If you want to know how to get rid of psoriasis, this post is a great place to start! While there is no known cure for psoriasis, there are treatment options available to help calm the skin, relieve pain, reduce redness, and keep symptoms under control. Keep reading for more information about the different types of psoriasis, common causes and symptoms, and 9 tips and remedies to help keep the condition manageable.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can develop anywhere on the body, but typically appears on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Psoriasis causes skin cells to multiply faster than normal, resulting in a patchy, bumpy red rash with white scales. It’s not contagious, and while children can get psoriasis, it typically begins in early adulthood. Psoriasis often comes and goes, and while there is no known cure, certain lifestyle changes can help keep symptoms manageable.
What Are the Symptoms of Psoriasis?
The symptoms of psoriasis are dependent on the type of psoriasis you have.
- PLAQUE PSORIASIS. This is the most common type of psoriasis, and it’s characterized by plaques of itchy and painful red skin that are covered in white scales. Plaque psoriasis can also cause disorders of the fingernails and toenails, resulting in discoloration and sometimes causing the nail to crumble and/or detach from the nail bed.
- GUTTATE PSORIASIS. This is the second most common type of psoriasis, and usually begins during childhood or young adulthood. Guttate psoriasis causes small red dots to appear on the skin, and while these dots aren’t as thick as plaque psoriasis, they can eventually develop into plaque psoriasis. Common triggers of guttate psoriasis are strep throat, infection, medication, and stress.
- INVERSE PSORIASIS. Inverse psoriasis causes shiny, smooth, and bright red lesions in the folds of the skin, including the armpits, under a woman’s breasts, and in the groin area.
- PUSTULAR PSORIASIS. This is a more severe form of psoriasis, and causes tiny pustules (a small collection of pus in the top layer of the skin) to form. Pustular psoriasis can occur in a specific area of the body, like the palms of the hands or the bottom of the feet, or it can affect large parts of the skin’s surface. A person with pustular psoriasis may experience periods of remission, and endure flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, loss of appetite, etc.) during a flare. Pustular psoriasis is noninfectious.
- ERYTHRODERMIC PSORIASIS. Triggered by pustular psoriasis, sudden discontinuation of psoriasis treatment, severe sunburn, infection, significant stress, and even alcoholism, erythrodermic psoriasis can cover large portions of the body. This is a rare, and sometimes dangerous form of psoriasis, and can require hospitalization to help control body temperature. It causes red, scaly skin that sometimes resembles a severe burn.
- PSORIASIS ARTHRITIS. Psoriasis can lead to psoriasis arthritis in 10-30% of patients, which causes pain and swelling in the joints.
What Causes Psoriasis?
While the exact cause of psoriasis isn’t fully understood, research suggests its an autoimmune condition that causes the T cells to attack healthy skin, resulting in red and inflamed patches. This ‘attack’ causes new skin cells to be produced too quickly, and as they are pushed to the skin’s surface, they begin to pile up, resulting in plaques.
Genetics are also thought to play a role in the development of psoriasis. If you have an immediate family member with psoriasis, your chances of developing it are slightly higher.
Psoriasis can also be triggered by the following:
- Strep throat
- Skin infections
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Certain medications
How to Get Rid of Psoriasis: 9 Tips and Remedies
1. CREAMS AND MEDICATIONS
If you want to know how to get rid of psoriasis, there are various prescription creams and ointments that can be used to treat and prevent the symptoms of mild to moderate psoriasis. In more extreme cases, oral medication may be required. Treatment options will depend on the type of psoriasis and the severity of your symptoms, and since they each come with different side effects, it’s important to discuss the pros and cons of each option with your doctor. Sometimes oral medication is only prescribed for a short time, and is alternated with other treatment options to keep side effects at a minimum.
2. LIGHT THERAPY
Also known as phototherapy, this type of treatment uses natural and/or UVA and UVB light to stop overactive white blood cells from attacking healthy skin cells. Light therapy can be used alone or in combination with creams and medications, and is effective in reducing symptoms and improving skin. There are risks and side effects, and symptoms can worsen if treatment isn’t closely controlled and monitored.
