Psoriasis is a skin disease that causes painful flareups of dry and flaky skin. These flareups occur due to the over-producing and shedding of skin cells. Psoriasis can be diagnosed by a dermatologist upon physical examination or biopsy.
Although psoriasis has no cure as of now, there are several ways that it can be treated and managed. People with psoriasis might look to topical treatments, light therapy, and oral or injected medications.
Because psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, it’s important to maintain your overall health to limit inflammatory triggers. Monitoring the variety and dosage of vitamins in your diet is a good way to understand your overall health.
While no evidence suggests that increasing vitamin intake will cure psoriasis, some studies show that adding vitamins on top of other treatments can relieve symptoms.
There can be a ripple effect between the status of our overall health and the severity of the conditions we face. A diet rich in a variety of vitamins is a simple way to ensure a strong baseline of health to fight psoriasis. Additionally, a lot of vitamins and nutrients rely on one another to operate at full efficiency.
It’s helpful to understand what your current vitamin intake looks like by having a blood test administered by a doctor. Using your blood work results and some tips below, see what vitamins you could use more of.
There are two main groups associated with vitamin A: retinoids and carotenoids.
While retinoids are known for skin care benefits, they are also prescribed orally or topically for psoriasis.
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Although more studies are needed to understand the relationship between psoriasis and vitamin A, implementing more vitamin A into your diet could improve symptoms of psoriasis. Foods with high levels of vitamin A include:
- sweet potatoes
- egg yolks
Biotin (B-7) and B12 have been found to help improve the symptoms of psoriasis.
Biotin deficiency is rare and has not been directly linked to healing psoriasis. That being said, biotin supplements may help build a healthy baseline for skin health. You may find that biotin supplements, which support healthy cell growth, ease symptoms.
Vitamin B12 is a strong topical treatment for psoriasis.
Oxidative stress occurs when the body has an imbalance between free radical activity and antioxidant activity. It’s been found that oxidative stress
Vitamin D is created by the body when exposed to sunlight and is vital to our overall health. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to psoriasis, although not proven to be directly related.
One of the greatest benefits of Vitamin D is its immune-strengthening powers. People with psoriasis can benefit from keeping their immune systems as healthy as possible to improve their autoimmune response.
If you’re looking to up your vitamin D intake, consider taking an oral supplement, safely getting more sun exposure, and eating foods like:
- egg yolks
- fatty fish
- fortified cereals
Several other nutrients contribute to the health of our skin, body, and joints.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation in the body while improving the immune system. This makes them a great supplemental candidate for people with psoriasis. This nutrient is most readily available in fish oil capsules, but can also be found in:
- vegetable oils
- nuts and seeds
Glucosamine and chondroitin
One symptom of psoriasis is psoriatic arthritis. Glucosamine and chondroitin are known to promote cartilage elasticity, formation, repair, and inhibit the breakdown of cartilage in the body. Supplementing with these nutrients may help to ease some of the arthritic symptoms related to psoriasis.
There are several considerations you should make before committing to any dietary or nutritional changes.
Talk to a doctor before you use or take any vitamins, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or looking to become pregnant.
While taking vitamin supplements is beneficial to your overall health and psoriasis symptoms, it is not a replacement for the treatment you are receiving from your doctor.
Supplements are not closely regulated by the FDA. They may contain ingredients not listed on the label, or may contain ingredients in different percentages than listed on the label. Always buy supplements from a reputable dealer, and take them according to product instructions.
Maintaining healthy doses of vitamins in your body can be extremely beneficial to the overall health of your skin. Our skin is maintained by vitamins that promote healthy cell growth, cell turnover, and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Supplements can be a great way to fill in any gaps in our diet when purchased from reputable manufacturers and used correctly. That being said, it’s recommended to improve your diet before you turn to supplements.
Vitamins and nutrients are most potent in their natural form, where they are accompanied by hundreds of helpful non-essential nutrients that might not be in your supplements.
If you are deficient in any nutrients, consider speaking with a nutritionist to discover how you can incorporate a more well-balanced diet into your day-to-day life.
Though psoriasis has no cure, its symptoms are generally managed under the supervision of a dermatologist with the following treatments:
- Light therapy. Some people with psoriasis see benefits by implementing brief exposures of natural and artificial light directly onto the affected area.
- Topical therapy. Applying prescription-strength ointments, creams, gels, and lotions to the affected area can help to relieve and improve symptoms.
- Injected medications. For cases of mild to severe psoriasis, steroid shots and prescription oral medication have been found to help ease symptoms
If you notice that your skin is going through cycles of scaliness, redness, cracking, itchiness, and pain, schedule an appointment with a primary care doctor or dermatologist as soon as possible before changing your diet or taking supplements.
The benefits of a dietary change might take months to show signs of improvement. A doctor can help you find immediate or short-term relief.
While there is no cure for psoriasis, there are plenty of ways to make living with psoriasis more comfortable and manageable.
A healthy vitamin-rich diet is beneficial for both skin health and overall health. Supplements may also help, but see a doctor first.
Building a strong immune system, lowering your exposure to inflammatory triggers, and developing a baseline of skin health are great ways to help ensure that psoriasis symptoms will not become worse.