psoriasis gel psoriasis lotion

Curcumin paste is the golden era of psoriasis gels and puts coal tar in the dark ages

As psoriatics we could use the occasional glimmer of hope and I am delighted to share a review of alternative natural topical therapies for psoriasis that has shown some optimistic results for safer control of our pesky skin condition. My most favourite outcome of this research is the trial of curcumin gel and here’s why.

Firstly, clinical trials by National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, and National Institute for Health Research, (London) showed curcumin gel’s astoundingly successful results.

Secondly, this outcome sounded so good that I tried it myself for 6 weeks on my own occasional psoriasis, and it worked like a charm to reduce my lesions.

Curcumin gel yielded 90% resolution of plaques in 50% of psoriasis patients tested, within 2-6 weeks

The remainder of the study subjects showed 50 to 85% improvement. Curcumin was found to be twice as effective as calcipotriol cream (which generally takes three months to exert its full effect). The mechanism of curcumin is as a selective phosphorylase kinase inhibitor, thereby reducing inflammation.

Why we need to seek natural alternatives to the lotions and creams prescribed for psoriasis

This same clinical trial showed no evidence of coal tar’s effectiveness in treating psoriasis despite it being commonly prescribed for psoriasis. (E.J. Samarasekera EJ, Sawyer L, Wonderling D, Tucker R, Smith CH; Topical therapies for the treatment of plaque psoriasis: systematic review and network meta-analyses). Psoriasis patients are also warned to remain vigilant for potential local and systemic negative after effects associated with corticosteroids, also regularly prescribed for psoriasis.

Make your own curcumin paste to treat psoriasis

This is the recipe and instructions for the curcumin paste that I have tested on my own psoriasis, with some outstanding results. I have combined turmeric with aloe vera gel and finely ground pepper. The following list is a breakdown of the ingredients that have worked extremely well for me and also in the clinical trials that I have researched and described. I have included information about the role of each ingredient and some suggestions about how you can source these compounds.

Turmeric – Contains the anti-inflammatory curcumin that is needed to treat the psoriasis. Please use organic turmeric root, either bought or harvested yourself. You will need to peel the root and finely grate it, them simmer in filtered water to break it down. Continue simmering until the volume of water is reduced. Allow to cool before adding the aloe vera. Alternatively, you may prefer to use ground organic turmeric powder.

Ground black pepper – improves the bioavailability of the curcumin, in simpler terms, helps it to assimilate into our skin.

Aloe vera gel – provides the gel that carries the curcumin. A controlled trial of Aloe vera extract in 60 patients for 4-12 months demonstrated a significant clearing of psoriatic plaques. Aloe vera plants can be grown and stems harvested and peeled for use, or alternatively you can buy aloe vera gel in health food stores.

Instructions

Mix equal parts turmeric and aloe vera. Pepper is optional so keep a close watch on any reactions on your skin if you are going to use it. If you choose to use pepper, then add one part pepper to every 20 parts turmeric.

The gel will keep in a refrigerator for 2 weeks. Be sure to clean the jar and use clean, sterilised applicators each use. Use 3 times daily on your psoriasis lesions. Freeze a portion if you think you have too much to use within two weeks.

Best wishes for shrinking patches

psoriasis health and psoriasis mindset

 

 

 

Disclaimer

Reference

Traub T, Marshall K, Psoriasis – Pathophysiology, Conventional, and Alternative Approaches to Treatment. Altern Med Rev 2007;12(4):319-330

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psoriasis skin relief psoriasis pain and psoriasis lesions

Relieving psoriasis skin

Psoriasis on the skin can be painful, and from my own personal experience, a combination of cold, dry, windy weather causes a constant stinging pain deep within the layers of my skin.

By the time we have psoriasis, our immune response is already compromised and therefore, we need to be cautious about what we apply to our skin to relieve the pain, which I can best describe as feeling like crushed aluminium foil. There are many dermatologically recommended creams and ointments, however it is well documented that adverse side effects of their use contradicts the benefits, or worse still, adverse side effects have not yet been explored. The Global Report on Psoriasis authored by the World Health Organization in November 2016 explains that clinical dermatologists do not yet have an understanding of how to treat psoriasis without causing adverse side effects.

To combat the pain of dry, stretched and cracked psoriasis, we psoriatics require a soothing, moisturising and protective emollient, or lotion. We prefer this emollient layer to be made up of naturally occurring compounds that have either little or no side effects, can be easily accessed and do not cost much. Let me introduce you to ceramides.

Why you will love Ceramides
Psoriasis oil
Remnants of psoriasis on my thighs and a carefree smile thanks to wheat germ oil!

Ceramides are intercellular lipids (lipid molecules composed of fatty acids and sphingosine). Ceramides play an important role in regulating the water-holding capacity of your skin while at the same time providing a protective layer.

The four layers of the epidermis contain Ceramides, and they play an important role by creating a barrier which reduces infection and helps to retain the skin’s moisture. Studies have shown that a proper amount of Ceramides in the internal epidermal layer is necessary to maintain healthy skin. Research has shown that ceramides are decreased in the psoriatic epidermis and this may either contribute to the cause of psoriasis, or be the result of psoriasis-driven hyperproliferation of keratinocytes.  In my personal psoriasis experience, a lack of ceramide function has caused an increase in the size and amount of psoriasis lesions and a definite increase in pain.

