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If you suffer from psoriasis, you are not alone. More than 7.5 million Americans struggle with this painful and embarrassing condition, with as many as 250,000 new cases being diagnosed each year, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF).
What causes this painful condition? Psoriasis is an auto-immune response in which the immune system actually begins to attack the body, resulting in inflammation and a type of plague buildup on the skin. Although rarely disabling and never contagious, psoriasis can be very difficult to treat and cure. Of course the first step to treating it is to understand what your particular triggers are, so you can prevent an outbreak in the first place.
Alleviating Psoriasis Symptoms
Know your triggers. Here are some common symptoms and treatments. For stress, incorporating a variety of relaxation and stress reduction techniques into your day can often help to clear up symptoms faster than using traditional medications alone. If you experience an injury to the skin, immediate treatment is essential to get rid of it quickly. For some people, keeping their allergies under control can drastically reduce or even eliminate psoriasis symptoms. Any type of strep infection and dry weather conditions also promote psoriasis.
Use sunlight and water for treatment. More than 80 percent of patients who are exposed to regular doses of sunlight report an improvement or even clearing of their psoriasis is less than one week, when used in conjunction with a variety of water therapies to soften and treat lesions. There are two main types of sun and water treatments used for psoriasis sufferers. Balneotherapy is common in the spas of Europe and Asia. This water-based treatment uses the water from natural thermal springs, hot springs, mineral and sea waters to treat the skin condition. Climatotherapy is a combination of sunlight and water therapy, Climatotherapy uses the waters found in specific regions of the world to treat psoriasis. One of the most common waters used in this treatment is taken from the Dead Sea, which contains a high salt and mineral content that can be very soothing and therapeutic to damaged skin.
Seek homeopathic remedies. While there is little scientific evidence to suggest that treating psoriasis homepathically can do much good, those who suffer with its symptoms are quick to offer these remedies for relief and a one-week cure. Since psoriasis is an immune system response, it makes sense that acupuncture and accupressure could both be used to balance the body's energies and boost the immune system to relieve symptoms right away. Meditation is used as a way to calm stress and an overactive immune system. It has been deemed helpful in many psoriasis patients who find that stress is the main trigger for their discomfort. Herbal therapy has also been effective. There are many different types of herbs that can be used to sooth the skin. The most common used to calm psoriasis outbreaks within a week include andiroba, bittersweet, burdock, dandelion, copaiba and many more. Coal tar is another remedy to consider. Before corticosteroids were found to be helpful in treating skin disorders, coal tar was used to ease the itch and inflammation of psoriasis. One of its main benefits is the tar's ability to actually interfere with DNA ,thus slowing down skin cell growth, which eventually thins the skin's psoriatic plaques.
Go gluten-free. One of the most promising (and quick) treatments for psoriasis is a going on a gluten-free diet. It seems that some people who eat wheat, rye, and other gluten containing foods experience an eruption of dermatitis herpetiformis, which can cause psoriasis. Once the gluten is excreted from the body, the Psoriasis disappears.
Psoriasis can be difficult to get rid of in some people, so the most important thing to remember is to keep trying different treatments until you find the one that works for you. For some people, traditional medications, coupled with anti-inflammatory skin moisturizers does the trick. Others must use a combination of prescription medications, herbs, and even make dietary changes to find relief.