One thing that has been plaguing me for a while now is psoriasis. I was first diagnosed when I was 12, and was told it would get worse with age. Boy, were they not kidding. However, I think I found a few things that definitely help in my situation.
And no, it has nothing to do with medications.
What is Plaque Psoriasis?
Psoriasis essentially accelerates the growth cycle of skin to the point where there becomes a buildup of dead cells. These rest on a red patch of skin referred to as a “plaque” covered with the white build-up of those dead cells.
These are often viewed as, and called, “scales.”
It’s not overly deadly. However, those afflicted are more susceptible to other autoimmune disorders, heart disease, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
There’s no real immediate danger if you have psoriasis. Though, there have been times when the skin flaking resulted in a slight infection due to splits in the skin. Much like getting a cut on your finger and not treating it properly.
There is no cure for psoriasis, and it can come and go depending on environmental situations, stress, or allergies.
In my late 30s, I used to develop large “scales” on my toes and feet. My ex could peel them off in thick chunks. On the upside, once the city installed a new water treatment plant, the foot scales went away.
In my case of psoriasis, I am highly affected by hard water.
What Has Helped Me in Treating Psoriasis
So, the following isn’t based on the most scientific of evidence. It’s all centered around my own experience with psoriasis and what has helped. But, I did find quite a bit when it comes to supporting claims.
As everyone has a different experience with this ailment, it’s my hope that something which helps me may help you.
So, what has helped in treating my version of psoriasis?
Reducing Dairy Intake
I find having less dairy in my daily diet seems to do wonders against inflammations and tiny blisters. This is incredibly sad because I love ice cream far more than I should.
When I have too much dairy, my fingers and feet tend to break out in scales and blisters far more often. And from what I can tell, this is the only food type I need to be aware of.
Nothing else seems to affect me in such a manner. And I’ve changed up my diet quite a bit over the last few years.
If you are curious if your diet is causing psoriasis to flare up, try recording every morsel of food you eat in MyFitnessPal. It’s a free app that lets you keep track of all your food intake. This way, you can see if something you ate recently is causing skin irritations.
You may have an allergy you’re not aware of.
Another aspect that helps decrease my experiences with psoriasis is by keeping the humidity up. I find I am far better if the humidity levels are at or above the 60% mark.
Unfortunately, Colorado isn’t known for its humidity. So, I have a couple of humidifiers that tend to do very well…especially in my new house.
This is fine for me because I love humid climates. However, I know a lot of people who would rather it be dry. If you’re in this category, then you might want to seek alternatives.
But in my case, raising the level of humidity does amazing for plaque psoriasis flare-ups.
Now, I added a question mark onto this one because I’m not really sure if it’s helping or not. After all, I’m already avoiding high-levels of dairy and keeping it humid.
Still, collagen is good for the skin, among other parts of your body.
There have been some studies to show a positive effect for using collagen supplements to offset psoriasis. But, I’m finding it difficult to identify anything definitive. At least from a scientific perspective.
Lots of people claim how collagen works great for treating psoriasis. And based on what collagen does, there may be some facts to the claim.
I just wish there was a definitive study to show if it truly helps or not. If you know of one, please feel free to let me know.
The Difference in Water
Like I mentioned above, the difference in water was almost an instant change. Within a week of the city of Sterling activating the new water facility, my foot scales went away.
And, I found further improvement with the soft water I was using to shower in Los Angeles. This leads me to believe that hard water has caused a lot of my issues with psoriasis over the years.
According to Kinetico Water Systems, harmful minerals in hard water can lead to flareups of psoriasis. Since hard water does cause many people’s skin to dry out, there is probably a great deal of truth to the claim.
I know it is in my case.
My First Experience with Greatly Reducing Psoriasis
Prior to moving to Los Angeles at the end of 2016, the difference in water that I mentioned above all but relieved the immense scaling that I had going on my feet. Instead of massive scales that could be peeled up, it reduced to just a bit of thin flaky skin.
Then, once I moved to LA, my body underwent a massive change. All of the psoriasis I was having issues with slowly disappeared. In fact, my inner ear canal, one area that plagues me with psoriasis, started healing up.
The only difference to my lifestyle after moving was the humidity increase and all but removing dairy completely from my diet. That’s because I had to walk everywhere and only carried groceries that would sustain prolonged exposure to heat.
In other words, I never bought milk, ice cream, or cheese.
By the time I was moving back to Colorado, most symptoms of plaque psoriasis were gone. It was a very comfortable six months.
However, I am still experiencing various outbreaks in my ears, on my hands, and a slight bit on my feet. It’s not anywhere near what it used to be, but it’s still causing issues.
So, lately, I’ve been going back to recreating my lifestyle when I lived in LA. That includes the humidifiers and lack of dairy. Living on almond milk isn’t bad, really. In fact, I kind of like it with certain foods I make.
But, like I said in the beginning, this is what is working for me. I don’t use medications or go to extreme measures. I just try to keep it a bit humid in the house while consuming less lactose.
You may experience a different version of the disease.
How Are You Treating Psoriasis?
After looking online, there are numerous ways to treat plaque psoriasis. Unfortunately, a large portion of these methods do not work for me. However, the reduced milk, humidity levels, and possible collagen seem to be working very well.
It’s been a very long time since half my hand was covered in scales. Which is a bit embarrassing when you’re trying to meet new people.
What things have you tried in the past, and how well do these treatments work? I’d love to hear from you.