Understanding the Treatment and Cures for Psoriasis

Understanding the Treatment and Cures for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is the probably the longest known illnesses of humans and at the same time the most misunderstood. It has been first confused as a variety of leprosy and was even called Willian’s lepra (lepra is Greek for ‘scaly skin’) when an English dermatologist named Robert Willan differentiated it from other skin diseases. It eventually was named psoriasis by the Viennese dermatologist Ferdinand von Hebra deriving from the word psora or ‘to itch’.

This skin disease is caused when the immune system sends out incorrect signals that speed up the growth cycles of skin cells. Although psoriasis is not contagious it is chronic or long lasting. There are five types of psoriasis namely plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrocyte. The most common of the five is plaque psoriasis which displays red and white colors of scaly patches on the top most layer of the skin or epidermis.

Historical treatments of psoriasis were traced back to ancient Egypt. Egyptians were believed to have applied cat feces on red lesions on the skin. Other topical remedy included urine, goose oil and semen, sea salt, onion and a mixture of wasp droppings in sycamore milk.

Psoriasis is a life long condition without a permanent cure, although various treatments are available to help control the symptoms. The most common treatment is a bath solution and a topical treatment or application of moisturizers, mineral oil and petroleum jelly to help soothe the affected areas of the skin and reduce dryness that comes with plaque psoriasis.

Phototherapy is another well recognized treatment of psoriasis. It has been proven that short, non-burning exposure to sunlight helped to improve a patient’s condition. UV rays or Ultraviolet light, specifically Ultraviolet B (UVB), is absorbed by the epidermis and has beneficial effect on psoriasis. Exposure to UVB for several times a week resulted in a reduction.

For those cases that prove to be resistant to topical and phototherapy treatments, medications are done to help control psoriasis. Orally taking pills and regular injections of drugs are offered to patients. Patients undergoing these systemic treatments are required to have a regular blood and liver function tests due to the toxicity of the medications.

An alternative therapy, on the other hand, is much, much simpler. Some studies suggest that psoriasis symptoms can be relieved by changing one’s diet and lifestyle. Diets that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like fish (NCB Alaska deep sea fish oil) and turning to a vegetable and fruit diet, according to some studies, show beneficial effects such as serious arthritis issues like juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. These studies also revealed that severe cases of psoriasis are connected with alcoholic abuse, smoking, sleep, stress and exercise.

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