Ceramides have been used since the early 1990’s by major cosmetic companies for treating aging problems such as fine lines, wrinkles, and dryness. These were often in the form of expensive topical creams and potions. Because of its moisture retaining properties, Ceramides were eventually included in cosmetic products such as foundations and lipsticks to increase outer moisture and to provide a benefit to the skin while protecting it from damaging elements.

For the psoriatic

Naturally occurring Ceramides are present in the plant world, with the main sources being wheat, rice, soy, and spinach.

Wheat germ oil is my personal favourite Ceramide-rich emollient because the anti-inflammatory activities of Ceramides and linoleic acid are strengthened by the vitamin E present in wheat germ oil. Wheat germ oil has been successful in reducing the spread of my psoriasis and pain, especially in harsh environmental conditions. This oil has been my only skin product during long periods at sea, hiking in snow and while being exposed to the sun for long periods.

What you can do now

We can easily and affordably access Ceramides by applying wheat germ oil onto our skin. By boosting the Ceramide levels in our skin, wheat germ oil can reduce the harmful effects of our external environment on psoriasis, relieve pain and as a well-deserved added bonus, supports anti-ageing as well.

Long live wheat germ oil!

Healthy skin wishes

regi

Disclaimer

 

 

 

 

References

Traub M, Keri Marshall K. Psoriasis – Pathophysiology, Conventional, and Alternative Approaches to Treatment. Alt Med Review 2007; 12( 4): 319-327

Bizot-Foulon V. Inhibition of human neutrophil enastase by wheat ceramides. Int. J Cosmet. Sci. 1995; 17: 255-64

Idsson B. Vitamins and the Skin. Cosmetic & Toiletries, 1993; 108 (12): 79-94

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safe psoriasis treatment

Things that should not get under your skin

Human skin’s most important function is as a defence organ to prevent outside compounds from entering into our body, however it cannot prevent smaller molecules from penetrating.

Our skin is absorbent

Humans have an outer layer of skin, referred to as the corneal layer of the epidermis. This outer layer is just a few micrometers thick with between 5 – 7 cell layers, but effectively forms a barrier that preserves life by protecting our insides from the outside world. Topical creams attempt to penetrate past the epidermal barrier and this is sometimes a challenge when the compounds consist of large molecules.

The 500 Dalton Rule

The molecular weight (MW) of a compound must be under 500 Dalton to allow skin absorption. Larger molecules cannot penetrate the corneal layer.

Interesting things about the 500 Dalton rule are:

Allergens
  • The most common allergens that cause contact dermatitis have a molecular weight (MW) that is under 500 Dalton, and larger molecules are not known as contact allergens. Nevertheless, thousands of molecules have been recognised as inducing contact dermatitis.
Dermatology creams and ointments
  • The most commonly used and effective topical drugs in dermato-therapy all have a molecular weight under 500 Dalton.
Transdermal drugs
  • Certain drugs for system wide treatment need to be delivered through the skin in order to avoid the liver. Transdermal drugs may include nicotine or hormone patches and of the 7 or more drugs delivered transdermally, all are smaller than 350 Dalton.

Harmful things that creep under our skin

What compounds do you use on your skin that have a molecular weight under 500 Dalton?

Dermatology treatments for psoriasis

Creams that we use topically to treat psoriasis are designed to enter our body systems. While these creams have been tested to treat our psoriasis, their safety risks have not been explored. For example, corticosteroids are highly effective in psoriasis but there is a lack of long-term effectiveness and safety data available on this treatment used for psoriasis. Coal tar creams and lotions that are commonly prescribed for psoriasis have been tested to have little or no benefit in treating psoriasis, yet expose us to the risk of side effects.

Medical researchers warn that a strategy for the safe and effective long-term use of treatments for the maintenance of disease control in psoriasis is urgently needed.

Parabens

Parabens are used in over 22,000 cosmetics as preservatives, and are known to cause endocrine disruption, including male reproductive toxicity and various estrogenic activity studies. Are these parabens able to enter our body through our skin? Take a look at the size of their Daltons:

Butylparaben  194 Daltons

Ethylparaben 166 Daltons

Methylparaben 152 Daltons

Propylparaben 180 Daltons

For the psoriatic

Step 1: Check your labels for parabens and consider using natural alternatives such as:

  • Apple cider to wash skin and hair and maintain our pH acid mantle
  • Natural oils to moisturise
  • Magnesium chloride bath soaks

Step 2: Begin to wean yourself off dermatological creams and ointments that penetrate our body systems and put us at risk of side effects, and begin to heal from the inside out. Psoriasislife Mag will continue to provide many well researched articles to help you achieve this.

References

Bos JD, Meinardi MMHM. The 500 Dalton rule for the skin penetration of chemical compounds and drugs. Exp Dermatol 2000: 9: 165-169.

Kalb RE et al. Risk of Serious Infection With Biologic and Systemic Treatment of Psoriasis. JAMA Dermatol, 2015;151(9):961-969

Topical therapies for the treatment of plaque psoriasis: systematic review and network meta-analyses   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19101832

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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

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.

Sources:

WHO Psoriasis Info Sheet 3 February 2016
Alternative Medicine Review Volume 12, Number 4 2007
http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/2564887
https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/vitamin-d
Disclaimer:

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

regi

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