psoriasis and obesity link

Obesity is an important risk factor for psoriasis

There are many reasons why we may experience obesity – some are within and some beyond our control, and somewhere in between. Very much like our control of psoriasis in some ways.

A concept occurred to me a long time ago about form and texture.  I decided that if my texture isn’t as good as it should be, then I’ll put effort into my form instead. Fortunately, common sense finally convinced me to abandon body image pressures and focussed on controlling both weight as well as skin, and this study backs up the reason why.

The relationship between psoriasis and obesity is two-directional – obesity can predispose you to psoriasis and psoriasis favours obesity. Both psoriasis and obesity are considered a chronic, low-grade inflammatory condition.

I’d like to introduce you to a tissue, a hormone and a condition.

The adipose tissue is an active endocrine organ. It secretes peptide hormones including leptin.

Leptin hormone regulates appetite and body weight. Leptin also plays important roles in the chronic pro-inflammatory state associated with visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Studies in psoriasis have shown that psoriasis patients have higher leptin levels compared with healthy tested patients.

Psoriasis is an independent risk factor for hyperleptinemia, a condition where excess levels of leptin in the blood increases body fat content and stimulates appetite.

What was first – psoriasis or obesity?

Patients with psoriasis have a slightly increased risk for developing obesity. However, because stresses to the body bring on psoriasis, there is a possibility that obesity can bring on or increase the severity of psoriasis.

The link between obesity and psoriasis could be explained by the fact that low-grade systemic inflammation exists in both conditions. In theory, mechanisms that increase inflammation brought on by obesity may also exacerbate psoriasis in overweight patients. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that weight loss and subsequent reduction of obesity-derived proinflammatory mechanisms in overweight patients with psoriasis will likely improve their condition.

Fact 1 – there is a two-fold increased risk for developing psoriasis in an obese condition as compared with normal weight people.

Fact 2 – Patients with a higher body mass index (BMI) have an increased risk for new-onset psoriasis, and the higher the BMI, the greater the psoriasis severity. For each unit increment increase in BMI there is reportedly a 9% higher risk for psoriasis onset and a 7% higher risk for increased psoriasis severity.

Fact 3 – Dermatologists now recognise that patients with psoriasis have an associated increased risk for hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, obesity, and vascular disease.

Most of us with psoriasis experience low morale from time to time because of the condition of our skin. According the World Health Organization’s Global Report on Psoriasis 2016, psoriasis is not only a disease that causes painful, debilitating, highly visible physical symptoms. It causes embarrassment, lack of self-esteem, anxiety and increased prevalence of depression.

Our greatest defence in keeping our spirits up is to nurture our body with the best possible nutrition to help reduce and remove our psoriasis. In most of our cases, I am delighted to say that we can take control ourselves. Psoriasis Life Mag proudly researches and presents specific targeted psoriasis dietary solutions. The onset or severity of obesity will naturally be managed by default, when these healthy nutrition guidelines are followed.

Wishing you a wonderful form and texture in the near future!

psoriasis health and psoriasis mindset


Barrea L, Nappi F, Di Somma C, Savanelli MC, Falco A, Balato A, Balato N and Savastano S. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Environmental Risk Factors in Psoriasis: The Point of View of the Nutritionist. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016;13, 2-4

Jensen,P; Zachariae,C; Christensen,R;.Geiker,N; Schaadt,B; Stender,S;Hansen,P; Astrup,A; Skov,L. JAMA Dermatol.2013;149(7):795-801

WHO. Global Report on Psoriasis. 2016;16

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psoriasis diet to treat psoriasis

Severity of psoriasis is linked to the types of fats and carbs we eat

Studies of psoriasis patients have linked more severe cases of psoriasis with a higher consumption of simple carbohydrates and saturated fats, and with a lower intake of protein, complex carbohydrates, MUFA, PUFA, and fibres.

In a recent journal by Barrea L et al, published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, it was found that the lowest intakes of PUFA, MUFA and complex carbohydrates were associated with higher clinical severity of psoriasis.

