Imagine you are a celebrity – you have to make public appearances and get numerous pics clicked to be splashed all over the news. Sounds glamorous, right? Not really if you are Kim Kardashian and your skin problem is flashed as scandalous news to the rest of the world.
Kim developed a skin rash during the shooting of one of the episodes of the famous show “Keeping up with the Kardashians”. It was diagnosed as a case of ‘Psoriasis’. In common words, psoriasis is a skin condition that forms red and scaly patches on your skin that may itch and even bleed. It is often mistaken for eczema or skin allergy.
Kim had a rough spot over her leg which later spread to her entire body. Envisage the mental and emotional trauma she must have gone through on discovering this condition. Her mother has the same skin problem which showed up when she was thirty. Kim is also thirty at present and probably the skin disease is passed on to her genetically by her mom.
Let us learn more about psoriasis and find ways to treat it effectively:
What is Psoriasis?
Normally our skin cells are replaced by new skin cells in about four weeks and the old skin flakes off your body. But in psoriasis, the new skin cells multiply rapidly and come up on the surface layer within days instead of weeks. This causes thickening of skin and formation of patches which scale off gradually.
You may find such patches appearing on your feet, knees, hands, elbows, scalp or lower back area. It is an autoimmune disease which causes the flaking and inflammation of the skin.
It can happen to adults as well as to kids. There is no apparent reason that may trigger psoriasis. It is not contagious either. Coming in contact with people in your immediate surroundings will not pass it on to the next person.
What are the symptoms of Psoriasis?
The symptoms of psoriasis may vary from mild, moderate to severe. The symptoms may flare up for some time and go into remission phase after that. They may recur after a time gap or completely go into remission. So, it becomes very crucial to identify the symptoms in time. They vary from one person to another. You can identify any of the following signs of psoriasis:
- Red patches on your skin. They may be covered with silver scaly skin.
- Cracked and dry skin that may bleed often.
- Itching and burning sensation on the rough skin patches.
- Swelling and stiffness in joints.
- Thickened or ridged nails.
The coverage area may vary from a few spots on the skin to big patches.
What triggers Psoriasis?
The different conditions that may trigger a psoriasis flare up varies from one person to another. They are as follows:
If any member in your family had psoriasis, chances are high that you may have inherited this disease just like Kim Kardashian had it passed on from her mom. Out of every ten percent of people with genetic history of psoriasis, only two to three percent of people suffer from its visible signs and symptoms.
The symptoms of psoriasis get triggered and become worse during extremely dry or cold weather. It is best to avoid such a climate and stay in sunny environs.
A life with too many demands on your energy and too little time to fulfill them leads to stress. Stress may be mental or physical, but it never fails to take a toll on you. It is considered one of the major triggers of psoriasis. It can also worsen the symptoms further.
Even Kim’s doctor advises her to cut down on her social commitments. This will enable her to live a stress free life and help treat the root cause of psoriasis.
If you have suffered from infections like tonsillitis, strep throat condition or even HIV, then they may trigger or worsen psoriasis condition.
- Drug intake:
If you have been administered drugs to treat malaria, arthritis, psychiatric disorders, heart disease or hypertension, then they may also potentially trigger signs of psoriasis.
If you have had injuries like cuts, burns, tattoos, other skin problems, then psoriasis may get triggered.
- Smoking and alcoholism:
Psoriasis also gets triggered due to regular smoking and intake of alcohol.
Diet for Psoriasis
Diet plays an important role in controlling psoriasis, according to ayurveda. Adopt the following tips for food:
- Eat blood purifying foods; mostly bitter in taste, like drumsticks, bitter gourd, neem leaves, garlic, turmeric etc.
- Eat all fruits except citrus ones.
- Eat salads made with carrot, turnip, broccoli, cabbage, onion etc.
- Avoid hot, spicy, pungent, salty, fermented, sour and acidic food choices as they may cause or worsen psoriasis symptoms. Radish, curd, urad lentil, junk food, sesame, pacjkaged food and sea food etc. are examples of such foods you should skip.
- Eat fresh and healthy homemade food. Avoid consuming refrigerated or stale food.
Tips for Managing Psoriasis
- After bathing use a soft cotton towel to gently pat your skin dry. Do not rub your skin vigorously.
- Use gram flour pate or sandalwood paste to clean your skin. Avoid chemical laden scented soaps and body wash.
- Wear soft cotton clothes. Avoid wearing materials that block your sweat and irritate your skin like georgette, nylon etc.
- Keep your skin well hydrated and moisturized with oils and herbal chemical free body lotions and creams to prevent dryness and itching. Apply frequently in cold or dry weather.
- Expose your skin to mild sun rays daily for a few minutes. However, avoid too much sun exposure.
- Find out your specific psoriasis triggers and avoid them. It can dry weather, cuts or wounds, smoking, infections, stress or anything else. Prevention is definitely better than cure in this case!
- Exercise regularly to improve oxygenation of cells. Meditate daily to relieve stress and to rejuvenate your body and mind to avoid triggering psoriasis.
Psoriasis may not have a permanent solution but its symptoms can surely be managed with medicines, natural remedies, avoidance of common triggers, managing stress and diet. Make sure you plan out your psoriasis management strategy with your doctor and follow it diligently. Keeping a positive attitude will go a long way.