About Ask your Derm

Thanks to advances in dermatology, more people are taking back kisses and cuddles, trips to the swimming pool or days out. And if you have psoriasis, so can you.

 

Ask your dermatologist aims to improve the lives of people with psoriasis by encouraging them to speak to someone who can help – their dermatologist.

 

Ask your dermatologist has been developed by Novartis, and is endorsed by PSORPHIL.

 

Find out more

Dermfinder

Use the Dermfinder to quickly find a dermatologist who can give the right psoriasis treatment for you. You can decide if you are looking for someone who holds clinic in your area or someone practicing in your choice of health institution or hospital.

 

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5 Myths about Psoriasis debunked

Is Psoriasis contagious? This and five other Psoriasis myths debunked.

 

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What are your treatment options?

Find out what a dermatologist will consider when making a treatment recommendation.

 

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Insult to Injury?

Most of us have been there. We’re looking down at our cellphone as we walk, bump into a metal signboard, and scrape our skin. And for many people, that’s where the story ends. For others, maybe it ends with a bandage and some ice too! But for around 25% of people with psoriasis, the story is far from over. For these people, a seemingly harmless cut or graze can sometimes develop into a full-blown flare-up.11

 

Read more

10 FActs about your skin That you won’t believe

When you’re living with a skin condition, it’s normal to have a love-hate relationship with the “s-word”. And if your skin condition is severe, it can often lean more toward the side of hate.

 

Read more

Can Clean Eating result to Clearer skin?

We’ve all been there. We binge on burgers, pizza, or our favorite takeout delights and the next day we feel the effects–and we’re not just talking about our waistlines. Ever feel like your skin takes revenge too? Let’s get to the bottom of it – does what you eat really impact your skin?

 

Read more

How I Run Through the Psoriasis Stigma

 

Although warmer weather is a blessing to some, for those with a skin disease it can often seem like a curse. Read Melissa’s story about how she rocked her running shorts and her psoriasis.

 

A current student in Quezon City and former professional dancer, Melissa developed psoriasis at only a few months old. What had begun as a small patch on her cheek covered 90% of her body by the time she was diagnosed at the age of three.

 

Although psoriasis has largely impacted on her life, Melissa views psoriasis as just a small part of who she is. Melissa gives us a very honest account of the emotional impact of psoriasis and how she has overcome the challenges she has faced.

 

If you have psoriasis, you may have been socially stigmatized at one time or another. Sometimes remarks are misguided attempts at harmless questions, other times the words are direct and glaringly hurtful. I’ve had extremely severe psoriasis for twenty-three of my twenty-four years, so I’ve learned to take uncomfortable social situations in stride. I’ve always believed that people are compassionate when provided with knowledge.

 

So on the first warm day of summer last year, I decided to wear shorts on my morning run in spite of the thick plaques that covered my legs. I was feeling a mixture of joy and general bravery. As I stopped for a coffee on the way home, I waited in line and suddenly became acutely aware that a woman was blatantly staring at my legs. I froze for a split second, the way I always do when I’m suddenly confronted with the fact that my skin looks unsightly. Still, I smiled at this woman, determined to show her that I’m not a creature to be feared.

 

But the stares from her continued, and the wheels in my head started spinning:

She’s staring at my plaques.

 

She’s going to say something to me and I’m not going to like it.

 

She’s going to scream and then run for her life out of the café.

 

My positive mood started to break down. Why couldn’t I just wear what I wanted without feeling like a freak? Why did I need to hide my skin when I had done nothing to deserve this? Why was I once again being reduced to a disease?

 

I’m not proud of it, but I actually started to feel angry.

 

And then I saw her approaching me. I put on a now-forced smile, and prepared to give the speech that I’ve given thousands of times: “I’m not contagious, it’s a genetic autoimmune disease…” The regular spiel. But that’s not what happened.

 

The woman simply asked me where I had gotten my sneakers. She explained that she loved the unique colors, and that she had been looking for running shoes just like them. She even complimented my toned runner’s legs, and commented that she was working hard to get into shape herself. I was thrown for a loop. Psoriasis never entered the conversation.

 

As she walked away, I realized just how quickly my guard had instinctively gone up. Sure, had she commented on my psoriasis, I would have been pleasant and gently informative, but it would have left me feeling sour. Why was I so defensive?