Saturated fats vs Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)

In this research, the patients with more severe cases of psoriasis consumed more saturated fats and less monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA).

Saturated fats

Saturated fats occur naturally in many foods and particularly from animal sources, including meat and dairy products. Examples of saturated fats are:

  • fatty beef, lamb, pork (bacon)
  • poultry with skin
  • beef fat (tallow or lard)
  • cream and butter
  • cheese and other dairy products made from whole milk

In addition, many baked goods and fried foods can contain high levels of saturated fats.

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA)

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) are considered a healthy dietary fat, as opposed to saturated fatty acid. The most frequently consumed MUFA rich dietary oils is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Traditionally, the beneficial effects of EVOO have been attributed to its high MUFA content (oleic acid), as it protects lipoproteins and cellular membranes from oxidative damage.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)

The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), mainly found in fish and nuts, contribute to provide the protection of several chronic diseases such as psoriasis. Diets rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) from fish oil have been associated with improvement of psoriasis in clinical trials by promoting an anti-inflammatory environment.

Simple carbs vs complex carbs

In this research, the patients with more severe cases of psoriasis consumed more simple carbohydrates and less complex carbohydrates.

Simple carbohydrates are sugars. While some of these occur naturally in milk, most of the simple carbs in the western diet are added to foods. Common simple carbs added to foods are:

  • raw sugar
  • brown sugar
  • corn syrup and high-fructose corn syrup
  • glucose, fructose, and sucrose
  • fruit juice concentrate

Complex carbohydrates consist mainly of fibre and starch. The main sources of dietary fibre and starch include:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • beans
  • whole grains

In addition, food fibres also play an important role in decreasing system-wide inflammation, by decreasing the oxidative stress that is produced when there is a high intake of simple carbohydrate foods.

Low energy and vegetarian diets

Previous studies reported the positive effects of low-energy diets and vegetarian diets, and gluten-free diet on the psoriasis condition. Fasting periods or vegetarian diets and diets rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) from fish oil have been associated with improvement of psoriasis in clinical trials.

For the psoriatic

A diet regimen rich in MUFA and PUFA, fruits, vegetables, fibre, and with a reduced intake of saturated fats, simple carbohydrates, processed foods and sweetened drinks, should be recommended to reduce the severity of psoriasis.

In a nutshell, keep up the MUFA, PUFA and fibre!




Barrea L, Nappi F, Di Somma C, Savanelli MC, Falco A, Balato A, Balato N and Savastano S. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Environmental Risk Factors in Psoriasis: The Point of View of the Nutritionist. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 743

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psoriasis treatment curcumin turmeric

Curcumin shows excellent therapeutic effect on psoriasis

More than 50% of inflammatory factors of psoriasis are decreased by curcumin treatment.

A study into the efficient treatment of psoriasis using a combination of tacrolimus and curcumin loaded liposphere gel formulation was released in October 2016. The research was conducted by the Department of Pharmaceutics, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), India.

To overcome poor solubility and poor skin penetration of a gel formulation that can deliver the tacrolimus and curcumin, lipospheres were deployed to deliver the drugs.  Lipospheres are composed of a solid lipid core surrounded by a layer that may entrap the drug or absorb the drug in its outer lining. The researchers conclude that liposphere gel containing combination of tacrolimus and curcumin can be an effective strategy for the treatment of psoriasis.

What the research article does not address is the risk of side effects of using tacrolimus to treat an autoimmune skin condition.

What is tacrolimus?

Tacrolimus gel works on the immune system and directly on skin cells. It is an immunosuppressant and is given orally or by injection to prevent organ transplantation rejection. Tacrolimus reduces the activity of T-lymphocytes in the immune system and suppresses the body’s defence mechanism. Because of this, there are concerns that topical tacrolimus may aggravate herpes simplex and other viral infections.

What is curcumin?

Curcumin is an active herbal ingredient possessing surprisingly wide range of beneficial properties, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. The primary source of curcumin is turmeric, a spice derived from the rhizomes of the tropical plant Curcuma longa Linn, which is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae).

