Perhaps you have seen someone or you know someone who has psoriasis. Their skin may have red, raised patches or even lesions that are covered with whitish silver flakes that are dead skin cell build up. Some types are very noticeable and others may not be so easily noticed. The fact is, though, that the patient knows it is there and it a source of discomfort and embarrassment for the person who suffers from it.
What is Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a non-contagious chronic autoimmune disease that affects the skin. It occurs because the immune system is not working properly, so it sends erroneous signals to speed up the skin cell growth cycle.
There are five types of psoriasis. Each type has certain features and symptoms. The five types are guttate, pustular, plaque, erythrodermic and inverse. Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the condition and it appears as the red, raised patches or lesions and the silvery "scale" or dead skin cells, that most people recognize as psoriasis.
Traditional Treatments and Cures
For mild psoriasis, there are many topical treatments, both by prescription and over the counter. Moisturizers, lotions, creams, ointments and shampoos are available and have been proven effective. Moderate to severe psoriasis, however requires a more aggressive treatment. In addition to topical treatments, the patient may be prescribed phototherapy or light therapy. They may also be prescribed systemic medications which are administrated either by injection orally.
Alternative Treatments and Cures
Many people believe that treating the root of the problem instead of the symptoms will cure psoriasis. There are many people who make very impressive claims that a raw food diet, a gluten free dies and other similar diets can relate and even cure the condition. It is believe that the diet helps to heal the immune system, thus eliminating the symptoms.
Uropathy and autoimmune urine therapy are two more alternative therapies that are getting great reviews. These therapies involve the patient drinking their own urine. There is a great deal if literature on the topic and many who have tried it claim it works wonders. In some cases, with these types of therapies, the condition will get worse before it gets better. This is referred to as a healing crisis.
There are several new therapies that are being tried. One involves the vitamin D3, taken orally. It is also called calcitriol and was used to treat osteoporosis, but a side effect (that was completely unexpected) was complete remission of the psoriasis.
The FDA has just recently approved the use of Cyclosporin, an immunosuppressive drug with the original intent of making liver, kidney and heart transplants more successful. A side effect of the drug, however is the remission of psoriasis, often within 8 weeks of regular treatment. Other immunosuppressive drugs have also been shown to be effective as well.
The best thing you can do when trying to treat or cure your psoriasis, is to talk with your doctor. He or she will surely have suggestions and can steer you in the right direction.