According to Wikipedia, more than 2% of the people in this world have psoriasis. This is really a very big number. Still, there is very little awareness about this skin condition in the general public. The foremost reason for this situation is- ignorance and non acceptance. When the people having psoriasis would not accept their skin condition and would invest all their energy and time in hiding or ignoring the problem, then it is unfair to expect that the general public would be aware enough about it. At the initial stage, when psoriasis is mild, we all try to hide or ignore the problem. Do not ignore mild psoriasis. This ignorance can cause the psoriasis patches to spread and become a case of moderate or severe psoriasis which would take a lot of efforts to heal afterwards.
Hiding, running away, ignoring or denying the problem never helped me. I am sure that your experience is no different than me. So, the intelligent choice would be- acknowledging the problem without any shame and then making sincere, dedicated efforts to heal it. Healing of psoriasis is possible if efforts can be made in the right direction.
What is Mild Psoriasis
Psoriasis, just like any other disease, starts as a mild problem with a few psoriasis patches on various parts of the body. Scalp, back, knee and elbow are the most common body parts to be affected. Gradually, these psoriasis patches start to spread to other parts of the body and subsequently the skin inflammation and irritation increases.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, if the coverage of psoriasis patches on your body is less than 3%, then your psoriasis is mild. If the body coverage is in between 3-10%, then it is moderate psoriasis and body coverage above 10% is termed as a case of severe psoriasis.
However, it should be noted here that which body part is covered with psoriasis- it also makes a lot of impact. For example, if a person’s psoriasis is mild with patches on face or palms of the hands or feet soles, then the impact would be much higher than on the knee or elbow. Simply because, it would be more visible and it would interfere more in day to day activities.
Early Diagnosis is vital
Early diagnosis of psoriasis is very important. It is very common to misjudge scalp psoriasis as dandruff. Similarly, psoriasis on back, knee and elbow can be misjudged as a non-serious problem resulting out of impure blood. Hence, it is very crucial to get a proper diagnosis from an experienced dermatologist or alternative medicine expert like Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Naturopathy.
Proper diagnosis at the initial level can help a lot in controlling the symptoms before it becomes a bigger problem.
It is easy to ignore Mild Psoriasis
Even if properly diagnosed, it is very easy to hide mild psoriasis by using topical solutions like oils and creams. Some people take immune suppressants like methotrexate to control its symptoms. These easy to use quick fix solutions allow us to continue with our lifestyle as before- smoking, alcohol, junk foods, irregular food habits, irregular lifestyle, less sleep, sedentary lifestyle (no exercise). We believe that we have found a way to manage our psoriasis which is easily available and affordable as well. It puts almost a “full stop” to our efforts for any long term treatment solutions.
This is ignorance!
This ignorance can lead to two scenarios:
- Your psoriasis patches would spread to other body parts and it would convert into a case of moderate or severe psoriasis.
- If you are lucky enough and the psoriasis patches don’t spread anymore, even then, the continuous use of methotrexate in the long term can have serious harmful effects on your body- liver impairment, hair loss, loss of appetite, joint pain and many more. Also, the use of steroid based creams and other topical medications is unhealthy for you in the long run.
Long term healing is the best strategy
Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease which is related to your body’s internal metabolism. The patches on your skin reflects that there is something wrong inside your body. Applying creams on the skin patches or forcefully suppressing the immune system by taking methotrexate would not solve the purpose. This strategy wouldn’t work in the long run. Sooner or later the disease would burst out and then it would be very hard to control it. Hence, we should act promptly and take sincere measures to heal psoriasis when it is mild. Treating mild psoriasis is by any means, a far easier task than treating a moderate or severe psoriasis.
The best strategy to heal psoriasis in the long term is:
- Psoriasis Diet – A restricted diet which helps in body detoxification, easy to digest and helps in boosting body immunity.
Read more: Dr Pagano Diet for Psoriasis
- Lifestyle changes- To make positive changes in lifestyle- No smoking, less alcohol consumption, regular food habits, proper sleep, regular exercise.
Read more: Psoriasis and Alcohol
- Stress management- Dealing with a stubborn skin condition like psoriasis is a stressful experience. Stress and anxiety management is necessary for it. Yoga, meditation, regular exercise and relaxation techniques can help in it.
- Use of Natural herbs– Turmeric, aloe vera, flaxseeds, black cumin seeds are few of the herbs that can help in psoriasis treatment.
Read more: Benefits of Turmeric for Psoriasis
- Dietary supplements- Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin D,Vitamin B12 and folic acid are few of the nutrients that can help in psoriasis treatment.