Recent controlled tests on mouse models investigated the effects of curcumin on inflammatory factors secretion in T cells and psoriasis development in keratin.

Results showed that, 10 μM of curcumin significantly inhibited secretion of inflammatory factors. Even more impressive was that more than 50% of T cells proliferation was inhibited by application of 100 μM curcumin.

Compared with severe psoriatic symptoms observed in the negative control mice, all psoriasis indexes were significantly improved by oral application of curcumin in treatment.

Examination showed that curcumin had anti-inflammatory function in the experimental mice. More than 50% level of inflammatory factors were treated, and no obvious side effect in mouse kidney was found after they were treated by curcumin. The test concluded that curcumin has a great potential to treat psoriasis with high efficacy and safety.

For the psoriatic:

Although you are not a mouse, it is worth noting the positive results of this research into curcumin:

  1. T cells proliferation was inhibited by curcumin
  2. Oral application of curcumin showed obvious effects on psoriasis
  3. No obvious side effects of curcumin was found in mouse kidney
  4. Curcumin has a great potential to treat psoriasis

We have long been aware through alternative medicine channels, of the benefits of curcumin. In addition to its use as a spice and pigment, turmeric has been used in India for medicinal purposes for centuries. It is refreshing to see that pharmacology is catching up in recognising these resounding benefits.

Taking turmeric

Consider including turmeric, the primary source of curcumin, in your daily diet. Lots of it!  Here is an interesting fact about the amount of turmeric required in your diet is based on the finnicky bioavailability or curcumin, meaning how much of it can be absorbed into your body systems to give you the benefits you need. Clinical trials in humans indicate that the systemic bioavailability of orally administered curcumin is relatively low, meaning that the portion of curcumin that reaches your body systems, circulation and the site of the target tissue, is low.

You can improve the bioavailability of oral turmeric by chosing curcumin supplements that contain piperine, a major component in black pepper, which increase the bioavailability of curcumin by inhibiting its metabolism, or if you cook with turmeric, add pepper to the preparation.

How much turmeric is too much? Serious adverse effects have not been reported in humans taking high doses of curcumin, however there is potential for curcumin supplementation to increase the risk of bleeding in people taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications.

Turmeric in meal preparation

  • Turmeric is a main ingredient in yellow Thai curry
  • Turmeric and a kaffir lime leaf can be added to rice while it is cooking
  • Turmeric tossed with roast vegetables adds colour
  • Turmeric added to soups gives a rich and warm flavour
  • Turmeric and ginger tea
  • Include pepper when using turmeric to improve its bioavailability

Happy smooth skins

psoriasis health and psoriasis mindset




Tacrolimus and curcumin co-loaded liposphere gel: Synergistic combination towards management of psoriasis. J Control Release. 2016 Dec 10;243:132-145. doi: 10.1016/j.jconrel.2016.10.004. Epub 2016 Oct 8. Jain A, Doppalapudi S, Domb AJ, Khan W

Curcumin shows excellent therapeutic effect on psoriasis in mouse model.  Biochimie Volume 123, April 2016, Pages 73–80. Di Kanga, Bowen Lia, Lei Luoa, Wenbing Jiangc, Qiumin Lua, Mingqing Ronga, Ren Laia

Curcumin. Howells L, Higdon J. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University

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psoriasis diet and psoriasis nutrition

The glorious 7 and the inglorious 7

When it comes to diet and nutrition for psoriasis, there are winners and losers among the things we put into our bodies

It is a common and misguided belief that when we have a health problem we need to take in some substance in order to heal, and overlook that it is equally important to leave out the offenders that are likely to be causing our psoriasis.  It may be that your entire healing depends on what you stay away from.

The inglorious 7

These are the villains. Based on first-hand accounts of the experiences of psoriasis patients and on the research of Dr John Pagano, there are 7 distinct offenders when dealing with psoriasis. Each can easily (and definitely should be) avoided:

  1. Saturated fats such as red meats and processed meats
  2. Nightshades
  3. Sweets
  4. Smoking
  5. Alcohol
  6. Processed foods
  7. Fried foods

If you respond the way I do, you will be surprised at how your psoriasis improves in a matter of days by avoiding these foods. Study each culprit, record your response in your psoriasis journal and do yourself a favour by avoiding these. 

