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.
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,
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.
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.
- Burdock seed
- Clover, red
- Dock, yellow
- Flag, blue
- Gotu kola
- Oregon grape, wild
- Parsnip, cow
- Parsnip, wild
- Poke root
- Primrose oil
- Prince's pine
- Psoralea seeds
- Red root
- Rock rose
- Sesame seeds
- Turkey corn
- Violet, blue
- Yam, wild
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.
The freezing of moderate sized psoriasis lesions using liquid nitrogen
is being tested, with good results. Moderate sunlight also usually
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.
It is essential to monitor renal, hepatic, and hematologic function
when this drug (Methotrexate) is used.