The Psoriasis Diet

fresh fish with lemon( — Psoriasis can be a very troublesome, even painful, skin disease. In order to combat the condition and its symptoms, many people opt to subscribe to a psoriasis diet. Such a psoriasis treatment is generally focused around a gluten-free diet high in vegetables, fruits, and proteins.

Doctors believe some foods may worsen symptoms or trigger flare-ups, and some foods that could actually serve as psoriasis treatments to help your body better respond to the disease. But not much scientific proof is available to back up any of these theories.

Here are some foods suspected of being able to influence psoriasis for the better and for the worse.

Foods That May Worsen Symptoms

You may want to consider eliminating or reducing these foods in your diet:

•    Wheat gluten and yeast. Some of the strongest scientific evidence linking psoriasis to diet involves the role of gluten in the disease. Recent studies have found a potential association between celiac disease and psoriasis.
•    The evidence surrounding gluten intolerance has led many to suspect that yeast intolerance also might play a factor in psoriasis, particularly the type of yeast known as candida. While research has linked candida infection with a worsening of psoriasis symptoms, there have been no studies that directly suggest that yeast intolerance plays a role in psoriasis.
•    Alcohol. Another well-known trigger for psoriasis is alcohol, which tends to dilate the blood vessels.
•    Fatty red meat and dairy. Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease, so it makes sense to avoid foods that prompt an inflammatory response. Fatty red meats are known to increase inflammation, as are whole milk and other high-fat dairy products.

Foods That May Help Symptoms

These foods may be added to improve your diet:

•    Fish. Oily fish such as salmon and tuna contain plentiful amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been scientifically proven to help reduce inflammation. Fish also contains large amounts of vitamins A and D, both of which are important nutrients for skin growth.
•    Vegetables and fruits. Vegetables like broccoli and spinach are also a good source of vitamins as well as other key nutrients for skin development. Colorful vegetables are also loaded with antioxidants, which are believed to help reduce inflammation.
•    Herbs. A number of herbs are believed to be effective psoriasis treatments, including burdock root and oregano oil (which are eaten) and cayenne, Oregon grape, avocado oil, and aloe vera (which are rubbed on the skin in cream form).

Extreme Psoriasis Diets

While food may help your symptoms, you need to avoid fad diets that ask you to take extreme measures. These diets are likely to harm your health by robbing you of important nutrients while providing minimal relief for psoriasis.
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Caring For And Treating Nail Psoriasis

manicured hands( — You may know that psoriasis is a condition that affects the skin, but what about the nails? Nail psoriasis is the term for the changes in your fingernails and toenails that occur as a result of having psoriasis. Up to half of all people who have psoriasis will have nail psoriasis as well.

While it’s not a life-threatening condition, nail psoriasis can affect your quality of life, since it may cause you discomfort and affect your self-esteem, and it may also put you at greater risk of developing psoriatic arthritis. Although it cannot be cured, nail psoriasis can be helped with treatment.

Nail psoriasis occurs because psoriasis affects the process of nail formation. People who have nail psoriasis usually have psoriasis on other parts of their body, such as the skin and joints. Rarely does someone have only psoriasis of the nails.

Symptoms of nail psoriasis vary but may include:

• Discoloration of the nail to yellow-brown
• Pitting (holes) in the surface of the nails
• Horizontal lines across the nails
• White patches on the nails
• Thickening of the nails
• Nails that separate from the nail bed

Treatment Options

Your treatment will depend on the type of nail psoriasis you have and how severe it is. If you have psoriasis that affects other parts of your body, the treatments your doctor recommends to alleviate those symptoms may also help your nail psoriasis.

Other options for nail psoriasis include:

• Topical treatments—These medications are applied to the nails:

o Dovonex (calcipotriene): a form of synthetic vitamin D3 that can slow cell growth
o High-potency corticosteroids: anti-inflammatory medications that can be applied to the nails temporarily
o Cordran (flurandrenolide): a steroid medication that is in the form of a tape that can be applied to the nails
o 5-fluroruracil cream: a topical treatment that often helps with nail pitting
o Tazorac (tazarotene): a topical medication that can slow cell growth

• Corticosteroid injections—In some cases, having steroid medications injected into your nail bed or matrix can temporarily improve nail psoriasis symptoms.

• Phototherapy. A type of phototherapy known as PUVA (psoralen and ultraviolet light A) uses UVA light plus a light-sensitizing medication called psoralen. When your skin or nails are sensitized to UVA rays, excessive cell production can be slowed. PUVA for nail psoriasis may involve taking psoralen orally or painting it onto the nails before UVA treatment.

• Cosmetic nail repair. Sometimes surgery or the application of a urea compound is necessary to remove deformed nails. In cases where nails are excessively thick and long, they can be filed down. If nails are discolored or otherwise cosmetically deformed, the deformity can be covered up with nail polish or artificial nails. And pitted nails can be buffed and polished.

Maintaining Good Nail Shape

In addition to following your doctor’s recommendations involving treatment for nail psoriasis, there are other ways to take care of your nails:

• Keep your nails trimmed as short as possible.
• Wear gloves when you’re working with your hands.
• Wear shoes with plenty of room in them.
• Avoid scrubbing or scraping underneath your nails.
• Use gentle nail-cleaning tools.
• Soak your nails in tar bath oil mixed with water, then apply nail moisturizer.
• If your nails are intact, consider using a nail hardener to improve their appearance.

Taking good care of your nails can minimize the effects of psoriasis-associated nail changes.