What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an inflammatory, chronic, autoimmune skin condition that results in red crusty patches covered with white flakes.
The skin patches usually occur over elbows, knees, back and scalp, though psoriasis can affect other parts of the body as well. These patches can be itchy and sore as well. Broadly, there are several types of
Plaque psoriasisis the most common type affecting elbows, knees, lower back and scalp.
- Guttate psoriasis is the next most common type, which occurs as small red spots on the limbs and trunk of the body. This has a tendency to occur in younger adults or during childhood.
- Flexural or Inverse psoriasis occurs in the folds of the skin like armpits, groin and under the breast. They are very red, itchy and appear smooth.
- Nail psoriasis, Pustular psoriasis and Scalp psoriasis are other types which are common.
- Psoriatic arthritis is a severe form of psoriasis which affects almost all the major joints leading to severe pain and disability. It affects 30 percent of people suffering from psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition, which affects about 2% of the population in the UK.
This condition can occur in both men and women equally, and it usually affects individuals below the age of 35. The intensity and severity of psoriasis can vary from person to person with some cases presenting with just a minor itch. The episodes of psoriasis alternate with periods of remission.
The causes of psoriasis are multifactorial. Generally, psoriasis is the result of an interplay between genes, immune system and the environment.
- Genetic link - Psoriasis seems to run in families showing a strong genetic predisposition. According to studies, 90% of individuals usually inherit these genes, however only 2-3% will present with this condition.
- Immune system- In healthy individuals, the immune system protects and defends the body. In psoriasis, the individualís immune system becomes overactive and affects the skin. There is a rapid cell turnover without timely shedding of cells. This leads to accumulation of flakes of skin.
- Environmental factors - These factors can trigger an attack though the triggers maybe different in every patient. They include:
- Infections mainly throat and fungal
- Medications like antimalarials and lithium
- Trauma or injury to the skin such as cuts, wounds and abrasions
The standard form of treatment for psoriasis is application of topical ointments and lotions, which primarily contain steroids and retinoids. UV light therapy along with oral medication all work at a superficial level and reduce cell turnover to remove flakes from the skin. In severe cases, steroid injections maybe given for psoriatic arthritis. It is important to note that these medications can have side effects if used for a long term and can only put psoriasis into a state of remission, but not cure.
Homeopathy brings hope for psoriasis. This alternative form of medication believes in treating the disorder right from the root and is holistic in approach.
Since the immune system plays a vital role in this condition, homeopathy which can strengthen the defense system helps in not just palliating, but curing psoriasis. Homeopathy considers the whole patient as an individual taking into account their environment, the personís temperament and other symptoms. With minimal and potentized doses of medications, the immune system becomes strong enough to identify its own body cells and slowly the auto-immunity settles down.
Why Homeopathy can Offer Lasting Relief in Psoriasis?
Homeopathic remedies work at the nanomolecular level and help the immune system to set right the misplaced defense attacks. Thus, homeopathy does not only have a long lasting effect, but a lasting cure. After a thorough consideration of the constitutional makeup of an individual, a detailed history taking of the patientís mental as well physical preferences and characteristics, a suitable homeopathic remedy is given. The remedy is different for different patients as no two patients are same even though they are suffering from the same medical condition.
Homeopathy Treatment for Psoriasis
Research and scientific studies show that homeopathy offers scientific solutions for psoriasis. Many patients who have been suffering from psoriasis with little or no relief from conventional treatment have dramatically improved with these sweet, insignificant-looking globules. Apart from this, there has been a considerable improvement in the quality of life of patients with psoriasis treated with homeopathy.
Homeopathic medicines target the immune system and bring the body back to normalcy without any side effects. This not only restores the bodyís immune balance, but slowly stimulates the immune system to function physiologically. Since the disease is chronic, psoriasis treatment is a long-term therapy, and there are no instant cures. This is due to the nature of the skin disease and not because homeopathic medications work slowly.
Types of Homeopathy Treatment for Psoriasis
There are two types of homeopathy treatment for psoriasis.
One form of treatment acts at a more superficial level and gives temporary relief only. This is called as an acute treatment for sudden exaggeration.
