced with the theory that the immune system could be causing psoriasis.
It didnt take long before researchers began to figure out the mystery of psoriasis in regards to how the immune system can impact it.
The Role of the Immune System on the Skin
The immune system is responsible for standing guard and attacking any invaders which penetrate the body. Since the skins main job is to act as the bodys first defense mechanism against invasion, it is no wonder that the immune system works in close connection with each layer of the skin. Heres how it all works:
1. Immune cells patrol the entire body for dangers. How to Use Epsom Salt for Psoriasis
2. When an invader is detected, these immune send out chemical and nervous system messages to the immune system to ready itself for an attack
Mineral Baths Vs Regular Baths For Arthritis
There are many physical benefits to bathing in warm water when you have arthritis or chronic pain. The heat from the water is very soothing to stiff joints. And the practice of self-care and stress relief is very important for managing chronic diseases like arthritis.
The thermal and mechanical benefits of warm water are well-known and include muscle relaxation, improved joint mobility, and reduced pain, says Maura Daly Iversen, PT, DPT, SD, MPH, FAPTA, associate dean of clinical education, rehabilitation, and new initiatives at the Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Less evidence exists about the chemical benefits of mineral baths, she adds. Some studies show mineral baths can have an anti-inflammatory effect in patients with arthritis by increasing certain cells that mediate inflammation and by enhancing circulation and breathing.
Specifically, some research has shown decreases in the inflammatory chemicals interleukin-1 and tumor necrosis factor , along with increases in endorphins, the bodys natural pain killers, after mineral bath soaks.
Still, studies dont all agree on the chemical impact or even whether magnesium or other minerals can be absorbed through the skin.
In other words, whether the minerals in the baths have additional benefits for relieving arthritis symptoms beyond the relaxing act of bathing is not completely clear and is something researchers are still studying.
Epsom Salts For Psoriasis: Does It Work
- Despite little scientific evidence to support this, many people with psoriasis use Epsom salt baths or Dead Sea salt baths to manage their skin symptoms.
- Soaking in a salt bath can help soften the scales and relieve itching from psoriasis.
- The magnesium in the salt is believed to be beneficial for psoriasis skin.
Dissolving Epsom salt in a bath is a common remedy for soothing sore muscles and a popular way to unwind after a long day. Epsom salt, also called magnesium sulfate, is a chemical compound made up of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen.
People with psoriasis can also take Epsom salt baths or Dead Sea salt baths to soften skin flakes and reduce itching.
Although Epsom salts have long been used as a traditional remedy, there is little scientific evidence to support claims that they have medicinal properties. These benefits are thought to come from the magnesium in the salt.
On the other hand, some research supports the use of Dead Sea salts, which also contain magnesium.
Whether or not Epsom salts have been scientifically proven to work, this therapy may offer relief to those seeking new ways to treat the symptoms of psoriasis.
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Six Reasons Why Epsom Salts Are Good For Psoriasis
Epsom salts are fantastic for soothing irritated skin for a number of reasons.
1. Magnesium sulfate reduces inflammation and can be easily absorbed through the skin. It lowers inflammation both systemically, inside the body and topically, on the skin.
2. Epsom salt is a godsend when it comes to exfoliation. As you soak, the salt softly lifts all those layers of crusty dead skin to reveal the shiny new skin underneath. You feel as smooth as butter afterwards.
3. It restores the skin barrier. In psoriasis, the outermost layer of skin is normally damaged, leading your body to pump-out immune cells in an attempt to repair the skin and stop toxins and microbes from setting up home. Epsom salts can restore and strengthen this barrier.
4. Epsom salt is great for detoxifying the body and pulling out foreign substances that can irritate skin. Firstly, the sulfate molecules attract heavy metals which can aggravate your skin. Secondly, it it hygroscopic, meaning it draws in moisture from the skin surface, helping to control any overgrowth of bacteria or fungus.
5. It relieves stress. This is because magnesium helps to reduce cortisol and calm the nervous system, which are all good for reducing inflammation in autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis.
4. Epsom salt controls the activity of over 325 enzymes that help to regulate nerve and muscle function, which is good for better all-round health.
Epsom Or Dead Sea Salt Baths
Bathing can help calm irritated skin and remove scales from your psoriasis plaques. Some people with psoriasis like to add Epsom or Dead Sea salts to their baths.
How It May Help:
The salts may help remove scales and ease itching.
How to Use It:
To try it, add a few teaspoons of bath salts to a warm bath and soak for 15 minutes. Make sure that your bath water is warm and not hot. Hot water can dry out your skin and make psoriasis worse. After youre done bathing, pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizer to lock in moisture.
What to Know:
Limit yourself to one bath or shower a day. Bathing more than that can irritate your skin.
