Psoriasis is a skin disease that affects over 8 million Americans. There are
several types of psoriasis, including plaque, inverse, guttate, pustular and
erythrodermic. Each type of psoriasis contains different characteristics for
Typically psoriasis is marked by itchy, thick, red patches with silvery scales.
These patches can appear on other parts of the body, they typically appear on
the back, elbows, face, feet, knees and scalp.
Psoriasis is a long-term condition that often develops between the ages of 15
and 35. However, psoriasis can occur at any age.
How do You Get Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is triggered by an overactive immune system. Additional triggers
include infections, stress, and cold. The over activation causes inflammation
and skin cells to turnover. Normal skin cells take about a month to grow from
deep in the skin and then rise up to the surface. In individuals with psoriasis,
the cells rise quickly, sometimes in a matter of days before they fully develop.
These cells then pile on top of the skin and result in redness and discomfort.
Genetics may also play a role in psoriasis. About one-third of people with
psoriasis have a family member with the condition.
Psoriasis is not contagious. You cannot "catch" psoriasis from someone who
has the condition.
What are the Treatments for Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is diagnosed by a dermatologist or other health care provider who
examines your skin. Sometimes, a health care provider may even take a piece
of the affected skin and look at it under a microscope.
Treatment for psoriasis depends on how widespread and severe it is.
Treatment options for psoriasis include light therapy, topical medications, and
oral or injectable medications.
What Supplements Can Help With Psoriasis?
Fish oil - In over 12 trials utilizing fish oil there is data that supports that a
dose of 2 to 4 grams of fish oil a daily may improve psoriasis plaques. Fish oil
contains anti-inflammatory properties and other benefits include
improvements in skin reddening, itching, and scaling. Typically patients see
an improvement in 8 to 12 weeks.
Vitamin D - Supports the skin by playing a role in the proliferation and
maturation of keratinocytes. While the exact role of vitamin D and psoriasis is
unknown, some data suggest that its effect is due to decreasing the risk of
other conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Vitamin D can be used either
topically or orally.
Selenium - Patients with psoriasis tend to have selenium deficiencies,
sometimes as much as 15 to 20%. Selenium can influence immune response
helping immune cells to be more resistant to oxidative stress. The recommend
daily intake of selenium is between 100 to 400 mcg a day.
Probiotics - There is some data supporting that probiotics can reduce the
psoriasis area and severity index of psoriasis patients, decrease inflammation
regulate immune cells, and normalize the composition of the microbiota.
Additionally, probiotics may stimulate your T-cells which stimulate the immune
Are There Any Complications of Psoriasis?
Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis will develop psoriatic arthritis. This
most commonly occurs between the ages of 30 and 50. Psoriatic arthritis is a
condition that can cause pain, stiffness and swelling around the joints.
Speak with your healthcare provider or dermatologist if you have any
questions about psoriasis.
Healthline, "How to Get Involved This National Psoriasis Awareness Month" National Psoriasis Foundation, "Psoriatic Arthritis" National Psoriasis Foundation, "Statistics" Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "What is psoriasis?" The effect of supplementation with selenium and vitamin E in psoriasis Diet and Psoriasis: Part 3. Role of Nutritional Supplements