Psoriasis and Homeopathy
Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that affects the skin. It is typically a lifelong condition Psoriasis occurs when the immune system mistakes a normal skin cell for a pathogen, and sends out faulty signals that cause overproduction of new skin cells. It is not contagious. Psoriasis has been linked to an increased risk of stroke, and treating high blood lipid levels may lead to improvement.
There are five types of psoriasis: plaque, guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic. Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition. The obvious sign is the colour change associated with the plaques (the raised patches in the skin), although this is more obvious where there is little scale. In fair skinned people, the plaque will look red (sometimes referred to as salmon pink), whereas in dark-skinned individuals the plaque tends to look a darker shade of the normal skin. Often, however, the white scaling is thick and hides the redness, so psoriasis looks thick, white and, crusty on exposed surfaces regardless of the underlying skin colour. The thickening is caused by the greatly increased ‘turnover’ of the skin cells. Normally, a living skin cell moves upward from the bottom layer of skin, loses its nucleus and dies. It is then largely made up of a protein called keratin and is shed from the surface of the skin as new cells go through the same process and replace it from underneath. The whole process takes around 28 days, but in psoriasis it is greatly speeded up to 3-4 day cycle. Living cells are then much closer to the surface, and as they still need a blood supply, the vessels lie closer to the surface, leading to the redness and heat that many people with psoriasis complain of. The fact that the surface cells are being replaced before they are shed results in a thick layer of scale, which, as everyone with the condition knows, flakes off readily and abundantly.
The cause of psoriasis is not fully understood. There are two main hypotheses about the process that occurs in the development of the disease. The first considers psoriasis as primarily a disorder of excessive growth and reproduction of skin cells. The problem is simply seen as a fault of the epidermis and its keratinocytes. The second hypothesis sees the disease as being an immune-mediated disorder in which the excessive reproduction of skin cells is secondary to factors produced by the immune system.
- Genetic predisposition: A positive family history may predispose you to be affected by this condition.
General Aggravating Factors
These are responsible for aggravating or causing the lesions to reappear:
- Physical & Emotional Stress
- Seasonal changes: Winter months may cause an increase in dryness and may aggravate psoriasis
- Environmental factors - Skin irritants, local trauma, infections, alcohol, steroid withdrawal etc.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Sites of predilection, Include scalp, retro auricular area, knees, elbows, sacrum, and nails, Lesion morphology– sharply bordered erythematous patches and plaques with silvery scale. Psoriasis is often diagnosed by a dermatological or primary care physician by its,characteristic appearance and locations on the body. If a person has the skin changes typical of psoriasis, a diagnosis can be made clinically by examination alone, based on the skin's appearance due to psoriasis, a physician will usually be able to diagnose psoriasis and being treating the skin immediately. If person looks different than most cases, appears in an unusual location, further test may be needed. The definitive test when a clinical diagnosis of skin disease is a skin biopsy. Usually one test is required, but it may be repeated if the results are not clear or the disease changes over time. No blood test exists to diagnose psoriasis, and psoriasis does not cause abnormal blood tests for most people.
Homeopathic Management for Psoriasis*
Psoriasis is a condition capable of affecting one’s career, relationships and confidence. Patients have been treated for years with conventional medicine resulting in only remission of the symptoms for a while, leading to a flare-up again. Psoriasis is a chronic condition which needs to be treated holistically, from the inside. Homeopathy has shown significant success with Psoriasis patients.
In Psoriasis, our immunity needs to be strengthened from within and should be able to identify all our body cells as its own. Homeopathy assesses the individual as a whole and does not only treat symptoms. The environment, the person’s temperament and the presenting symptoms are all considered before prescribing the 'remedy' to the patient. Thus, no two people with psoriasis might have the exact same remedy. Homeopathy works on the principle 'Like treats like'. Very small, infinitesimal dose of the substance which causes symptoms similar to the disease is diluted and packed into the sugar pills. With these doses, the body’s immunity recognizes its skin cells as its own, thus reducing the severity of the condition.