Plaque psoriasis is a skin condition which is associated with an immune disorder. The immune system is designed to protect the body from a host of infectious diseases. In individuals with this disorder certain immune cells are over activated, which results in the excessive production of an inflammatory protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF). This protein causes the cells of the skin to grow quicker than normal, which results in formation of red patches and silvery scale. This is one of the most common forms of psoriasis.
Altered immunity is the cause for plaque psoriasis; however there are certain triggers or risk factors that have been identified, which can aggravate the symptoms,
- Emotional or mental stress
- Injury to the skin
- Side effects or reactions due to certain types of drugs
- Some form of skin infection
While plaque psoriasis can affect any part of the body, they are relatively more common along the lower back, scalp, knees and elbows.
Symptoms Of Plaque Psoriasis
Plaque psoriasis is a long term disorder which is characterized by presence of scaly, red and elevated patches on the skin. Estimates suggest that approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer from this condition, with varying degree of severity. Some of the common symptoms associated with the condition include,
- Dried and cracked skin which may bleed with typical presence of silvery scaly spots
- Itching, burning and soreness of the skin
- Ridged nails which may eventually become pitted and thick
- Stiffness and swelling of joints may also be observed.
The condition has recurrent flare ups in presence of trigger factors which can be painful, disabling and disfiguring.
Home Remedies For Plaque Psoriasis
Unfortunately there is no cure for plaque psoriasis. However there are certain home based treatment options that can help alleviate the symptoms,
- Taking bath daily can help remove the scales and have a soothing effect on the inflamed skin. Experts recommend Epsom salt or Oatmeal baths, which are considered more beneficial. Avoid harsh soaps and hot water.
- Local application of moisturizer on the skin immediately after a bath can help keep the skin moist. Ensure that the moisturizers or oils are natural and avoid synthetic moisturizers. Frequent application of moisturizers is recommended during cold and dry weather.
- Local application of Aloe Vera leaves or plant extract are very useful to alleviate the local symptoms.
- Omega-3 fatty acids are considered to improve skin condition. Fish oil supplements can help reduce the symptoms and the recommended intake is about 3 grams or less.
- Some experts recommend that exposure to sunlight for a couple of hours a day can help improve some of the lesions. Excessive exposure can trigger and at times worse existing condition. Apply sunscreen with an SPF 15 before going out is recommended.
- Healthy diet is a key to regulate immunity and hence plays a vital role in the management of plaque psoriasis. Ensure that the diet is loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. Whole grain is also considered very useful in improving digestive functions and enhancing immunity. Avoid consumption of alcohol, which is considered to be a trigger for the condition.
- Homeopathy can be helpful in treating this condition. Drugs like Sulphur and Graphitis taken in low potency and repeated thrice a day can help alleviate the symptoms. Consult an experienced homeopathic practitioner regarding your condition before consuming these drugs.