 

Well, I was defensive because I’ve had a lifetime of bullying and criticism. Even though I can often brush off the questions and remarks, I also don’t blame myself for feeling angry at times too. There are always people who are unwilling or unable to see anything beyond your skin, but these people are among the genuine others who understand the universality of insecurities, sickness, and concerns. I don’t know anything about her, but the woman who asked me about my sneakers was enjoying the beautiful summer morning, just as I was.

 

This occurrence might have been the exception rather than the rule, but it was everything I needed. If someone seems to be staring at me, I remind myself that it isn’t always about my skin. I can’t downplay the hurtful moments because I’ve endured over two decades of them, but living with psoriasis doesn’t mean living within the confinements of your disease. Don’t reduce yourself preemptively. Because even when the pain is all consuming, you are so much more than your psoriasis.

 

Summer is here again, and I will proudly wear shorts. Will you?

 

Lifted from: http://www.skintolivein.com/psoriasis/article/how-i-run-through-the-psoriasis-stigma/

 

Five Myths about Psoriasis, Debunked

 

Is psoriasis contagious? This and five other psoriasis myths debunked.

 

There’s a lot of information out there about psoriasis, but not all of it is the truth. And unfortunately, it’s often the common misconceptions that people hear about the most. So we thought, why not debunk the myths once and for all? Here goes.

 

Myth #1 Psoriasis is contagious

 

We’re not even sure what more to say about this one other than it simply not true! Psoriasis is not an infection, but an autoimmune disease. We now know that psoriasis is caused by a combination of genetic factors and environmental triggers1 – none of which can be passed on through contact with the affected skin. This type of information is important in helping to educate others.

 

Myth #2 Psoriasis is caused by poor hygiene

 

This couldn’t be more wrong! Psoriasis has nothing to do with hygiene and everything to do with bad luck – we now know the condition is caused by a combination of genes that make you more susceptible, plus environmental triggers such as infection, stress, or exposure to a particular agent. This causes the immune system to send out signals that speed the growth of skin cells. Rather than slough off like normal skin cells, these pile up to form those characteristic plaques1.

 

Myth #3 Psoriasis is easy to diagnose

 

Not always. Psoriasis isn’t just a case of flaky skin (which can also be a sign of eczema or seborrhoiec dermatitis).2 It tends to be characterized by itchy, silvery scaly patches (or plaques) that sit above red, inflamed skin that can crack and bleed.3 That said, the condition differs from person to person, which is why it’s so important to see a doctor. Sometimes a sample of skin will need to be tested to confirm a diagnosis2.

 

Myth #4 Psoriasis is just a rash

 

Not true. It’s actually a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation throughout the body.4 We now know, for example that psoriasis is linked to a higher risk of obesity,5 diabetes,6 high blood pressure,7 high cholesterol,8 heart attack, and stroke.9 The symptoms aren’t just limited to the skin, either. Around 30% of people with psoriasis find their joints are also affected – a painful, disabling condition known as psoriatic arthritis.10 So if anybody tries to dismiss your psoriasis as ‘just a rash’, be sure to hit them with the facts.

 

Myth #5 It will eventually just go away

 

Sadly not. The symptoms may disappear, but psoriasis is a chronic life-long condition, so they may well return.11 Psoriasis might be a life-long condition but it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Speak to your doctor who will be able to advise you on the best way to manage yours.

 

So there are the facts. Now go forth and set the world straight. There might not be a cure for psoriasis (yet), but facts are definitely a cure for misinformation!

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

  1. Website “Mayo Clinic” – Causes. Last accessed: 09.10.15 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/basics/causes/con-20030838
  2. Website “Mayo Clinic” – Psoriasis, Tests and diagnosis. Last accessed: 09.10.15. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/basics/tests-diagnosis/con-20030838
  3. Website “Mayo Clinic” – Psoriasis, Symptoms. Last accessed: 09.10.15. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/psoriasis/basics/symptoms/con-20030838
  4. Website “SFGate” – Psoriasis – not just a skin disease. Commentary by Sonia Kalil, community development manager for the Northern California division of the National Psoriasis Foundation. Last accessed: 09.10.15. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Psoriasis-not-just-a-skin-disease-4196559.php
  5. The association between psoriasis and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Armstrong AW1, Harskamp CT, Armstrong EJ. Nutr Diabetes. 2012 Dec 3;2:e54. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=23208415
  6. Psoriasis and diabetes: a population-based cross-sectional study. Cohen AD, Dreiher J, Shapiro Y, Vidavsky L, Vardy DA, Davidovici B, Meyerovitch J. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2008 May;22(5):585-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=18331320
  7. Effect of psoriasis severity on hypertension control: a population-based study in the United Kingdom. Takeshita J, Wang S, Shin DB, Mehta NN, Kimmel SE, Margolis DJ, Troxel AB, Gelfand JM. JAMA Dermatol. 2015 Feb;151(2):161-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=25322196
  8. Website “American Academy of Dermatology” – Dermatologists urge psoriasis patients to be aware of potential link to other serious diseases. Last accessed: 09.10.15. https://www.aad.org/stories-and-news/news-releases/dermatologists-urge-psoriasis-patients-to-be-aware-of-potential-link-to-other-serious-diseases
  9. Website “MedScape” – Psoriasis: Why Does it Come With a Greater Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke? Last accessed: 09.10.15. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/772802
  10. Website “National Psoriasis Foundation” – About Psoriatic Arthritis. Last accessed: 09.10.15. https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriatic-arthritis
  11. Website “Medline Plus” – Psoriasis. Last accessed: 09.10.15.

