For more than two years I have suffered with psoriasis over most of my body, particularly my hands, face and legs. I’ve tried every cream and lotion, but nothing works. I itch constantly, and sometimes it bleeds. My hands are the worst as they are bright red and flaky and have tiny blister-like lumps. I’m embarrassed if people look at me. I’m only 18 and don’t want this for the rest of my life. Please help.
This chronic skin condition can be agony, especially if the face and hands are affected, as in your case. Other people are often afraid to shake hands for fear of catching the disease, although it is not contagious. Psoriasis can also occur on the scalp, producing a lot of scales, which shed over clothes. The red thickened scaly psoriatic patches appear all over the body, particularly on areas where there is maximum friction, such as elbow and knees. With this condition, the underlying basal skin cells multiply then die rapidly, causing the outer layer of skin to dry. To support such intensive cell growth, the. blood vessels in the deeper level of skin also proliferate. These may spontaneously rupture, causing blood to seep out. The intense itching occurs because the sensitive nerve endings are exposed to the air when the flakes fall off. Scratching the itch traumatises the rash further, making it bleed or ooze.
Psoriasis is widely accepted as an autoimmune condition, in which the body’s immune system turns on its own cells, in this case skin cells. The cause is not known and blood tests do not show any abnormality. However, there is often a genetic link. Most people who develop psoriasis do so after some physical or psychological trauma or a period of intense stress. Further periods of stress, which are, of course, often caused by the condition itself, aggravate flare-ups.
Conventional medicine treats this condition topically with emollients to soften the skin, preparations to reduce the inflammation and scaling a vitamin D derivative (but not on the face or creases of skin) or corticosteroid drugs to limit cell division.
Ultraviolet light therapy is also used, sometimes in combination with a drug that makes the skin more sensitive to the UV light. In severe cases, oral or intravenous drug, including retinoids, methotrexate and the immunosuppressant cyclosporin may be used. These have potentially serious side effects. Sunshine is helpful because the radiation slows the rapid cellular division, and a warm environment helps lower stress levels.
Psoriasis is a difficult disease to treat’ so please persevere with the following diet and lifestyle programme for at least six months.
Diet to help check candida overgrowth
* Avoid: citrus fruits (orange, lemon, grapefruit), pineapple, mangoes, kiwi fruit, rhubarb, all of which sensitise the skin.
* Cut out yeast products (bread, pizza, Marmite, etc), processed foods, sugar and sugary foods. Yeasty foods may lead to candida and leaky gut which allows toxins into the blood stream. Candida feeds on sugar. Also cut out mushrooms, blue cheese, hard cheese, vinegar, beer and wine. These all contain fungal products which help yeast and candida to thrive.
* Eat very little histamine-containing foods, such as tomato, aubergine, peppers and potatoes; also avoid hot, spicy foods containing chillies, ginger and extra salt.
* Cut down on starchy foods (potatoes, pasta and rice).
* Eat more nourishing protein (grilled chicken, lamb, fish, tofu), cottage cheese, natural live yoghurt, vegetables, green salads, lentils, non-citrus fruits (particularly apples) and porridge. Eat six whole almonds daily soaked in room temperature for 24 hours.
* Drink freshly made carrot and apple juice.
My Lifestyle DVD (Integrated Health Group), includes exercise and relaxation Programmes, and massage techniques. These will help you to feel good and counteract the processes that led to your body reacting in this way.
Supplements to help the skin
* Soak three twigs of kadu Top Op Foods, and a half teaspoonful of kariatu Top Op Foods, in a cup of boiling water at night then strain and drink first thing in the morning. Do this for three months.
* Aloe vera capsules: take one twice daily Between meals for three months
*Zinc tablet: take one tablet daily, after food, for two months.
Apply aloe/propolis cream to the hands and exposed areas, or squeeze fresh
pulp from the leaves of an aloe vera plant and use.
Try homoeopathy, Chinese herbalism and/or acupuncture.