Category: Eczema

The 411 On Psoriasis And Pregnancy

Psoriasis and pregnancy is a concern whether a woman is planning a pregnancy, currently pregnant and even after a pregnancy when she is breastfeeding. The main concern relates to treatment methods used for psoriasis and how they will affect women in these three stages.

Psoriasis Treatment Methods and Pregnancy

As far as psoriasis and pregnancy is concerned, evaluating the medications being used is important if you are planning on getting pregnant in the near future, are pregnant or are breastfeeding. An evaluation of the treatment methods for psoriasis is important because some medications used for the treatment of lesions can negatively impact a baby.

If you are on medication for psoriasis, it is important to talk to your dermatologist or obstetrician to first make sure that none of your medications will interfere with conception if planning to get pregnant. Secondly, you want to make sure that none of the medications will interfere with the healthy growth of the fetus in the womb and also that if you breastfeed that the medications do not transfer to the baby through breast milk.

Systemic vs. Topical Medications

Topical treatments for psoriasis are applied directly to the skin and are usually the first step in psoriasis treatment and are usually recommended for mild cases of psoriasis. Topical medications usually have fewer side effects than systemic medications and generally do not pose any risk to those wanting to get pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding.

They may only be a problem if they are applied to large areas of the body or are used very frequently. This can cause these topical medications to be absorbed into the skin where they will be transferred to the bloodstream where they can have adverse effects as far as psoriasis and pregnancy are concerned. This is especially true of topically applied steroids and vitamin A derivatives (tazarotene for example.)

Systemic treatments for psoriasis are either taken orally (tablets/pills) or injected into the skin or the muscle. Since these directly enter the body’s circulatory system, they can pose various risks for women planning a pregnancy, already pregnant or breastfeeding as discussed below.

Planning a Pregnancy?

Certain medications when taken orally with an injection can remain in your system for a number of months or years so these should be avoided for at least 3 years before you start planning to get pregnant as they can not only interfere with your ability to get pregnant but can also cause birth defects even after not using the medications for years.

While psoriasis and pregnancy is mainly a concern for women with psoriasis, some medications such as methotrexate can also affect men’s sperm and should be stopped at least 6 months before conception attempts begin.

Some medications leave the body after a single menstrual cycle such as acitretin but many remain in the body for months or years and include certain vitamin A derivations as well as steroids (tazarotene, methotrexate, isotretinoin, etc). An alternative is to simply avoid all systemic medication until after closing the door on future pregnancy.

Psoriasis and Pregnancy

One benefit of pregnancy for many women with psoriasis is that they may discover that their psoriasis symptoms lessen during pregnancy. This is because of the mild immune suppression which normally occurs in pregnancy in order to protect the baby which can also lead to decreased severity of psoriasis symptoms as well as other immune related conditions.

In addition, pregnant women may find that medications they use during the pregnancy may need to be altered as their response to treatment they usually used prior to the pregnancy may change during pregnancy.

If you are using any doctor approved medications to treat psoriasis during the pregnancy especially if you have severe psoriasis, it is important to be diligent about reducing the chance of birth defects by taking your multivitamins as well as folate supplements and being mindful of following proper nutrition practices and prenatal care. Any medications usually state on the packaging or the insert whether they are safe for pregnant women.

When Breastfeeding

Compared to pregnancy dangers when medications can be transferred to the baby through the placenta, when breastfeeding, medications used can be transferred through breast milk so this is definitely something to consider with systemic psoriasis treatment.

Best Tips On How To Cure Psoriasis From The Inside

Psoriasis is a disease that is difficult to treat because it is still not very well understood. Despite this, there are many treatment therapies that have been developed despite there currently being no “cure” yet. There are also various natural psoriasis treatments that have proven to be very effective for many psoriasis sufferers to keep flare-ups at bay. One of those is to use diet which many believe is one of the best ways on how to cure psoriasis from the inside out.

How to Cure Psoriasis from the Inside

Using food is an essential part of not only promoting general health and wellbeing but is also important to prevent various diseases and conditions. This is because various foods contain essential vitamins and minerals that boost the immune system and in addition for psoriasis, have various skin healing properties.

Using the right foods is important. Especially those that are organic and free of chemicals and antibiotics as well as saturated and trans fats.

Though many doctors may not believe that a healthy diet alone will cure psoriasis, they do believe that if making certain dietary changes provides some benefits, there is no harm is following a diet for psoriasis. Especially in the current absence of a psoriasis cure which makes it crucial to try various remedies to see whether they will work for you that are both conventional and unconventional.