The other, preferable mode of treatment, is constitutional treatment. Here the mental and physical characteristics are both taken into consideration to give the lasting cure.
Homeopathic Medicines for Psoriasis
There are a number of homeopathic remedies, which are excellent for psoriasis based on the patientís individual case. However, below are some of the best known homeopathic remedies for psoriasis, along with patient characteristics in whom they may be effective.
- Graphites - This is one of the best known remedies for psoriasis when accompanied with constipation. It is ideal for patients where the skin is rough, dry, hard and joints are usually affected. The psoriasis may be accompanied by eczema. The menstrual cycle is scanty, short and delayed in women patients.
- Arsenic Iodatum - This medication is effective when psoriatic patches present with different colors and, when they come out in the form of scales, they present with a raw exuding surface. Severe itching, scaling and dryness are seen. The patient is thin and emaciated.
- Sepia - This is a deep acting remedy, especially for women. This is prescribed when the patches and eruptions emit a foul odor.
- Arsenic Album - This is used for patients who are restless, feel very cold and thirsty for small quantities of water.
- Sulphur - This medicine is used for severe itching and redness. It is used for patients who are irritable and always messy. Itching is accompanied with severe burning.
- Lycopodium - This is also commonly prescribed for mentally active and alert individuals, but with poor muscular power. Skin is dry, rough and usually skin complaints occur with gastric, liver or urinary disorders.
- Natrum muraticum- This is good for patients with oily skin. Dry crusty eruptions occur at the corners of the hair, joints and scalp. Psoriasis attacks are triggered after an episode of fright, grief or anger.
- Antimonium crudum- This is a good remedy for psoriasis of nails. Nails are outgrown, out of shape and tend to split. Discolouration of nails is also present.
- Calcarea carb - This is an effective type of remedy for scalp psoriasis, where there is profuse sweating of scalp as well as other parts of the body. The psoriasis is aggravated by cold and wet weather.
Despite the fact that millions of cases have been effectively cured with homeopathy, there is still a lot of uncertainty regarding this science of therapeutics. People have a number of notions or misperceptions regarding this science. Here we discuss the myths and facts regarding homeopathy.
Myths of Homeopathy
- Homeopathic medications are slow to act - Homeopathy is a rapid and effective form of therapy. Since most patients come to homeopathy as a last resort, the treatment takes longer.
- Homeopathy is a placebo - A number of scientific trials and studies have shown that homeopathy is much more than just a placebo. Nanomedicine has documented and recorded the presence of homeopathic drugs in nanoquantities in the medicines.
- Homeopathy is suitable only for chronic long term disorders - Homeopathy is equally useful for acute conditions such cold, flu, cough, fever, diarrhea and headaches.
- There are strict dietary restrictions while taking homeopathy - Only certain medicines have restrictions as they can be deactivated by intake of strong substances or because a homeopathic medicine is made from it.
- Homeopathy does not believe in diagnosis - For homeopathy, it is of utmost importance to differentiate the common symptoms of the diseases and individual symptoms of the patient. This helps in individualisation and helps in homeopathic cure. Diagnosis of the disease using blood tests and imaging studies are a vital part of homeopathic treatment.
A healthy lifestyle can reduce flare ups of psoriasis and the severe itching and soreness associated with it.
- Avoid stress by indulging in meditation techniques or yoga.
- Do regular physical activity.
- Have healthy eating habits †- avoid alcohol, quit smoking as they are known to worsen psoriasis.
- Moisturize your skin to avoid dehydration and dryness.
- Due to the itching involved, avoid synthetic and woolen clothes. Stick to using natural fibers like cotton and silk.
- Altunc U, Pittler MH, Ernst E. Homeopathy for childhood and adolescence ailments: systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Mayo Clin Proc. 2007;82(1):69-75.
- Bellavite P, Ortolani R, Pontarollo F, Piasere V, Benato G, Conforti A. Immunology and homeopathy. 4. Clinical studies-part 1. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006;3(3):293-301.
- Vickers, Andrew; Zollman, Catherine. "Homoeopathy". British Medical Journal.23 October 1999 319: 1115Ė8.
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