How I live with psoriasis every day

| Josephine Beck

Are you having trouble coping with psoriasis? Trial-and-error over the past 12 years has taught me what works and what makes things worse. I've found natural treatments to be the most helpful in the long-run.

By sharing my experience, I hope to spare you money, discomfort and time. Healing by natural means is possible with determination and patience. Here are seven tips that have worked for me: 

1. Seek professional guidance. 

First, I recommend you consult with a qualified clinician, such as a naturopathic doctor (ND), who specializes in natural therapies for treating diseases. When you're on the road to natural healing, you need professional guidance to avoid spinning your wheels.

2. Try a healthy diet. 

Certain foods can make your skin flinch and others pacify it. Although everyone reacts to foods quite differently, here are some healthy guidelines for psoriasis that have worked for me:

As a certified holistic nutritionist, I suggest trimming acidic triggers from your diet. Culprits include caffeine, sugar, white flour, alcohol, red meat, MSG, refined carbs, soda and artificial sweeteners. These substances could promote inflammation. Also implicated in flares are red wine, saturated and trans fats. Gluten may also trigger inflammation in some people. However, before omitting the nutrition of these grains, obtain diagnostic testing for gluten sensitivity.  

Anti-inflammatory foods help reduce skin irritation. First-rate soothers are pineapple, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes and walnuts. Are you familiar with probiotics? Residing in your digestive tract, these beneficial bacteria normalize the impaired immunity contributing to psoriasis. Probiotics are present in cultured foods, such as kefir, yogurt and sauerkraut.Omega-3 fatty acids lubricate skin cells, top plant sources being flax, chia and hemp seeds. Healing spices are ginger and turmeric.  

Our bodies need water for digestion, circulation and detoxification. When we're dehydrated, our blood draws water from skin cells, worsening psoriasis symptoms. Each day, try to drink four pints of water. I’ve also found that green smoothies and lemon water improve my health.  Also, Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has skin-friendly nutrients, including vitamins A, B, and C, and potassium. A daily serving is two teaspoons of ACV mixed with one pint of water.

3. Focus on stress relief. 

Researchers have found a direct connection between flare-ups and stress. In my case, psoriasis arrived when I was doing a great deal of traveling, and I was emotionally unstable. The dermatologist I saw at the time said it would subside with less stress. I’ve since included relaxation techniques in my treatment regimen with great results. Meditation quiets the mind. Regular practice yields multiple benefits! Along with calming your skin, you’ll be less frustrated. You'll feel more even-keeled and happier. I practice a form of meditation called Vipassana.

4. Get your exercise. 

Exercise diffuses mental and emotional pressure. The best type is movement you enjoy. Fun forms are dancing, swimming, biking, walking, yoga and tai chi. Exercising 30 minutes daily is ideal, but even 10 minutes will help you look and feel better. I especially like yoga. Combining the breath with stretching is so relaxing! If you can exercise outdoors, all the better! Aim for 10 minutes of sunshine daily. UV light prompts vitamin D production, reducing inflammation.  

5. Give yourself a pep talk. 

How do you speak to yourself regarding this skin condition? Do you say:

“My skin feels awful.”  
“I feel so depressed and frustrated.”
“Psoriasis is driving me crazy.”

What happened just now, while reading these words? Did your mood take a dive? Did anxiety escalate? Now, consider these affirmations:

“My skin gets healthier every day.”
“I have a successful treatment regimen.”
“I’ve got psoriasis under control.”

Cheerful thoughts boost immunity. Pair them with mentally seeing your skin as you want it to be, a practice based on creative visualization. The results are amazing!

6. Pamper your skin. 

It’s important to moisturize your skin at least twice daily. Since chemicals are irritating, use products containing natural ingredients. Healing essential oils are lavender, tea tree, neem and geranium. Coconut oil and aloe are hydrating. Witch hazel is soothing, along with homeoplasmine, containing calendula. I use these products every day.

7. Find the silver lining. 

Psoriasis has upgraded my lifestyle. Though not totally healed, I feel more positive, peaceful and joyful! Encouraged by the success of natural methods in many ways, I earnestly want to help others. Visit my blogs at Optiderma.com. I welcome your feedback. Banding together, let's beat this disease!

Josephine Beck is a certified holistic nutritionist and blogger who is living with psoriasis in Canada. 


Driving Discovery, Creating Community

This year, we’re celebrating 50 years of driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. See how far we’ve come with this timeline of NPF’s history. But there’s still plenty to do, and we can’t do it without you! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funding to promote research into better treatments and a cure by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or even create your own DIY event. Contact our Patient Navigation Center for free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today! Together, we will find a cure.

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