Following the theme of using natural remedies that may work to heal your skin from the scourge of psoriasis, here are some of the best tips on how to cure psoriasis from the inside out;

1. Turmeric

One of the top recommended remedies on how to cure psoriasis from the inside AND outside is turmeric. This is a spice that is native to India where it has long been used in the ancient traditional healing practice of Ayurveda in addition to its common use in various culinary dishes as it gives curry its yellow color.

There are many seemingly unbelievable stories from various people that have used turmeric for various diseases and conditions including psoriasis touting this spice’s benefits for healing. So if you are struggling with psoriasis, you may want to give turmeric a try.

The active ingredient that is believed to be responsible for turmeric’s healing properties is curcumin.

Curcumin is a very rich source of antioxidants which help to prevent the activity of free radicals in the body. Free radicals represent oxygen molecules that cause harm in the body by damaging healthy cells as a way for them to live and thrive in the body. The damage may increase the risk of developing various diseases and conditions including various cancers, arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as psoriasis.

Turmeric helps to reduce inflammation in the body which is why it is believed to be one of the most effective remedies for psoriasis whose development is considered among various other reasons also related to the level of inflammation in the body.

As mentioned earlier, turmeric can be taken internally as well as applied externally to the psoriasis lesions. Either method or both is said to be effective. For internal benefits, turmeric can be added to any food or drink e.g. to stews, cereals, oatmeal, salads, stir-fries, to smoothies, green juices, etc.

To apply turmeric topically, make a paste with the turmeric and apply to the lesions and cover with a plastic wrap or adhesive and leave for a few hours or overnight and wash off. When used topically, depending on your skin tone, you may notice a yellow caste especially if you are very pale which will dissipate eventually.

2. Cold-water fish

Another of the top tips on how to cure psoriasis from the inside out is related to a discovery by researchers that certain deep sea cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel and herring when consumed by people with psoriasis, reported a reduction in their various symptoms of psoriasis.

While it is not very well understood why these oily fish are healing for the body and skin, it is believed that the omega-3 fatty acids that they contain are responsible.

Omega-3s seem to be able to reduce the amount of certain compounds in the body – leukotrients and prostaglandins – that cause skin inflammation. Salmon has an especially high amount of omega-3s but the other oily fish previously mentioned are also beneficial. It is recommended that you eat 3 to 4 ounces of these oily fish per week.

If you prefer omega-3 supplements, the recommended daily amount is about 3 grams. Be sure that the omega-3 supplements you use contain EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which are long chain fatty acids that are especially beneficial for various skin conditions including psoriasis.

Do not overdo the consumption of these oily fish or omega-3 supplements because high doses of fish oils can affect the body’s blood clotting mechanism so check with your doctor to make sure that the regimen you follow is within safe limits.

3. Beta carotene

While it is highly recommended to cure psoriasis from the inside by consuming more fruits and vegetables, certain vegetables rank a little higher. These are vegetables and fruits that contain beta-carotene such as tomatoes, carrots, spinach, cantaloupe, beet greens, winter squash, sweet potatoes, etc. Any colorful fruit or vegetable usually obtains its color from beta-carotene.

Research has shown that those who ate at least seven servings of tomatoes were able to reduce their risk of developing psoriasis by a whopping 60 percent! For carrots, the reduction in risk was still high at 40 percent and the same for fruit consumption at 50 percent.

Beta-carotene as well as vitamins C and E that these vegetables and fruits contain provide antioxidant activity in the body in addition to helping boost the immune system so that it is better equipped to fight off disease as well as to improve skin. Beta-carotene in particular is converted into vitamin A which along with vitamin E are known as the skin vitamins as they help to maintain the tissues that make up the skin.

4. Low-calorie diets

These are beneficial especially if you are overweight. Obesity is a factor in how you will respond to psoriasis treatment and the severity of symptoms of psoriasis that you will develop. It has been noted that people with psoriasis who are obese take longer to respond to treatment and psoriasis lesions return more quickly after treatment is stopped.

Following a low calorie diet does not mean starving yourself. It means making better choices with food and avoiding high calorie foods such as fast food, various processed foods, fried foods, etc.

5. Mediterranean diet

There are many diets that are followed around the world that seem to present no health problems for the people who follow them around the world. The only diet that has been shown to increase the risk of developing various diseases and conditions is the Western diet, so any move away from this diet can be beneficial for your health.

One of the most recommended diets which is one of the best ways on how to cure psoriasis from the inside out is the Mediterranean diet. This is one of the most complete diets that will provide you with most if not all of the nutrients you need every day. The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet arise because of its focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, chicken and olive oil all of which are foods that are beneficial for the body and can help heal skin.

