Nourishing Your Skin from Within
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that can be both physically and emotionally challenging. While medical treatments are available, many individuals seek natural remedies to complement conventional therapies. In this blog, we will explore natural approaches to managing psoriasis, including foods that can help alleviate symptoms and foods to avoid that may trigger or worsen the condition.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy skin cells, leading to an overproduction of skin cells. This results in the characteristic red, inflamed patches covered with silvery scales. The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, but other forms, such as guttate, pustular, inverse, and erythrodermic psoriasis, also exist.
Natural Remedies for Psoriasis:
- Aloe Vera:
Aloe vera gel has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that can provide relief to inflamed and irritated skin. Applying pure aloe vera gel directly to the affected areas can help reduce redness and itching.
- Dead Sea Salt Baths:
Bathing in warm water with Dead Sea salt can be beneficial for psoriasis due to the high concentration of minerals. The minerals in Dead Sea salt, such as magnesium, calcium, and potassium, have been shown to improve skin barrier function and reduce inflammation.
Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming turmeric or applying a turmeric paste topically may help reduce psoriasis symptoms.
- Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar has been used for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Diluted apple cider vinegar can be applied to the affected skin to ease itching and inflammation.
Adding colloidal oatmeal to your bathwater can soothe irritated skin and reduce itchiness associated with psoriasis.
- Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that may be beneficial for psoriasis. Diluted tea tree oil can be applied to affected areas to help reduce redness and scaling.
Foods to Avoid for Psoriasis:
- Red Meat and Processed Meats:
Red meat and processed meats contain saturated fats that may exacerbate inflammation in the body, potentially worsening psoriasis symptoms.
- Dairy Products:
Some individuals with psoriasis may find that dairy products, particularly full-fat dairy, can trigger or worsen their symptoms. Consider opting for plant-based milk alternatives like almond or oat milk.
- Nightshade Vegetables:
Nightshade vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes, contain solanine, a compound that may increase inflammation in some people. Limiting or eliminating nightshade vegetables from the diet may be helpful for certain individuals with psoriasis.
While not everyone with psoriasis is sensitive to gluten, some may experience improvements in their symptoms by avoiding gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye.
- Alcohol and Caffeine:
Both alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate the body, potentially leading to increased skin dryness and irritation for individuals with psoriasis. Limiting or avoiding these beverages may be beneficial.
Foods to Include for Psoriasis:
- Fatty Fish:
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. These fats can help reduce inflammation and support overall skin health.
- Colorful Fruits and Vegetables:
Colorful fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that promote skin health and reduce oxidative stress in the body.
- Nuts and Seeds:
Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals that support skin health. Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are particularly beneficial.
- Probiotic-Rich Foods:
Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi contain probiotics that can support gut health. A healthy gut is crucial for managing autoimmune conditions like psoriasis.
While there is no cure for psoriasis, natural remedies and dietary changes can complement medical treatments and help manage symptoms. Incorporating soothing agents like aloe vera and Dead Sea salt baths, anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, and nourishing foods into your diet can promote skin health and reduce inflammation. Additionally, being mindful of potential trigger foods and avoiding or limiting them may improve psoriasis symptoms.
As with any health condition, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or trying new natural remedies. Everyone’s body is unique, and what works for one person may not be suitable for another. By taking a holistic approach to psoriasis management, individuals can empower themselves to support their skin health and overall well-being.
Veronica is dedicated and experienced nutritionist and certified health coach who specializes in functional medicine, She's a published author, nutritional instructor, WBFF professional figure athlete, and both the brains and beauty behind all that Makeover Nutrition offers.
Veronica is also the President & CEO of a BC based health and wellness association; Pacific Alliance of Body Care.