 

Lifted from: http://www.skintolivein.com/psoriasis/article/five-myths-about-psoriasis-debunked/

What Are your Treatment Options?

 

Find out what a dermatologist will consider when making a treatment recommendation.

 

Finding a treatment that’s right for you

 

A dermatologist will consider a number of different factors when recommending a treatment, including:1

 

  • The type of psoriasis you have
  • Whereabouts it is on your body
  • How severe your symptoms are
  • How your psoriasis affects your day-to-day life
  • Your age and previous medical history

By talking to a dermatologist about these factors and your goals for treatment, you can work together to find the best option for you.

 

The options available

 

Understanding of psoriasis is evolving all the time, and as our understanding of psoriasis improves, it drives advances in dermatology and development of new treatments.

 

There are lots of different treatments available for psoriasis at the moment, which can be divided into three general categories: topical treatments, phototherapy, and systemic therapies (oral systemics and biologics).1-3

 

Topical treatments 1-3

 

Topical treatments are applied directly to the skin, and include creams, lotions and ointments.

 

There are a number of different formulations available, which should always be used as directed by your dermatologist.

 

  • EMOLIENTS
  • TOPICAL STEROIDS
  • TAR PREPARATIONS
  • DITHRANOL
  • VITAMIN D ANALOGUES
  • VITAMIN A ANALOGUES

Phototherapy 1-3

 

Phototherapy uses exposure to different types of ultraviolet (UV) light to treat the skin.

 

It is applied to the skin, and is usually available only in specialist centres.

  • UVA
  • UVA COMBINED WITH PSORALENS
  • MARROWBAND UV

 

Systemic therapies 1-5

 

Unlike topical or phototherapy, systemic therapies are not applied to the skin. There are a number of systemic therapies available.

 

Oral systemics are ingested and are less targeted than biologics.

 

Currently available biologics work by targeting substances that are found in increased levels in people with psoriasis.

 

Because biologics are usually proteins, they cannot be taken orally and are typically given as subcutaneous injections (injections into the fat layers underneath the skin) or intravenous infusions.

 

Oral Systemics 1-4

 

  • ACITRETIN
  • APREMILAST
  • CYCLOSPORIN
  • FUMARIC ACID ESTERS
  • METHOTREXATE*

 

Biologics 1-4

 

  • ADALIMUMAB
  • ETANERCEPT
  • INFLIXIMAB
  • IXECIZUMAB
  • SECUKINUMAB
  • USTEKINUMAB

*Can also be given as an injection.

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

  1. Augustin M et al. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2012; 26 Suppl 4: 1-16.
  2. Armstrong AW et al. J Cutan Med Surg 2015: pii: 1203475415623508.
  3. Kupetsky EA, Keller M. J Am Board Fam Med 2013; 26(6): 787-801.
  4. Nast A et al. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2015 doi: 10.1111/jdv.13354
  5. International Federation of Psoriasis Associations (IFPA), Treatment. Available at: www.ifpa-pso.org/web/page.aspx?refid=48. Accessed: March 2016.

Lifted from: http://www.skintolivein.com/askyourderm-en/options/

Insult to Injury? How Injuries Could Lead to Psoriasis Flares

 

Most of us have been there. We’re looking down at our cellphone as we walk, bump into a metal signboard, and scrape our skin. And for many people, that’s where the story ends. For others, maybe it ends with a bandage and some ice too! But for around 25% of people with psoriasis, the story is far from over. For these people, a seemingly harmless cut or graze can sometimes develop into a full-blown flare-up.

