Psoriasis: What Is It? How Did I Get It?
Patricia Zifferblatt | December 9, 2008

Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the skin that can also affect the joints. Psoriasis is not contagious (you don’t catch it from someone else). It usually looks like red scaly patches on the skin and can be recurring. It is generally triggered by allergic reactions, an infection, trauma, our good old nemesis, stress and can occur at any age. Psoriasis develops because of a glitch in the body’s immune system, which causes the body to attack healthy cells/tissues as if they were diseased. These repeated attacks cause inflammation and excessive skin production.

Coping with Psoriasis can be emotionally challenging because it often occurs on the face and hands and can be seen by other people. Speak with your physician and other health professionals about topical and other pharmaceutical treatments options for this disorder. You may wish to try some of the following suggestions with the approval of your physician:
  • Stress reduction exercises such as Yoga and Progressive Relaxation;
  • The daily supplementation of Omega 3 fatty acids. Four (4) grams per day should be sufficient or as recommended by your physician. Omega 3’s have naturally occurring anti-inflammatory properties;
  • Avoid sunburn, but do try to get at least 20 minutes of sun exposure in the A.M. or P.M. to help your body make its own vitamin D. In addition, Vitamin D in supplement form (400 i.u.) is highly recommended by experts;
  • Take a Vitamin B supplement that contains all the B’s, including B-12, in addition to 500 mg. of Vitamin C every day;
  • Ask your doctor about a C-reactive protein test that measures the amount of inflammation you have in your body. Fresh berries, black, red, blue, etc., contain antioxidants. Find a supplement that contains these anti-inflammatory properties and take it daily. Eat fresh or flash-frozen berries whenever you get the chance;
  • Watch for any allergic reactions to foods such as dairy, wheat, corn, shellfish, etc. Report any food allergies to your physician.
Finally, a diagnosis of Psoriasis is not the end of the world even though it may feel as if it is for many people. It is a manageable disorder that generally responds to medication and dietary changes.
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