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Psoriasis




Definition

A common, genetically determined dermatitis consisting of discrete pink or dull-red lesions surmounted by characteristic silvery scaling. Lesions may become confluent. Although they come and go, they usually are chronic. A specific type of arthritis frequently is associated with psoriasis.


Causes

No known causes. Often hereditary, it is linked to a rapid growth of cells in the skin's outer layer. It may result from a faulty utilization of fat. Psoriasis is most common between the ages of 15 and 25, and is not infectious. Attacks can be triggered by nervous tension and stress, illness, surgery, cuts, poison ivy, several viral and bacterial infections, sunburn, or the drugs lithium, chloroquine, and beta-blockers.


Symptoms

May begin at any age as flat-topped papule covered with thin, grayish-white scale spreading peripherally; lesions coalescing; centers regressing, forming circinate lesions. Under the dry scales are red bleeding points (papillae). These patches appear on the legs, knees, arms, elbows, scalp, ears, and back. The toes and fingernails lose their luster and develop ridges and pits. Only the scales and skin debris, which are quite itchy, can be removed. There is presently no known cure. The disease seems to lessen during the summer months. It may go away on its own, but once you have had psoriasis, it is always possible that it will return.


Nutrients

Unsaturated fatty acids (primrose oil), 1 capsule 3 times per day, important to all skin disorders, it aids in preventing dryness. Proteolytic enzymes, taken between meals, stimulates protein synthesis and repair. Vitamin A emulsion, 50,000 IU (or capsules). is essential for healthy skin and nails. Vitamin B complex, 50 mg. 3 times per day, is necessary in all cellular functions, is an antistress vitamin and helps to maintain healthy skin. Vitamin C, 2,000-10,000 mg. per day, is important for collagen and connective tissue. Vitamin D, 400-1,000 IU per day, is needed for healing of skin and for calcium uptake. Vitamin E emulsion, taken as directed on the label, neutralizes free radicals that damage the skin. Kelp, 5 tablets per day, supplies balanced minerals and is a good source of iodine. Zinc, 50-100 mg. per day, metabolism of protein (needed for healing). Lecithin, 2 capsules per day, protects the cells. Multivitamin and mineral complex with magnesium and calcium chelate, taken as directed on the label, is needed for basic vitamins and minerals.


Herbs

  • TB
    • Beech
    • Bittersweet
    • Blackberry
    • Bloodroot
    • Buckthorn
    • Burdock seed
    • Chaparral
    • Chickweed
    • Cleavers
    • Clover, red
    • Dandelion
    • Dock, yellow
    • Elder
    • Figwort
    • Flag, blue
    • Flaxseed
    • Ginger
    • Goldenseal
    • Gotu kola
    • Hyssop
    • Lavender
    • Licorice
    • Lobelia
    • Magnolia
    • Oregon grape, wild
    • Parsnip, cow
    • Parsnip, wild
    • Pennyroyal
    • Plantain
    • Poke root
    • Primrose oil
    • Prince's pine
    • Psoralea seeds
    • Red root
    • Rock rose
    • Saffron
    • Sarsaparilla
    • Sassafras
    • Sesame seeds
    • Sicklepod
    • Soapweed
    • Sorrel
    • Soybean
    • Spikenard
    • Stillingia
    • Thuja
    • Turkey corn
    • Vervain
    • Violet, blue
    • Wintergreen
    • Yam, wild


    Recommendations

    Avoid fats (milk, cream, butter, eggs), sugar, processed foods, white flour, and citrus fruits. Fish oil or primrose oil interferes with the production and storage of arachidonic acid (AA), a natural inflammatory substance that makes the lesions of psoriasis turn red and swell. Avoid red meat and dairy products because the contain AA.

    Eat a 50% raw food diet. Oils made from sesame seeds, flaxseed, or soybeans are important. Fish should be added to the diet.

    Apply sea water with cotton several times a day to affected areas. If a tar shampoo is prescribed, do not use for a long period of time. Add 2 tsp. of ginger to bath water.

    General and nonspecific measures are utilized to give comfort to the patient as well as to help control the disease. Methotrexate is the drug of choice in severe psoriasis not controlled by the usual nonspecific topical agents.


    Suggestions

    The freezing of moderate sized psoriasis lesions using liquid nitrogen is being tested, with good results. Moderate sunlight also usually helps.

    Long-wave ultraviolet light (UVA) has been effectively used to treat psoriasis, but skin cancer may be a side effect.

    The unsaturated fatty acids have been tested among patients suffering from psoriasis and showed a low level of these acids in the blood. When the oils were added to the diet, there was a prompt reduction in the skin disease.


    Cautions

    It is essential to monitor renal, hepatic, and hematologic function when this drug (Methotrexate) is used.

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