It’s August which means it’s Psoriasis Awareness Month! Starting with this blog, this next series will provide general information about psoriasis, as well as its comorbidities, diagnoses and treatments.
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition affecting more than 8 million people in the United States of all races. This condition commonly causes scaly areas of skin, usually found on the elbows and knees, and is caused by an overactive immune system that makes skin cells grow quicker than normal. Instead of replicating in weeks, as skin cells normally do, psoriasis causes skin cells to replicate in days, which builds up skin plaques that can be itchy, uncomfortable and occasionally painful. Some patients even report stinging, burning or tightness of the skin. Depending on your skin tone and the severity of psoriasis, these patches may have a red to purple base with a dry scaly patch on top.
There are many different types of psoriasis that vary in location and severity. These types of psoriasis are demonstrated on the body differently and can vary from scaly, dry patches to wet pustules. Psoriasis can be found on any part of the body, including the groin and scalp. The American Academy of Dermatology reports the most common locations for psoriasis include the knees, elbows, scalp and lower back.
Psoriasis can be genetically linked, although the majority of psoriasis patients do not have a genetic cause for developing the condition. Psoriasis can appear at any age from children to adults. The most common age range of developing this disease is either between 20 to 30 years of age or between 50 to 60 years of age.
Treatments for psoriasis vary based on the type, the severity and the location on the body, with medication options including topical, oral and injectable medications. Although there is no cure for psoriasis, there are treatments available that can help with the symptoms and quality of life of those who have this condition.
If you have or suspect you have psoriasis, we encourage you to be proactive and set up an appointment today to be evaluated and treated accordingly. At Skin Joy Dermatology, we are trained and ready to treat each of our diverse patients with the appropriate care and treatment necessary to help improve overall quality of life. Call to set up an appointment today at 512-312-7552.
What is Holistic Dermatology?
Holistic dermatology relies on using all-natural products and remedies to treat skin conditions. Using natural dermatology to treat the underlying causes of an individual’s skin problem using the least invasive means first.
What Causes Your Skin to Break Out?
Although everyone has different underlying causes for skin issues these are some common things that can cause anyone’s skin to break out. Acne affects up to 80% of people sometime during their lives. So, it’s important to know what might be causing the breakouts so you can preemptively treat the root causes instead of focusing only on the symptoms.
The simplest cause of most breakouts are clogged pores for an assortment of reasons. Acne of all stages, white heads, black heads and pimples are all caused when your hair follicles become clogged with excess oil and dead skin cells. Often time in addition to regular daily activities, excess sweating, make-up use or a build-up of other products can affect negatively affect your pores.
One of the biggest factors when it comes to breakouts is hormonal changes. Hormones fluctuate for many different reasons and stress is one of them that affects both genders. Emotional stress hasn’t been proven to trigger brand new cases of acne, but it can prolong or worsen existing breakouts.
Contrary to popular belief cutting out greasy foods alone has very little effect on acne. However, many studies have found links between worsened acne symptoms and dairy products, sugar, and carbohydrate-rich foods. It’s important to note that people's bodies respond differently to all types of dietary restrictions, so it may not be a quick fix.
Tips and Tricks for Effective Holistic Dermatology
While many people are stuck at home unable to visit the dermatologist, the following suggestions are some holistic acne treatment tips that can be used at home.
Simple Stress Relievers
When cooped up at home, or under pressure from outside sources it’s important to take time for yourself and acknowledge the connection between a person's mental health and their physical well-being. Practicing deep breathing or yoga, reducing your caffeine intake, exercising, lighting incense or candles and listening to music are all simple ways to reduce some stress that can have a positive effect on your skin.
It may be common sense that you should establish a routine even when at home, but it can easy to forget. Avoiding touching your face is not only a good suggestion to avoid getting sick and spreading germs but it also keeps extra dirt and bacteria from transferring from your fingertips to your pores. While it is important to remove excess oil, buildup, and sweat washing your face too frequently or with harsh chemicals and exfoliants can have adverse effects as well. Use warm, water and a mild cleanser, do not scrub, rinse with cool water, pat dry with a clean towel and follow up with a moisturizer of your choice.
Switch Up Your Diet
While you may not have a severe allergy to certain foods or food groups if you are noticing worsening skin issues such as dryness, discoloration, itchiness and increased breakouts it’s worth it to examine your diet. Keep a food journal to help you keep track or try your own version of an elimination diet if you already suspect certain types of foods may be causing a break out. In general, decreasing your intake of processed food and sugar is a great first step. Increasing cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts will help detoxify your system and fresh berries can help reduce inflammation.
Use Natural Products
There are some natural products that you may already have at home that can be used to relieve some symptoms. Dry bouts of inflammation like psoriasis or eczema can be soothed with ginger root, spirulina, and turmeric which are all-natural anti-inflammatory immune boosters. Oily skin and acne breakouts can be reduced with witch hazel and tea tree oil. Both of these can be used as a holistic treatment for acne because they address bacterial build up and help keep your skin clean and dry. Bakuchiol, a new and exciting holistic treatment has been shown to act like a natural retinoid, with less irritation. It can reduce acne and inflammation and prevent wrinkles.
Power Up with Probiotics & Supplements
Keeping your skin healthy from home can be as simple as boosting up your internal nutrients. A lot of nutrients come from our diet, however, sometimes supplements can help fill the gaps. Studies have linked increased intake of probiotics, omega-3’s, vitamin B, vitamin D, and zinc to benefiting people with acne. If you are unable to get these supplements, work on incorporating a nutrient-dense diet, make an effort to eat and drink things with higher levels of these key nutrients.
Consult with a holistic dermatologist online!
While non-emergency in-person appointments have been put on hold as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, receiving a virtual consultation with a holistic skin care specialist to better understand your individual situation is highly recommended.