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I have Psoriasis and I dont understand what to do?

Hi guys. Ever since i started SoapLab 6 years ago; we have encountered quite a few clients who has psoriasis and dont know what to do about it. So this article is for you.

What Is Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease that causes built up of dead skin cells. For normal people; dead skin cells sheds off after its really dried; like every 21-28 days.

But for people with psoriasis, their skin cells 'dies' off faster; but it doesn't drop off; and that why you will see scaly patch of white silvery skin built up on people with psoriasis.

Since the dead skin is still 'stuck' on the skin, usually the newer skin below does not develop fast; hence below the white patchy skin is a red layer of skin (newborn skin) that hasn't develop.



How Do People Get This Disease?

Its still unknown; may be genetics, or it may come from the environment we live in; but even though its suppose to be 'rare' there are actually many that goes undiagnosed so we are not too sure 'how big' the population is.

I myself have scalp psoriasis that extends to the back of my ear and so does my kids and few family member. None of us got it diagnosed but its definitely not dandruff. Heres an article i wrote about scalp psoriasis before.

How To Treat It?

Unfortunately; psoriasis is a lifelong disease. Like eczema; it comes and goes but it's not fully gone as it will come back. The only thing we can do for now is to 'control' the symptoms so that it doesn't affect our quality of life. But to treat it; you don't really have a 'treatment' for it.

What Do Doctors prescribe usually?

For outpatient treatments; steroids are actually given to these patients. Now i know that a lot of you have this 'phobia' against steroid but when use at short duration and as recommended; it's actually a marvellous drug.

For psoriasis; there are few way steroids works and one of it is that it is increase the rate of cells turn over. which means it makes the dead skin cells' masak' faster and so it will fall off by itself (no more stuck to the bottom part of skin = no bleeding). This way the new cells will 'born faster' and you wont get as much of the 'ugly patch'.

Unfortunately though; prolong use of steroids will cause skin to get thinner. Usually; when dispensed; the steroid users should be advised to use the steroid for 2 weeks only (consequently) and after that; they need to take a break of 1 week, before using it for another 2 weeks. This way the skin gets 'confused' and does not develop tolerance towards the steroids.

What Other Alternative Treatment Is There?

There are many 'treatment' alternatives available. However; none is as good as steroid in the treatment of psoriasis. You can use a mild body wash (sulphate free surfactants) and you can also apply a lot of moisturiser; depending on the ingredients; these can control the symptoms of psoriasis.

Generally; try to avoid sulphate surfactants in your body wash like Sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulphate etc, and for the moisturisers; avoid mineral oils or any lighter oils as its 'too light' for psoriasis. Always check the ingredients list of the products you are purchasing. Just because they are 'famous brands' it doesn't mean it's suitable.

There is a pharmaceutical science field for plants and herbs called phytochemistry and its something i'm learning right now (might be doing my postgraduate study on these wish me luck:-D) and it studies plants components including those with natural steroids. It turns out that most thick carrier oils contains these 'natural steroids'. Adding them into your DIY skincare might be beneficial according to studies done.

If I Want To DIY?

If you wanted to diy; i suggest you make soaps using the cold process method. Preferably an oatmeal soap as the scrubbing effect will encourage the dead skin cells to 'fall off'. Do not use harsh/ strong scrubbing ingredients (like sugar / salt) because its will bleed skin out. You can try this oatmeal soap recipe for that.

As for moisturiser; use a thicker oil and butter instead of 'light' lotion. Thicker oils would be castor oil, olive oil, and the butters. SoapLab's Handmade Olive Shea Cream is perfect for people with psoriasis. Just add scents and essential oil if you want ( or you can use it as is) on your psoriasis area.

If you can stand the smell (because its really smelly); you can also add 5% pine tar into your soap and moisturiser. It works well for psoriasis.


 How Long Can I See The Results?

As mentioned; psoriasis cant be treated; we can only control the symptoms. If you use the DIY soap daily and moisturiser twice a day; usually you will see the symptoms controlled within 2 months. After that; you will probably get the 'attack' only during hormonal imbalance time (near menstruation) or during stress or rainy days. And even then; it wont be 'much'.

So try it; and let us know how it goes..

If you have any questions; please don't hesitate to ask below in the comment section.

Thank you for reading;
Nisha

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