3. DIETARY CHANGES
Since psoriasis causes inflammation, many people find their symptoms improve when they eliminate inflammatory foods from their diet, such as processed foods, refined sugars, dairy, and fatty cuts of red meat. If you want to know how to get rid of psoriasis, make sure your diet is full of anti-inflammatory foods, including:
- Fruits, including blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and cherries
- Dark leafy greens, like kale and spinach
- Omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon and sardines
- Foods rich in antioxidants, like berries and fresh herbs
- Healthy fats, including nuts, nut butters, seeds, avocados, and olive oil
4. WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
Some research suggests a link between weight and psoriasis. Being overweight/obese may increase your chances of developing the condition and/or make your symptoms worse. There are tons of healthy eating plans you can try to help shed weight (click here for 7 of the most popular), and committing to 30+ minutes of physical exercise each day can be beneficial to both your physical and emotional health. If you want to know how to get rid of psoriasis and you are overweight, talk to your doctor about effective weight management strategies.
5. LIMIT USE OF ALCOHOL
Research also suggests there may be a link between alcohol use and psoriasis, but the exact cause-effect relationship is unclear. Some people find alcohol interferes with treatment, and others report an improvement in symptoms once they stop drinking. Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to liver disease, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and various types of cancer, so limiting your alcohol intake is important all around.
6. STOP SMOKING
It’s no secret that smoking increases your risk for heart disease and certain types of cancers, but few people realize it can also increase the likelihood that you’ll develop psoriasis and/or make your symptoms more severe. This is especially true for women. If you’re a smoker trying to figure out how to get rid of psoriasis, and going cold turkey sounds too overwhelming, talk to your doctor about the different options available to help curb cravings.
7. STRESS MANAGEMENT
Research suggests a link between stress and psoriasis, but it can be a bit of a double-edged sword. Stress has been shown to make the symptoms of psoriasis worse, and psoriasis can make you feel more stressed. Psoriasis is a chronic condition with no known cure, and often makes people feel self-conscious and results in anxiety and low self-esteem. It can also cause significant discomfort and pain, and treatment options can be expensive, time-consuming, and result in unpleasant side effects. It can feel like a vicious cycle you can’t get ahead of, which makes stress management more important than ever.
Taking care of your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being helps reduce emotional issues like stress, anxiety, and depression as well as the physical reactions they create. Prioritizing self-care will leave you with more energy and motivation, leaving you more equipped to handle the challenges life throws at you. If you’re looking for tips and ideas to help you make self-care a regular part of your life, CLICK HERE for simple ideas you actually have time for!
If you want to know how to get rid of psoriasis, soaking in a lukewarm tub with colloidal oatmeal on the daily is another great home remedy to try. This will help calm your skin, remove scales, and reduce redness. Soak for 10 minutes, be careful not to use hot water (this can further irritate and dehydrate your skin), and pat your skin dry when finished.
My last tip for those who want to know how to get rid of psoriasis is to keep your skin moisturized at all times. Apply a cream or ointment to your skin each time it gets wet (i.e. after bathing, after washing hands, etc.), and continue moisturizing throughout the day as needed. Your doctor will probably recommend a medicated solution to use during flares, but there are other natural remedies available. Emily Skin Soothers is a great one to consider – it’s suitable for babies, kids, and adults, and it’s a dream come true for those who suffer from angry, itchy skin. Made from all natural ingredients – olive oil, beeswax, and 3 Chinese herbs – you will be amazed at how quickly it soothes skin and removes redness. Learn more about Emily Skin Soothers HERE.
If you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of psoriasis, I hope the tips and ideas in this post proved useful to you! Remember to consult with your doctor about different treatment options on their associated risks and side effects, and consider making lifestyle changes like losing weight, reducing your alcohol intake, quitting smoking, and keeping stress to a minimum. While there is no known cure for psoriasis, a combination of medicinal and lifestyle changes can make a world of difference in treating your symptoms and preventing future flare-ups.