Read more: Benefits of Omega 3 for Psoriasis
- Natural/ herbal topical solutions- Natural oils like coconut oil, aloe vera gel, neem oil and black cumin seed oil can be applied on psoriasis patches for good results without any side effects. Herbal shampoo based on glycerine, tea tree oil and aloe vera is a good option to take care of scalp psoriasis.
Read more: How to select a Scalp Psoriasis Shampoo
Read more: How to select a Moisturizer for Psoriasis
Useful tips for Mild Psoriasis Treatment
Do not ignore mild psoriasis, rather implement below tips to relieve the symptoms before it becomes a bigger issue in your life.
- Drink a lot of water, around 3 liters per day. Avoid chilled water. Drink normal or warm water.
- In the morning empty stomach, drink warm lemon water. Lemon water is one of the best drinks for psoriasis. It is a natural liver detox drink. It helps in elimination of acidic body toxins from the body and helps in eliminating constipation also.
Read more: Lemon water benefits for Psoriasis
- Avoid constipation at any cost. Ensure smooth bowel movements.
- Avoid indigestion and acid reflux. Neither skip meals nor over eat. Never sleep immediately after eating. Maintain a gap of at least 2-3 hours between dinner and sleep.
- Regular exercise for half an hour can be the game changer. It helps in body detoxification, reduces stress and improves body metabolism.
- Out of 3 basic meals- breakfast, lunch and dinner; one meal should consist of raw vegetables and fruits only. Cucumber, broccoli, onion, cauliflower, ginger, garlic, celery, spinach, apple, pear, papaya, avocado, carrot, watermelon, apricots. You can drink freshly prepared juices of these fruits and vegetables also. Do not add sweet or salt in it. Use rock salt (Himalayan salt) if needed.
- Avoid junk foods and processed foods- pizza, burger, hot dog, bakery products. Avoid highly fried foods.
- Avoid all foods made from refined white flour like white bread, bakery, burger etc.
- Avoid all foods rich in artificial sugar like Indian sweets, cookies, bakeries.
- Eat more wholesome grain foods. Brown bread, brown rice are recommended.
- For the first month, avoid all dairy products- milk, cheese, butter. Buttermilk is allowed. Buttermilk should be consumed in liberal quantities as it provided healthy gut bacteria and helps in improving the digestion. Gradually, all dairy products can be included in the diet in a slow manner.
- For the first month, wheat gluten should be avoided- wheat and rye. Brown rice is a better alternative. Gradually, wheat can be introduced back to the diet slowly.
- Avoid all carbonated sugary drinks and packaged drinks- cola, cold drinks, soda, packaged fruit juices, fruit beer.
- Avoid tea, coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Drink green tea, lemon ginger tea and saffron tea.
- Eat animal protein like meat in less quantities. Completely avoid red meat, beef and pork. Eat lamb, chicken, turkey in low to moderate quantities.
- Eat white colored fish like tuna fish. Avoid shell fish and other dark colored fish.
- Avoid nightshades- Tomato, white potato, eggplant (brinjal), chili pepper, cayenne pepper, capsicum and paprika. Sweet potatoes and black pepper are acceptable in small quantity. Gradually, white potato can be introduced back into the diet in small quantities.
- In curries- avoid brinjal, black gram, lady finger, tomato. All other curries are fine. Use less oil and less spice.
- Daily take 1 teaspoonful of pure turmeric powder with normal water. You can also take turmeric capsules.
- Get tested for vitamin D and vitamin B12 deficiency. If needed, take supplements to make up for the deficiency.
- Take omega 3 supplements. Fish oil capsules are the best. If you are a strict vegetarian, take flaxseed oil capsules.
- For scalp psoriasis, use a herbal shampoo based on natural products like aloe vera, glycerin, tea tree oil and neem oil. Avoid coal tar based shampoo. It hampers the hair beauty by making the hairs dry, brittle and lifeless. After bathing, apply coconut oil to keep scalp moist.
- For psoriasis patches on the body, use natural oils and gels like aloe vera gel, coconut oil and neem oil. Avoid steroids based creams.
- Yoga practices and meditation can do wonders.
Proper diagnosis of psoriasis helps in early detection of the problem. Do not ignore mild psoriasis. Most of the people underestimate the seriousness of psoriasis and take it lightly. They rely on easy options like steroid based creams, shampoo and methotrexate to suppress the physical symptoms. But, in actual, they are just delaying the treatment by allowing the psoriasis patches to spread to other parts of the body. Holistic healing of psoriasis with emphasis on diet, lifestyle and dietary supplements can help in long term psoriasis management.