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How Often To Do An Epsom Salt Dandruff Treatment
You can use this dandruff treatment once a month, depending on the severity of your flakes. Even if you find that an Epsom salt treatment helps improve your condition, it may still be a wise idea to invest in a good dandruff shampoo to help treat the problem and prevent flakes from returning.
“There are so many good products to use for dandruff but the key is to alternate and not use only one. A selenium sulfide product alternating with a zinc pyrithione works better than using only one,” Greenfield explains. “For light dandruff, I like LaRoche Posay Kerium Anti Dandruff Shampoo , which hydrates with glycerin. If the dandruff is intense, I like Head and Shoulders Royal Oil Moisture Boost Shampoo .
“Always let the product sit on the scalp for five minutes do not wash off right away. During summertime make sure to use a sunscreen on the scalp like Coppertone Sunscreen Stick , because a tan or burn will increase dandruff and dry scalp,” Greenfield shares.
A Quick Epsom Salt 101
Epsom salt is a hydrated salt made from magnesium, sulphur and oxygen with a couple of water molecules thrown in 7). It gets its name from Epsom, a little town southwest of London that became known for its healing mineral waters way back in the 16th century, when Shakespeare was writing up a storm.
The story goes that, in 1618, a farmer noticed his cows were not too happy with the bitter water on his farm. He investigated further and saw that, despite its taste, it was having a profound affect on their skin and rashes. The news spread faster than a psoriasis outbreak and soon people were swarming from all over England for his miraculous Epsom salt water.
Epsom salts have many medicinal uses. Athletes soak in them to relieve muscle pain, people who havent pooped in yonks use them to loosen things up down there, and, most importantly, people with skin conditions use them to get much-needed relief. Epsom salt has so many uses in fact, it is listed as an Essential Medicine by the WHO.
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Relax Your Body & Mind
Epsom salts dissolve in warm water and are easily absorbed through the skin where they immediately go to work inside our bodies. The magnesium ions break apart from Epsom salt molecules and begin to relieve stress by promoting the production of serotonin and reducing the effects of adrenaline. Magnesium also plays a critical role in the production of energy in cells, helping us to feel invigorated without causing feelings of restlessness or anxiety.
Some research has found that people who are suffering from mental and physical stress benefit when their magnesium levels are managed. While the study looked at oral supplements, Epsom salt could have a similar effect.
Taking a warm bath can also help a person relax by allowing them to release muscle tension and recuperate after a long day. One study found that the magnesium in Epsom salt helps to lower cortisol, the stress hormone.
Epsom Salt Soaking Bath For Psoriasis
The concept of Epsom salt soaking bath for psoriasis healing is not a new thing. When you soak in a bath tub with Epsom salt dissolved in it with other additives such as essential oils and baking soda- inflammation, itching and irritation related to psoriasis can be reduced significantly. Also, it helps in the easy removal of psoriasis scales by softening them.
A lot of people talk highly about the benefits of bathing in hot mineral springs to relieve psoriasis symptoms- the rich mineral content of spring water helps here. When you enjoy a soaking salt bath, you are replicating the same effect at the comfort of your own bathroom. The salts which are generally used are:
- Epsom salt- It provides Magnesium and sulfate
- Dead Sea salt It provides a variety of minerals including magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfate and bromide
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, soaking baths using Epsom salt and Dead Sea salt can help treat various skin and neuromuscular related issues.
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3. To help safeguard the skin, the immune system release chemicals that can cause nerves to itch and blood vessels to dilate to prepare the skin for a sudden rush of immune cells
4. When the immune cells arrive at the scene, most work to kill off the pathogens causing the distress, but a few capture some of the invaders and take them back to the heart of the immune system, where other soldier cells are produced in a way to recognize and attack the invading cells on contact
5. Inflammation is the bodys way of opening blood vessels to allow more soldier cells to rush to the battlefield.
While this entire process is completely normal, people with psoriasis tend to overproduce these soldier cells when the body feels threatened. This overabundance of killer immune cells can actually be dangerous to the skin since they begin to attack good cells along with the bad ones.
While it is great to finally understand the impact an improperly working immune system can have on your skin and cause psoriasis more research is needed to pinpoint the exact cause for the over-firing of the cell messages. How to Use Epsom Salt for Psoriasis
Epsom Salt Bath Benefits
The benefits of epsom salt were recognised hundreds of years ago. Its beneficial properties work in relaxing and soothing the mind, body and soul. Soaking in a tub of epsom salt after a long and tiring day eases many stress-related problems. Below are all the epsom salt bath benefits explained in detail.