Important Lifestyle Changes And Home Remedies for Psoriasis

Fighting psoriasis can be a lifelong battle to find the right cure for psoriasis for you and one of the ways to fight psoriasis is to make important lifestyle changes as well as use home remedies for psoriasis. It is important to not lose hope in the fight against psoriasis which can happen after trying various approaches that may have worked for someone else but fail to work for you. You just need to keep experimenting until you find the right psoriasis treatment that works for you.

Why Make Lifestyle Changes and Implement Home Remedies For Psoriasis

Dealing with psoriasis symptoms can be quite challenging. While there is no psoriasis cure, they are various habits that you can adopt that will help you to prevent psoriasis flare-ups or deal with the various psoriasis symptoms. While there are many medications, gels, lotions, etc, that can be prescribed or available over the counter, taking an inside out approach to fighting psoriasis by making lifestyle changes and experimenting with various home remedies for psoriasis is probably the best psoriasis treatment.

Over time, these various psoriasis medications, gels and creams can cost a lot of money and still leave you with a feeling of being powerless over this chronic skin condition. Making important lifestyle changes and experimenting with home remedies for psoriasis is a proactive approach to treating psoriasis and gives you a sense of power over this disease. It means that you are not going to take this disease lying down but will fight every step of the way until you find the important changes you need to make in your life and the home remedies for psoriasis that will control the flare-ups and eliminate the symptoms of psoriasis. Making these changes in also relatively inexpensive and can in some cases help you save money that you are currently spending on bad habits.

Making lifestyle changes can be difficult as we all know. We are creatures of habit and changing a habit can be one of the hardest things to do in life. When you are suffering from a chronic condition such as psoriasis, it makes it doubly important to make the lifestyle changes as one of the important ways to bring your psoriasis under control.

Important Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies To Make

  • Diet Changes

Diet changes are one crucial area to help you not only lose weight and promote a healthier body but rid your body of various toxins that may be aggravating your disease. Start to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains and less processed foods, less sodium, sugars and the bad fats such as saturated fats. Monitoring your cholesterol levels is also very important.

  • Alcohol

One of the triggers for your psoriasis may be your alcohol intake. If you are suffering from frequent psoriasis outbreaks, consider eliminating alcohol or reducing the amount of alcohol you consume and then determine whether there is any difference in the flare-ups and frequency.

  • Smoking

For overall health and wellbeing and not just for psoriasis prevention, smoking should be eliminated. Being a smoker is one of the behaviors that may actually increase your chances of developing psoriasis in the first place and once you develop psoriasis, can increase the severity and frequency of the psoriasis flare-ups. While eliminating this behavior may be difficult when started, there are many smoking cessation programs that you can implement to help you quit this bad habit. This habit is also expensive and eliminating it will help you save money that you can use is more positive ways.

  • Stress Reduction

Stress and anxiety has been identified as triggers for psoriasis flare-ups and being able to reduce the amount of stress is one of the best treatments for psoriasis. Stress leads to many health problems besides increasing the chance of a psoriasis outbreak. In order to maintain optimal health and reduce or eliminate the symptoms of psoriasis, you need to implement a stress management system.

There are many home remedies for psoriasis related to this area of stress management that you can implement including exercising, taking time to relax or read a book, taking an aromatherapy bath infused with essential oils that contain relaxing properties such the lavender essential oil, drinking a cup of herbal tea, and many other stress relieving activities that work for you.

  • Sunlight

While sunlight is important for psoriasis sufferers as it helps to heal psoriasis lesions, spending too much time in the sun can lead to leathery skin, premature aging, age spots as well as skin cancer. While spending some time in the sun daily is one of the most important home remedies for psoriasis, only spend a few minutes in the sun in the morning and evening so that you only suffer minimal side effects from exposure to the sun. Or you can use sunscreen to cover your unaffected skin while leaving the psoriasis affected areas bare if you wish to spend more time in the sun.

  • Calendula Oil

This oil is one of the best oils and one of the best home remedies for psoriasis that a sufferer should attempt to use daily. One of the important lifestyle changes if not already a part of your life is to ensure that the skin is always moisturized at all times. Dry skin triggers psoriasis breakouts. Using oil that is infused with calendula is not only moisturizing but soothing as well. Calendula contains many anti-inflammatory properties that are important for psoriatic skin and can also help relieve pain and itching. There are many recipes for home remedies for psoriasis using calendula oil that you can find online and offline to help with psoriasis symptoms.


Natural Ways To Treat Baby’s Eczema

Eczema is a common skin condition in babies usually developing around two and six months. The condition can, however appear at any other given age and it is characterized by dry, itchy red patches that can be very uncomfortable for the baby. A baby should naturally have silky smooth skin that is healthy, but a number of babies do not enjoy this as a result of the eczema. There are of course many medications including topical creams out there designed to treat the skin condition, but natural methods are best and there are a number of natural methods you can use to treat your baby’s skin and soothe it.