 

 

For some living with psoriasis, a harmless cut or graze can sometimes develop into a full-blown flare-up, due to something called Koebner’s Phenomenon

 

Most of us have been there. We’re looking down at our cell phone as we walk, bump into a [insert hard and sharp object of your choosing], and scrape our skin. And, for many people, that’s where the story ends. For others, maybe it ends with a bandage and some ice too! But for around 25% of people with psoriasis, the story is far from over. For these people, a seemingly harmless cut or graze can sometimes develop into a full-blown flare-up.1

 

Say what?!?!

 

We know, it sounds hard to believe, right? But the connection between skin injuries and flare-ups dates all the way back to 1876, when a German dermatologist named Heinrich Koebner discovered that new lesions in people with psoriasis often occurred on sites of previous skin injury.2 These were typically characterized by distinct lines that followed scars from cuts and scrapes or surgical incisions. It was this observation that gave rise to what scientists now refer to as Koebner’s phenomenon.

 

The tell-tale signs of a Koebner’s response

 

You may have experienced a Koebner’s response yourself without even realizing. There’s typically a delay of around 10-14 days before a psoriasis plaque forms following skin trauma; and, in some cases, delays can even be several years!3 Yes, you read that correctly – a cut or scrape from several years past could in fact lead to a psoriasis flare-up!

 

Most Koebner’s responses look like neat, linear plaques that extend directly from the site of a previous cut or scrape. But that’s now always the case. Some people can experience less distinct patches following more subtle types of skin trauma such as sunburn or a rash. And in some people, new plaques can even be triggered by the slightest things including insect bites, bruises, shaving nicks, and blisters.

 

What causes Koebner’s phenomenon?

 

As if this whole concept isn’t frustrating enough, what’s possibly even more frustrating is that scientists don’t really know what’s behind Koebner’s phenomenon. Research suggests it may be due to changes in the blood capillaries supplying the skin, which somehow trigger inflammation, but the exact mechanism is still a mystery.

 

We do know however, that Koebner responses typically happen more during seasons; and people who are already having a flare up are more likely to experience them – particularly those with severe psoriasis.3

 

Ways to reduce your risk of a Koebner’s response

 

Short of shrouding yourself in bubble wrap and never leaving the house again, there’s not a great deal you can do to avoid skin injuries completely. There are common sense ways to help minimize your risk. For example, cover your arms and legs during activities that might involve skin contact, like gardening or sports. Also, make sure your clothes and shoes fit properly, to prevent rubbing. And, if you know that you are someone who reacts to every cut and graze, it makes sense to avoid unnecessary skin traumas like acupuncture and tattooing.

 

And here’s an important one: if you need surgery of any kind, and you know your skin reacts badly to injury, it’s important to mention this to your surgeon4 as it could potentially affect wound healing5.

 

Remember, Koebner was a dermatologist!

 

The very man for which Koebner’s was named after was a dermatologist – he was trained to identify this type of flare-up. If you’re experiencing unusual flare-ups, don’t play doctor and just assume that Koebner’s is the culprit. You should always talk to your dermatologist/doctor about changes in your psoriasis and get their advice on the best ways to manage them.

 

And in the meantime, we could all probably spend a bit less time looking down at our smartphones and watching where we’re going to avoid the unnecessary war wounds of texting!

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

  1. Developing Shingles-Induced Koebner Phenomenon in a Patient With Psoriasis: A Case Report. Zhao YK, Zhang YQ, Wang F, Wu HH, Luo ZY, Luo DQ, Chen WN. Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Jul;94(26):e1009. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=26131802
  2. The Koebner phenomenon. Sagi L, Trau H. Clin Dermatol. 2011 Mar-Apr;29(2):231-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=21396563
  3. The isomorphic phenomenon of Koebner. Thappa DM. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2004 May-Jun;70(3):187-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17642609
  4. Koebner phenomenon: what you don’t know may hurt you. Mendez-Fernandez MA. Ann Plast Surg. 2000 Jun;44(6):644-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=10884082
  5. Pemphigus foliaceus masquerading as postoperative wound infection: report of a case and review of the Koebner and related phenomenon following surgical procedures. Rotunda AM, Bhupathy AR, Dye R, Soriano TT. Dermatol Surg. 2005 Feb;31(2):226-31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15762220

 

Lifted from: http://www.skintolivein.com/psoriasis/article/insult-to-injury-how-injuries-could-lead-to-psoriasis-flares/

10 Facts About Your Skin That You Won’t Believe

 

When you’re living with a skin condition, it’s normal to have a love-hate relationship with the “s-word”. And if your skin condition is severe, it can often lean more toward the side of hate.