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Indoor Bathing In Salt Water Followed By Exposure To Artificial Ultraviolet B Light For Chronic Plaque Psoriasis
We reviewed the evidence about the effect of indoor bathing in salt water for adults with chronic plaque psoriasis followed by artificial ultraviolet B light treatment. We evaluated two different comparisons: 1) Salt bath with UVB versus other treatment without UVB eligible comparators were exposure to psoralen bath, psoralen bath + artificial ultraviolet A light, topical treatment, systemic treatment , or placebo . 2) Salt bath with UVB versus other treatment with UVB or UVB only eligible comparators were exposure to bath containing other compositions or concentrations + UVB or UVB only. The degree of severity of psoriasis can be measured by the psoriasis area and severity index . Improvement can be indicated by a reduction of PASI. We requested at least a 75% reduction in PASI-75 score to evaluate a potential beneficial effect. To evaluate a potential harmful effect, we chose treatment-related side effects severe enough to stop treatment.
Chronic plaque psoriasis is a skin disease characterised by red-coloured lesions with silvery scales. Bathing in the Dead Sea and exposure to the sun may improve the lesions but may not be practical for most patients. Artificial salt bath and exposure to UVB could simulate the natural exposure.
No study reported our secondary outcomes. The duration of trials in total ranged between at least two months and up to 13 months. Outcomes were assessed at the end of treatment.
What You Need To Know About Psoriasis How To Use Epsom Salt For Psoriasis
Is Your Stomach to Blame?
Who would have thought that a severe psoriasis outbreak could start because of something going wrong inside of your stomach and intestines? Yet, new research developed by psoriasis expert Edgard Cayce shows a distinct link between a leaky gut and a scaly psoriatic episode. According to Cayce, the primary source of psoriasis can be found in the intestinal tract, where toxins are leached into the body. This causes the immune system to react by thickening the skin. At the same time, the skin tries to purge the toxins through its layers, which can cause scabs and sores to form.
Could Arthritis Be the Cuplrit?
The intestines arent the only link to psoriasis found by researchers arthritis seems to also contribute to it. As many as one-third of all psoriasis patients eventually develop some form of psoriatic arthritis. Unlike normal forms of arthritis, those with psoriatic arthritis do not exhibit a rheumatoid factor when their blood is tested. This indicates that the arthritic condition comes solely from either the psoriasis itself or the underlying cause of the skin affliction.
Could a Virus Be the Cause?
Arthritis has been linked to certain virus and so have other auto-immune disorders. This leads some researchers to think that psoriasis too may start with a virus, which is what kicks the immune system into overdrive.
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How Does Epsom Salt Draw Out Infection
How can Epsom salt be a good remedy and treat infections firmly? In water, Epsom salt starts dissolves to magnesium and sulfate. Our skin has a wide-ranging ability to absorb the constituents of the salt through the feet. It tends to remove all the toxic substances from the bloodstream.
Our body requires magnesium to produce energy, and the absorption of this salt increases the amount of magnesium in the system. Hence, providing enough energy. The inflammatory pain goes away causing an increment in the muscle function.
You can use Epsom salt to soak your feet by following the steps below
How To Treat Scalp Psoriasis At Home
Its important to note that home remedies can help ease some symptoms, but theyre not proven cures. The following home treatments are generally safe and may help you reduce mild to moderate scalp psoriasis symptoms. It would be best if you speak to your doctor before starting home treatment, especially for more aggressive forms of the condition.
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Home Remedies For Psoriasis: Do They Work
Every case of psoriasis is unique, so there isnt a single method for effectively treating the disease.
Along with discussing treatment options with your doctor or dermatologist, there are home remedies that you may find work well for you.
Here are eight home remedies that have shown some promising results in providing relief for psoriasis symptoms.
Coconut Or Avocado Oil
Coconuts and avocados are filled with healthy fats that boost skin health. Massage a few drops of either type of oil, cool or lightly heated, onto your scalp and put on a shower cap. Wait 20 minutes, remove the cap, then wash your hair as usual. This can reduce and remove some of the scaling associated with the condition.
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How To Use Epsom Salt For Dandruff
“If anyone were to want to use Epsom salt in their scalp care arsenal, I would suggest mixing with a fatty acid oil, such as shea or avocado, and half a teaspoon of salt to every three teaspoons of oil,” Hill suggests. If you have dry hair, it is effective to use the Epsom salt with nourishing conditioner or oil.
Gently massage a few tablespoons of Epsom salt onto your dry or slightly damp scalp for two to three minutes. The salt granules will effectively exfoliate the dead skin cells off your scalp and help treat dandruff. “Massage the treatment into your hair and scalp and let it sit for another two to three minutes before washing out. Rinse hair and follow with gentle moisturizing shampoo- preferably with added oils. Repeat twice weekly,” Greenfield instructs. Shampoo your hair immediately after your scalp massage. If you have a dandruff shampoo, let it sit on your scalp for 30 to 60 seconds before rinsing.