Psoriasis as an autoimmune disease
Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory, non-contagious skin disease. In Germany alone, around 1.6 million people suffer from it, including probably 200,000 children and young people. Psoriasis occurs in flare-ups, can start at any age and is an autoimmune disease. Affected people try to hide the visible symptoms and, last but not least, suffer psychologically from the illness. Psoriasis is currently considered incurable. A small ray of hope: in rare individual cases, psoriasis can regress completely over the years - without us knowing why..
Symptoms of psoriasis
In psoriasis, the immune system attacks the body's own skin cells and destroys them. While the top layer of skin (epidermis) is normally renewed every 4 weeks, this process of skin renewal in psoriasis rapidly accelerates within only 3 to 4 days. Instead of a normal horny layer, the epidermis forms inflammatory, reddened, often itchy, scaly areas. In principle, psoriasis can occur in any area of the body. Hands and feet, knees, elbows, fingernails and toenails as well as the scalp can be particularly affected by strong inflammatory processes and painful crust formation.
Causes pf psoriasis
As with other autoimmune diseases, the exact causes of psoriasis are not known. Psoriasis is often hereditary. One in 3 persons with psoriasis has a close relative who is also affected. Emotions play a major role: A sudden traumatic experience can trigger or worsen psoriasis as can psychological stress. Existing underlying diseases such as obesity or an unhealthy lifestyle can also promote psoriasis.
In conventional medicine, psoriasis is usually treated externally with salicylic acid, ointments containing tar and cortisone preparations (glucocorticoids). These therapies can sometimes temporarily suppress the excruciating symptoms of psoriasis, but they have significant side effects.
The often recommended salicylic acid counteracts the inflammatory skin reactions and loosens the scales, but with long-term use salicylic acid is toxic and damages the skin tissue. Long-term tar ointments are even considered carcinogenic. Regular use of cortisone also has significant side effects. These can be water retention, rise in blood pressure, thinned skin, osteoporosis, high blood sugar or immune deficiency. Urea as a further active component in ointments or creams does not prove to be helpful for psoriasis if used for a long time. Although urea binds a lot of moisture, it also irritates the inflamed, already heavily stressed and overreactive psoriasis skin. Urea also weakens the skin's own protective acid mantle as an essential component of the skin's barrier.
Light therapy (PUVA) - in combination with the drug Psolaren – treats the diseased skin areas with UV-A radiation. As an undesirable side effect, PUVA therapy makes the skin oversensitive to sunburn. A generally increased sensitivity to light, pigmentation disorders, skin thickening and an increased risk of skin cancer are further possible consequences.
What you can do yourselfThere are a number of things you can do to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis yourself - apart from medication and without side effects. The following tips cannot be the only solution, but they are important components of a holistic approach.
Strengthening the immune system
Psoriasis is often associated with gut problems. The intestines are mainly responsible for our immune system functioning. If our intestinal defense system is overcharged, the risk of a psoriasis flare up increases. Getting a healthy intestinal flora is essential therefore.
An unhealthy diet with denatured foods, acid builders and food additives is likely to promote psoriasis flare-ups. Better eat a wholesome diet. Prefer oils with polyunsaturated lipid acids such as hemp, linseed or walnut oil. You can best use them in salads or as a dietary supplement..
Develop strategies on how to avoid unnecessary stress, as stress is known as a strong relapsing factor. Yoga exercises, progressive muscle relaxation or exercises of mindfulness are suitable for relaxation. But it is just as important being aware of the positive in all the adversities of everyday life. Turn back your perfectionism, maintain social contacts, do regular sports and exercise a lot outdoor in fresh air.
The right skin care
Psoriasis skin is extremely dry and sensitive. It needs skin care stabilizing the protective barrier and providing additional moisture. The myrto organic Face Balm Amaranth with shea butter, evening primrose, and amaranth seed oil is particularly recommended, as well the myrto organic argan facial care with the anti-inflammatory natural ingredient beta-glucan and powerful moisturizers such as hyaluronic acid, betaine or aloe vera.
If psoriasis also spreads to the scalp, the myrto organic dandruff shampoo is recommended. In addition to the extremely skin-friendly, active washing amino acids, it contains a purely herbal lactylate complex. This is not only effective against the scalp fungus Malassezia Furfur, but has also proven itself in psoriasis. The myrto organic scalp treatment provides additional moisture for the scalp and helps soothing the inflamed areas.
Avoid mechanical peelings and facial cleansers with surfactants. In general, your skin care routine should only have a few, but high-quality natural ingredients. Your cosmetics should be free from fragrances, alcohol, preservatives and emulsifiers. As already mentioned, there is no single cure for psoriasis. With a holistic approach, however, you can manage the symptoms. Both your body and your skin will thank you as your lifestyle, skin care and diet improve.