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What is psoriasis? What is allowed and forbidden in psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic non-infectious disease mostly affecting the skin. Usually it is manifested by red, extremely dry spots raised above the surface of the skin, the so called papules, which merge forming patches. These patches appear mainly on the extensor-surfaces of the elbows and knees. Eruptions can also be observed on the trunk and the scalp.

It should be noted that the main motto in treating this unpredictable disease is “nolinocere” (do no harm). In many aspects, treatment of the psoriasis depends on the patient, his/her knowledge about the disease, psychic condition, the mood and optimism. Treatment of psoriasis is really a complicated problem. Unfortunately, most methods of treatment give only temporary effect, though they improve considerably the quality of life of the patients. It is sad to realize, but patients should learn to live with psoriasis trying to reach cosmetic comfort in exacerbations and prolong the periods of remission. Psoriasis presents no danger to the surrounding peopleand is not transmitted from a sick man to a healthy one.

Recommendations and restrictions

  1. Try to treat properly acute infectious diseases not allowing them to turn into chronic.
  2. Give up smoking and drinking alcohol. Remember that these harmful habits hamper, as a rule, the psoriasis treatment and lead to its aggravation.
  3. Popular “cleanings” of the body can be provoking factors. Fasting can also be harmful.
  4. You should be careful with ultraviolet light. Sea-and sunbathing is recommended after autumn and winter treatment.
  5. The patients should limit the use of citrus fruits, chocolate, eggs, honey, unskimmed milk and foodstuffs containing red pigment (tomatoes, pepper, strawberries, etc.). In the period of remission, it is better not to eat sour, spicy, fatty, smoked food and sweets.

If possible, try to avoid the use of products causing allergic reactions or limit them in your diet. You can increase the number of daily meals, but decrease the amount of food. It is better to have it boiled, baked or stewed.When the disease progresses, fasting days with a strict limitation of alcohol and sugar-containing products are necessary.

The treatment of psoriasis is usually complex with due account of many factors contributing to its development or exacerbation. Certain rules concerning the diet should also be observed:

  1. A sufficient amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids is very important, because they form biologically active substances in the body, produce anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effect, improve the condition of the skin and blood vessels, regulate the metabolism (metabolism of fats in the liver including, and metabolism of a number of vitamins).
  2. The patients with psoriasis should take care of regular evacuation of thebowels. When inclined to constipation, they should use products rich in dietary fibers, as well as dishes having a laxative effect (salads with vegetable oil, etc.). Dietary fibers also affect the metabolism maintaining the balance of minerals in the body. The diet should be rich in products normalizing the lipid metabolism (buckwheat gruel, curds, etc.).
  3. The treatment of psoriasis is more successful when the patient takes vitamins (antioxidants) contributing to the healthy skin and nails. Vitamins of group B participating in all cellular processes help produce a favorable effect on the nervous system, which is important in psoriasis. Therefore, you should include in your diet the foodstuffs rich in the following vitamins: E (vegetable oilsβ), C (rosehips, sweet pepper, currants), A β-carotene (live, butter, sweet pepper), O (fish), B (beef liver, buckwheat), as well as bioflavonoids (currants).
  4. The diet should be rich in calcium-containing products (curds, sour milk products, etc.) having anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effect.
  5. The amount of zinc in the diet should be sufficient too, because it contributes to the protein production, which is necessary for healing the wounds, improving the immunity and anti-oxidant protection.
  6. Active way of life allows getting positive emotions. Patients with psoriasis usually try to shrink from society waiting for the condition of their skin to improve, so that they were not ashamed of their appearance. This is not correct. The more you move, the more actively your body will use oxygen and the more rapidly your skin will heal. Any kind of sport or physical activity will be useful except those which can damage your skin.
  7. Health resort treatment, mud cure, paraffin therapy can also be helpful to treat psoriasis.

Thus, to treat psoriasis reaching a stable therapeutic effect, all possible measures and means should be implemented.

 

L.V. Kalinovskaya,  doctor-dermatovenerologist