The glorious 7

These are the good guys that can boost your ability to eliminate psoriasis:

  1. Fresh water and plenty of it. 6 glasses a day or more and preferably with lemon juice
  2. Vegetables, (particularly green leafy vegetables, and preferably raw), and tubers. The ratio of your vegetable intake should be 3 that grow above the ground to one that grows below the ground.
  3. Fresh fruit because these are your body cleaners. (Be aware of your personal requirements if you experience candida, yeast-fungi overgrowth or need to control your blood sugar levels)
  4. Fish, poultry and lamb as animal protein. Vegetarians may combine brown rice and beans to make a complete protein.
  5. Probiotics with active cultures.
  6. Olive oil, garlic and lemon juice (right there is a delicious salad dressing!)
  7. Whole grain breads only, however only small portions

Disciplines and disclaimers

Common sense prevails when it comes to nutrition, and if a particular food causes an undesirable reaction it is to be avoided and recorded in your psoriasis journal – even if it appears on the ‘glorious’ list. Discipline should be maintained in the quantity as well as the quality of the food you consume.

It has long been obvious that these 14 foods play a significant role in healing psoriasis.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine upon whose philosophy modern medicine is founded, has given us this wisdom, “Let your food be your medicine – let your medicine be your food”.

Smooth skin wishes




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psoriasis diet

Does what we eat pass the litmus test for psoriasis?

The daily diet of the psoriasis and arthritic psoriasis patients should consist of 80 percent alkaline forming foods and 20 percent acid forming foods.

Modern nutritionists agree that fruits are the primary cleansers of the body, while vegetables are considered to be the builders.

All foods are either alkaline forming, acid forming or neutral. The alkaline formers are the lighter, watery type foods that are more easily digested, such as fruits and vegetables. The acid forming foods are the heavier predominantly protein foods, such as meats and grains, which require greater breakdown for proper digestion and absorption. The neutrals are the dairy products such as milks, yoghurt and kefir.

Alkaline forming foods are the more watery types of fruits and vegetables and their juices. Because these foods are broken down more easily by the body, they are more readily digested.

Although most fruits are alkaline forming within the body, these little guys are some exception:

  • Cranberries
  • Currants
  • Prunes and plums
  • Blueberries

It is worth noting however that the nutritional benefits of these four extraordinary fruits far outweigh the value we place on whether they are acid forming or alkaline forming.

Fruits are divided into three categories: acid, sub acid and sweet. To avoid confusion however, it is worth remembering that these fruits are not acid forming, in fact most acid fruits are alkaline reacting in the body.

Alkaline formers

These should make up 80% of our psoriasis diet (and habits)

  • Granular lecithin
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice in a cup of warm water (this maintains a healthy alkalinity as well as aids in internal cleansing)
  • Fruit juices (be wary of pre-packaged fruit juices that are reconstituted or sweetened)
  • Outdoor exercise and physical activity
  • Daily pooping
  • Positive emotions

Acid formers

These should make up 20% of our psoriasis diet (and habits). The following foods and habits tend to increase acidity in the body and should be avoided as much as possible by psoriatics:

  • Too many acid forming foods at the same meal, such as starches with sweets, proteins and meats, meats or fats with sugars, too many starchy foods
  • Cane sugar and any product made with cane sugar
  • Most types of vinegar with the exception of cider vinegar
  • Processed foods that contain preservatives, artificial flavourings, colourings and additives
  • Alcohol, smoking and drugs
  • Constipation
  • Inadequate physical activity
  • Negative emotions


While we are on topic about food choices for a better psoriasis experience, it is worth reminding you to avoid the nightshade foods. The nightshades represent a family of plants that should be totally avoided regardless of their acid-alkaline reaction. The nightshades are:

  • Tomatoes
  • Tobacco
  • Eggplant
  • White potatoes
  • Capsicum and Peppers

Nightshades contain irritants to many psoriasis patients, in particular lectins. Nightshades are high in lectins, a substance produced in all plants as a natural pesticide. Lectins ‘stick’ to the small intestine lining and increase the likelihood and symptoms of leaky gut. Leaky gut occurs when undigested carbohydrates or lectins create permeability and gaps in the lining of the small intestine, allowing undigested food particles to escape into the blood stream.