 

We look at our skin every day, but there are some pretty amazing facts about it that you probably never knew. Find out what they are here.

 

When’s the last time you thanked your skin? Or, better yet, the last time you looked in the mirror, did you think, even for a second, “hey, skin… you’re pretty awesome.”

 

When you’re living with a skin condition, it’s normal to have a love-hate relationship with the “s-word.” And if your skin condition is severe, it can often lean more toward the side of hate.

 

But not today. Today is the day we celebrate the skin with a few incredible facts about our body’s largest organ (true!), most of which you probably didn’t know, didn’t believe, or never even thought about. For example:

 

  1. Did you know that your skin usually accounts for about 16% of your bodyweight?1
  2. Or, better yet, did you know that you shed 50,000 skin cells per minute as the organ is constantly evolving and adapting?2
  3. Wonder where these skin cells go? They’re all around, as globally, dead skin accounts for about a billion tons of dust in the atmosphere.3
  4. These skin cells are formed in three distinct layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutis4

 

Okay, so that’s all pretty awesome. The skin is a massive organ with three distinct layers, hundreds of millions of cells, and an incredible regeneration and renewal process. It’s also constantly working to protect the rest of the human anatomy. How you ask?

  1. Well, on a hot day you can sweat out up to 11 liters of sweat through your skin to regulate body temperature!5
  2. Your skin has at least five different types of receptors that respond to pain & touch, alerting the brain and spine to all kinds of stimuli. 6
  3. Do you know why your fingers and toes get all wrinkly when you’re in the pool for too long? According to recent studies, our fingers and toes wrinkle in water to provide better grip.7

 

Our skin is helping us adapt to strange environments! If you think we’re the only ones fascinated with the human skin, allow these last few facts to speak for themselves.

  1. There are 30,413 search results for the word “skin” within the book section for Amazon.com.
  2. Google has approximately 917 million search results for the word skin…every month.
  3. Wikipedia has almost 5,700 words and 43 citations on its “Human_skin” page.

 

Human skin… it’s big, complex, helpful, and fascinating. It’s constantly evolving and works every day to protect us from external threats, both big and microbial sized.

 

So, next time you’re in front of the mirror, why don’t you give your skin the credit it deserves?

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

  1. Rush A, Muir M. Maintaining skin integrity bariatric patients. Br J Community Nurs. 2012 Apr;17(4):154, 156-9. PubMed PMID: 22848937. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22848937
  2. Discover Magazine. “20 Things You Didn’t Know About… Skin.” Sean Markey. Written Feb 6, 2007 http://discovermagazine.com/2007/feb/20-things-skin/
  3. Discover Magazine. “20 Things You Didn’t Know About… Skin.” Sean Markey. Written Feb 6, 2007. http://discovermagazine.com/2007/feb/20-things-skin/
  4. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “Medical Animation Library. Components of skin.” http://www.pennmedicine.org/encyclopedia/em_DisplayAnimation.aspx?gcid=000029&ptid=17
  5. Discover Magazine. “20 Things You Didn’t Know About… Skin.” Sean Markey. Written Feb 6, 2007. http://discovermagazine.com/2007/feb/20-things-skin/
  6. Neuroscience. 2nd edition. Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, et al., editors. Sunderland (MA): Sinauer Associates; 2001. Cutaneous and Subcutaneous Somatic Sensory Receptors. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11162/
  7. Scientific American. “Why Do Our Fingers and Toes Wrinkle During a Bath.” Becky Summers & Nature Magazine. Written Jan 9, 2013. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-do-our-fingers-and-toes-wrinkle-during-a-bath/

 

Lifted from: http://www.skintolivein.com/psoriasis-and-urticaria/10-facts-about-your-skin-that-you-wont-believe/

Can Clean Eating Lead to Clearer Skin?

 

We’ve all been there. We binge on burgers, pizza, or our favorite takeout delights and the next day we feel the effects–and we’re not just talking about our waistlines. Ever feel like your skin takes revenge too? Let’s get to the bottom of it – does what you eat really impact your skin?

 

Does what you eat impact your psoriasis or urticaria? We break down the research.

 

We’ve all been there. We binge on burgers, pizza or our favorite takeout delight and the next day we feel the effects, and not just in our waistlines. Ever feel like your skin takes revenge too? Let’s get to the bottom of it – does what you eat really impact your skin?