Use pressed oil

Sunflower and coconut oils make the best oil remedies for eczema in babies. Coconut moisturizes the skin and has antibacterial properties that help reduce eczema and the risks of the condition. The sunflower oil, on the other hand is rich in fatty acids that are helpful in treating the condition. It improves the barrier function of baby’s skin and keeps it moisturized thus improving the condition greatly. The pressed oil of sunflower or coconut can be massaged on the baby’s skin daily to help treat eczema and keep the skin moisturized to minimize the risks.

Use oatmeal baths

Ground oats are very effective in relieving skin irritations and they also help in relieving itching that is associated with eczema. You can use baths to reduce inflammation and to also normalize skin pH. A simple way of using this natural treatment is to take a handful of colloidal oatmeal in a sock and then hold under running bath water. The water should be milky in appearance before you give the baby a bath in the water. The oatmeal in the sock can also be secured and left in the bath water. Regular baths will fetch you desired skin results.

Use breathable light fabrics

Overheating is among the factors that contribute to eczema and it is therefore important to ensure that you choose breathable and lightweight fabrics that keep your baby warm, but at the same time allow proper circulation to avoid the development or worsening of eczema. It is actually a good idea to choose organic fabrics when buying your baby clothes because they do not have any irritating chemicals that could give rise to eczema.

Use natural baby products

A nice smelling baby is very appealing, but this does not mean putting the health of your baby at risk. To treat eczema, you should avoid topical baby products that contain irritants and harsh chemicals for that matter. Such products will only worsen the condition and its best that you settle for natural baby products that are mild and gentle on the skin. Some products containing lavender oil and colloidal oatmeal can be very good in treating the skin condition. Be careful with the creams and moisturizers you choose for the baby so you can get natural ingredients that will help treat the condition and maintain the healthy baby skin.

What Is Plaque Psoriasis and How Is It Treated?

Plaque-type psoriasis or plaque psoriasis is the most common type of psoriasis an individual can have. In fact, up to 80-90 percent of psoriasis cases are represented by plaque psoriasis. It involves discreet plaques of red skin with silvery thickened dead skin cells overlying the redness. The most common parts of the body affected by plaque psoriasis are the elbows and the knees (on the outer aspect). Plaque psoriasis is not catchy; instead, it is an autoimmune disease that has hereditary implications.

Plaque psoriasis can affect the skin and also affects the emotional life of the affected individual. Because it is unsightly, people with plaque psoriasis feel like pariahs and are reluctant to get near people or develop relationships for fear of getting ostracized for their appearance. The lesions can flake off and look like dandruff, which is embarrassing for the individual who often wants nothing more than to be accepted by others.

There are fortunately treatments for plaque psoriasis, much of which involves the use of topical agents. Topical coal tar preparations can be used for the scalp, face and other body parts. It works well but unfortunately stains clothing and stinks. For this reason, most people use it at night and cover the areas with old clothes and socks. The coal tar is washed off in the morning and when one shampoos with coal tar shampoo, it is left on for ten minutes after which nice smelling shampoo or conditioner is used in order to cover up the smell.

Psoriasis patients with plaque psoriasis often use topical steroid cream. Doctors prescribe strong topical creams and gels, and patients apply them during the day to reduce the inflammation of the psoriatic lesions. Topical steroid cream is safe and easy to use but can cause systemic effects if used on really damaged skin and in high potencies.

Other treatments for plaque psoriasis include topical calcipotriol cream, which is a derivative of vitamin D3. Another similar treatment is called topical tacalcitol. These can be slightly irritating to the skin but work very well to reduce the inflammation of plaque psoriasis. Derivatives of Vitamin A include Accutane and other retinoids which are often used along with light therapy.

PUVA stands for psoralen plus UVA therapy. This involves taking a medicine that sensitizes you to UVA light and then using light therapy every few days to expose the affected skin to UVA light. It works well and the only real risks are that of becoming sunburned or the distant risk of having skin cancer later in life. PUVA therapy and UVB therapy are also limited to those who can get to the dermatologist’s office often enough to make the therapy work. Exposure to sunlight works but is not as good of a treatment in places where there are a lot of cloudy days.

Biologics are excellent therapy for plaque type psoriasis, especially if it is severe or moderately severe. It involves injections of medications like Enbrel and Humira that are given every other week for up to three months. After the injections work for the psoriasis, many people are happy with the results and can stop the injections for several months after that. These medications work on the immune system to block the immune response in plaque psoriasis.