Relating this to your personal psoriasis experience

Based on the importance of alkaline formers in the psoriasis patient’s diet, you can begin to create some of your own personal and enduring daily habits to ease your psoriasis. This would involve a swing towards 80% alkaline forming foods, and building alkalinising thoughts, exercise and elimination habits into each day. Keep a psoriasis journal of your experiences with the 80/20 diet and lifestyle. There have been occasions when I have lost track of the 80/20 rule and lesions have gradually resurfaced without realising why. With each change we make that leads us back to the 80/20 diet and activities, the psoriasis lesions slowly subside again.

With love



This article is based on experience, testing and research of peer reviewed articles. Please read our disclaimer.


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Eat oil, sun soak and slap on a lotion for psoriasis relief

There is strong evidence to suggest that psoriasis is an immune-mediated disorder and the role of the immune system as the cause for psoriasis is a major topic of research by pharmaceuticals. While research takes time to conclude and be reviewed, there are safe, natural supplements that have proven successful in case studies.

Immune response and psoriasis

Inflammation is the natural response of your body’s immune system to injuries and harmful things that enter your body. The cells of our immune system immediately travel to the site of irritation and cause inflammation. This includes a widening of local blood vessels that result in an outflow of fluid and immune cells into surrounding tissues.

In normal circumstances, the inflammation disappears after the immune response process has removed the irritation – in other cases such as with psoriasis, the inflammation continues without being able to resolve what it came to do. This then leads to a reaction where an excessive amount of skin is produced. How lovely of our body to try its best to help in such a way – but no thanks!

The immediate need of anyone with psoriasis in the meantime, is to soothe the skin and to reduce or remove the inflammation. In the absence of any solid knowledge of cause or cure for psoriasis, it would be safe for psoriatics to rely on food and food supplements as their form of medicine to improve our quality of life.

Here are some successfully tested foods or food additives that have been recorded as being beneficial to psoriasis.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid

One of the most popular anti-inflammatory foods are those high in omega 3 fatty acids such as cold water fish, sardines, tuna. For vegetarians, cold pressed flax oil or raw ground flax seeds are a good source of Omega 3 oils.
Surprisingly, most western world adults and children are deficient in Omega-3 fatty acid and the body cannot produce this oil, making this an important food or supplement.

The omega 3 fatty acids lower triglycerides and, at high levels, lower cholesterol. The anti-aggregatory, anti-thrombotic and anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3 fatty acids have been confirmed in medical journals as early as 1998. The conditions that benefit from omega 3 include:
• psoriasis
• inflammation
• coronary heart disease
• hypertension
• arthritis
• other autoimmune disorders, and
• cancer

Vitamin D

If you have psoriasis, it is vital that you maintain your Vitamin D levels, as this is a potent immune modulator, making it very important for the prevention of autoimmune diseases, such as what psoriasis is considered to be.

The World Health Organisation Report on Psoriasis, along with many other peer reviewed reports, considers Vitamin D to be important for immunomodulatory effects in psoriasis, but unfortunately 80 percent of psoriatics in winter, and 50 percent in the summer, are vitamin-D deficient.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is necessary for the production of vitamin D in the skin and is the best natural source of vitamin D. There are also small amounts of vitamin D in some foods such as fish and eggs but it is difficult to gain enough vitamin D from diet alone. Most people only get five to 10 per cent of their vitamin D from food.

The health experts at Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel warn that UV radiation from the sun is also the main cause of skin cancer. Taking a balanced approach to sun exposure can help make sure you get enough vitamin D while minimising your skin cancer risk.

