Related to the immune system, psoriasis is a condition that causes raised red, scaly, and often itchy or painful patches to appear on the surface of the skin. Although it commonly affects the elbows, scalp, and knee areas, it can appear across the body. Scientists are still unsure what causes psoriasis, but the immune system and genetics are believed to play a significant role. A recent study published in Dermatologic Therapy suggests that diet and nutrition are also influential in the disease’s development.
Reducing Alcohol Consumption
An excess of alcohol consumption can have a number of negative results, but many experts believe it can also exacerbate symptoms of psoriasis. Some studies have even shown that men who consume alcohol respond more poorly to psoriasis treatments. Additionally, some medications used to treat psoriasis, such as methotrexate and acitretin, should not be taken while consuming alcohol.
Because psoriasis is related to the immune system as well as one’s hormones, inflammation plays a key role. Although the research is limited, many have found success fighting psoriasis with an anti-inflammation diet. This diet, which is healthy by any standard, consists largely of fruits and vegetables, omega-3 rich fish, nuts, and seeds, herbs like sage, thyme, cumin, and ginger that are rich in antioxidants, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocados. This diet also calls for the elimination of foods that can lead to increased inflammation, including processed and fried foods, refined sugar, red meat, and dairy. Other diets that respondents in the study found to be effective included paleo, vegan, and gluten-free options. It is important for patients with psoriasis to work with their doctor to try a diet that may work best for their lifestyle.
Finally, many find success fighting psoriasis simply by losing weight to achieve a healthy BMI. In fact, individuals with a BMI that falls into the overweight or obese category have a greater chance of developing psoriasis, and they may also suffer from more intense symptoms. Weight loss can be achieved by reducing portion sizes, reducing intake of processed carbs and fats, or even by adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet.
Although the links between psoriasis and the diet aren’t scientifically proven yet, many anecdotal experiences suggest a healthy diet can combat the disease. For more information about psoriasis treatment or addressing psoriasis scars with our cosmetic treatments, schedule an appointment with our doctors at The Dermatology Clinic by calling (225) 769-7546 today!