 

When it comes to psoriasis and chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU), chances are that one night of indulgence isn’t going to lead to dramatic consequences. The bigger question is around long-term eating habits – could eating more of some types of foods and less of others impact your disease severity?

 

Let’s start with what to avoid

 

Histamines

 

Ever heard of a low-histamine diet? If you’re living with urticaria, you may have. Why? Because some people with urticaria report that their skin gets worse after eating food with high amounts of histamines – this includes things like smoked fish, mature cheese or tomatoes.1 While there is limited scientific evidence, some feel that a low-histamine diet can lead to an improvement in their urticaria.2

 

Pseudo allergens

 

These substances can be found in food additives like preservatives or artificial colors. They can also come in the form of natural substances in fruits, vegetables and spices. Here’s why they may matter – a small study found that a ‘pseudo allergen-free’ diet helped about 30 percent of people living with CSU.3 However, the jury is still out – many specialists and experts in the field don’t support this theory, so with limited evidence, this is definitely something you might want to sit down and discuss with your doctor.

 

Gluten

 

Going gluten-free to ease psoriasis is a big topic online and indeed some studies have shown an association between psoriasis and celiac disease (an autoimmune disease in which the small intestine is hypersensitive to gluten). Therefore it is not surprising that some people consider a gluten-free diet beneficial for certain people living with psoriasis.4

 

Inflammation-Inducing Foods

 

Others have reported improvement of their symptoms when avoiding food that increases inflammation. Although more research is needed, this seems logical as psoriasis is an inflammatory disease. Foods that could increase inflammation include red meat, dairy products, refined sugars and processed foods in general.5

 

Okay, so what can I eat?!

 

Enough of what not to eat, let’s talk about the things you should eat – the stuff that could possibly help your skin disease, not hurt it.

 

Vitamin D

 

One study found that vitamin D deficiency is common in people with psoriasis,6 and another very small study reported that a high-dose vitamin D therapy improved PASI (Psoriasis Area and Severity Index) scores.7 Similarly, there is evidence for a potential role of vitamin D in CSU.8 While we get most of our vitamin D from sunshine, there are also some foods that are a good source, including oily fish or eggs.9
Omega-3

 

The often-discussed and praised omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating effects. In a small study from 2011, adding omega-3 fatty acid supplements improved the outcome of conventional psoriasis therapy.10 Different kinds of fish such as salmon, herring or mackerel are great sources of this nutrient. And if you can’t be bothered with fish, you can get your share of omega-3 oils from flaxseed, pumpkin seeds or walnuts, just to name a few.11

 

Antioxidants

 

Some evidence suggests that antioxidants may be helpful to prevent the physiological imbalance that is related to psoriasis. One of the most widely known antioxidants is vitamin C, which is found plentiful in bell peppers (they actually contain more vitamin C than the prime example, oranges). Vitamin E, found in things like almonds or spinach, can also be a good source, as can beta-carotene, found in carrots.12

 

Getting past the confusion

 

If you paid attention while reading this, you might have noticed that some of the discussed foods could be listed in the ‘eat this’ as well as in the ‘don’t eat this’ section – we know it’s confusing! For example, salmon could be beneficial for its vitamin D levels, however if it were smoked, you would avoid it when following a low-histamine diet.

 

Natural foods can add to the confusion even more. Since they tend to be a complex combination of carbohydrates, fats, protein, different nutrients and more, they can exert different functions in the human body and can’t be universally put in only one category of ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

 

If you think that your skin could benefit from a certain diet, it is important to talk to your doctor first – after all, they know best. And when trying a particular diet – whether it be eating more or less of something – a food diary is a great tool. Log what you ate and how you felt so you can better gauge what’s working for you in the long-term.

 

Ok, that’s all for now. Who’s hungry?

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

 

  1. Website “urticarial day” – Diet. Last accessed: 13.10.15 http://urticariaday.org/urticaria/diet/
  2. Histamine plasma levels and elimination diet in chronic idiopathic urticaria. Guida B, De Martino CD, De Martino SD, Tritto G, Patella V, Trio R, D’Agostino C, Pecoraro P, D’Agostino L. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb;54(2):155-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10694787
  3. Diet and psoriasis, part II: celiac disease and role of a gluten-free diet. Bhatia BK, Millsop JW, Debbaneh M, Koo J, Linos E, Liao W. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Aug;71(2):350-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=24780176 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4104239/
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