For vitamin D to be produced, your skin must not be covered with clothing, however, prolonged sun exposure will not increase vitamin D levels further, but will increase the risk of skin cancer. Solariums should never be used to boost vitamin D, as they emit dangerous levels of UV that increase the risk of skin cancer.

Daily exercise also assists with the body’s production of vitamin D.


Magnesium has an important role in complimenting vitamin D as it converts vitamin D into its active form. Magnesium also activates enzyme activity that helps your body use the vitamin D. In fact, all enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium to work. Magnesium is also important for the proper function of calcium.

While I personally find that the pure powder form of magnesium chloride tastes a lot like licking a vehicle engine, I mix it with coconut oil and apply it directly to my skin where it is intended to do its job. I have found over 6 months that the combination of coconut oil and magnesium powder soothes and smooths the skin.

What works for me

The eat, soak and slap routine is a three-part plan that I have personally found to benefit my psoriasis during times of extreme weather and stress. Upon this I have also added nutritional and lifestyle guidelines that are easily incorporated. This routine is simple and cheap to follow and as with all other things I share from my research and own experimentation, please check with your physician if you are on medication, currently ill or are pregnant or breastfeeding. Natural supplements have the benefit of being absorbed by your body without the complexities experienced by synthetic drugs, however I want to make sure that you only ever benefit from the information provided by Psoriasislife.

Here’s the plan:

  1. Eat foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids or take a supplement, to reduce the inflammation that causes swelling and redness
  2. Soak up the sun to get your weekly intake of vitamin D, taking special care to monitor your UV exposure to avoid skin cancer
  3. Slap on a lotion of coconut oil and magnesium powder – the lauric acid in coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, smooths the skin and carries the magnesium so that you never need to taste it.


WHO Psoriasis Info Sheet 3 February 2016
Alternative Medicine Review Volume 12, Number 4 2007

I’m itching to hear from you when you try this, and of course, wish you the very best outcome.


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pH test post template 823x450

Disease cannot exist in a body that remains in an alkaline state

Psoriasis is no exception.  Whilst maintaining a healthy pH state will bring you much closer to achieving freedom from psoriasis, it is supplementary to the other lifestyle improvements we have trialed and talk about.

To help you achieve a state of psoriasis freedom, your blood should always be slightly alkaline with a pH of 7.3 to 7.5. This maintains optimal general health and immunity.

Acidic and alkaline are two extremes that describe a chemical property. Mixing acidic and alkaline foods can neutralise their extreme effects.

The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral. Pure rainwater is a pH of 7. A pH less than 7 is acidic. A pH greater than 7 is alkaline. Different parts of the human body have different pH levels. Our ideal blood pH is slightly alkaline between 7.35 and 7.45, however, our stomach is typically 3.5 so that food can break down properly.

Our pH levels, (whether we are in an acid or alkaline state), are influenced by our foods and our emotions.

Acidic emotions

Stress, hate, anxiety,  jealousy and anger change your body chemistry to acidic.

Acidic foods

Foods that tend to cause acidity include grains, dairy products, fish, and meats like corned beef and turkey.

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The psoriasis ‘8’ principles

Well the 8’s have it!

Here are some very general yet valuable guidelines to get you on your way to clear skin.

80% of psoratic’s food and drink intake should be alkaline

8 glasses of clean water each day sure needed to promote healing

think gr8teful and positive thoughts and do not underestimate their worth

8 days and you will notice slight positive improvements in your psoriasis, however long term change takes longer

80 days of maintain this and you will be on your way to long term freedom from psoriasis.

This is a very simplistic look at the guidelines that will be explained to you in depth in further articles. It’s also a great way to get started today, ahead of specific instructions about ‘more of’ and ‘less of’.

Psoriasis is an external manifestation of an internal inflammatory condition that medical science does not have an understanding about. If we can begin with a holistic approach and narrow down to fine tune our healing, we are more likely to heal ourselves without medical intervention.

Welcome to the wellness!

psoriasis health and psoriasis mindset

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