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Treatments for Psoriasis

Mar 11, 2008
This is a look at treatments for Psoriasis and its causes

Research has not definitively recognized what precisely causes psoriasis, but fresh studies have indicated that it may be an immune mediated disorder. Psoriasis is a disorder of the skin that affects over 6 million people in the United States alone. Psoriasis occurs when the body produces too many skin cells and may alter from one type to a different type within a matter of days.

Psoriasis defined as a chronic skin disorder that commonly affects 1% to 3% of the world's population. Psoriasis is characterized by periodic flare-ups of red patched covered by a silvery and flakey scale typically on the scalp.

There are several variations of psoriasis, but the most common is plaque psoriasis, but the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown. It is believed that a combination of several factors contribute to the development of psoriasis.

When alternative treatments are used in conjunction with other treatments the patient is given a feeling of control over the negative mental aspects associated with psoriasis. Although it may improve, flare up, and even go into remission only to return at a later date.

Psoriasis has long been one of the most difficult skin conditions for researchers to cure. The success rates of alternative psoriasis treatments are difficult to measure due to conclusive test results not being readily available. Try and find out what works for you ( it may not work for another) because there are so many alternative treatment options available may not work and may play on the need of the patient only as a means to make money, which is a shame; but that is the way of the world.

There is not one miracle cure for psoriasis, but several alternative treatments are available. Many natural treatments include acupuncture, manipulation, diet, dietary supplements, and herbal therapies. Before a patient suffering with psoriasis tries an alternative treatment, they need to seek consultation from their physician who may refer them to a dermatologist.

Acupuncture is a technique which relieves pain and treats disease by inserting and manipulating fine needles in the body at varying depths in acupressure points. Acupuncture, however, is not a common way to treat psoriasis in China, but there is evidence that is an effective psoriasis treatment. It's success varies largely from person to person and may take several treatments in order to help. It can also be expensive.

The benefits of acupuncture includes, no side effects which indicates that no negative side effects are an issue. Acupuncture is becoming more accepted as a means of treating and controlling the pain associated with psoriatic arthritis and rheumatism.

Manipulation treatment is an additional term used to illustrate any method of treating pain which includes realigning the joints. Manoeuvring of the joints ought to be done only by a extremely skilled person in order to shun any risk that the manipulation treatment might actually do harm to the inflamed joints rather than assist them.

There is little physical proof that manipulation is actually a helpful psoriasis treatment, but massage can be very helpful in relieving the muscle pain and restoring joint health due to inflammation associated with psoriatic arthritis.

It has already being stated that there is at this point in time, there is not a cure for psoriasis and the treatments that are already available are really for controlling the disease rather than curing it. Treatment options that are not alternative treatments but are available for psoriasis, come as a variety: from topical therapies to phototherapy and systemic therapy for the more severe cases of the disease.

All of these different treatment options are considered to have lots of drawbacks by psoriasis patients in terms of convenience, safety, or usefulness. The arrival of new biological therapies may potentially give patients suffering from psoriasis a bit of hope, at least of long term treatment which is safer than the current accessible options.

Topical therapies always remain the foundation of treatment for a lot of patients suffering with fairly mild psoriasis. Current treatments work comparatively quickly at clearing lesions and are typically well tolerated by the most of psoriasis sufferers.

Dithranol is a topical therapy which has been used often to treat psoriasis. However, topical treatments must be used repeatedly to remain effective and are often not able to maintain remission of an outbreak. It can be effective for mild to moderate psoriasis and is often used with ultraviolet treatments for patients with more severe psoriasis.

There are many key issues which limit the use of Dithranol: it can cause irritation/ burning to the skin/ tends to stain anything it comes in contact with.

Exposure to direct sunlight tends to help improve psoriasis, but cold and shorter days, as seen in the winter months, can trigger the rash to worsen. So weather is yet another strong factor in triggering psoriasis.

Daily hassles of everyday life can trigger a flare as well, which is understandably frustrating for those who suffer from psoriasis. Psychological stress has been a common trigger for psoriasis flares, but studies are still unclear as to why this occurs. Low levels of calcium have also been reported to trigger a psoriasis flare up, but low levels of vitamin D do not trigger a flare up.

It is helpful for patients to eat only what makes them feel the most healthy. Dietary supplements encompass vitamins, herbal products, Aloe Vera (drinking it and using it as a cream) and minerals can usually benefit the entire body. Various studies have also shown that a healthy diet and lifestyle benefits everyone, especially those who suffer from psoriasis.

It must be said that there is not any evidence that any supplement is a cure for psoriasis, because as has already be said that there is no out and out cure for psoriasis. In fact, there is a risk that certain dietary supplements, including multivitamins, could potentially interfere with prescription medications and patients should discuss with their doctors before starting any new supplements. This should always be the case,anyway.
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