What is Psoriasis


August is psoriasis awareness month, and since our naturopathic clinic works with patients with a variety of skin conditions, we thought we would dedicate this month’s blogs to providing information about psoriasis: what it is, common triggers, and how you can soothe your skin.  Today’s post is just meant to give you some basics about psoriasis in case you’ve been experiencing similar symptoms; but please note this post is not intended to help you self-diagnose.  It’s just meant to help build awareness so you’ll know what options your Toronto naturopath can offer to help soothe your skin flare-ups.

There are many different types of skin conditions, so how do you know what psoriasis is?  Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin condition that causes red, itchy and scaly patches on the skin.  It is most commonly found on the knees, elbows, trunk and scalp, but can also be found on the face, neck and hands.  Skin Flare-ups can go through cycles lasting from a few weeks to a few months, and then can go into remission where the condition clears up.  While this remission is a great relief, unfortunately for most people the remission is short lived.   So one of the best thing to do is to learn how to manage your symptoms to reduce flare-ups.

What does a flare-up look like?  Well, this can vary from person to person.  Some people may experience a severe reaction such as red patches of skin with silvery scales that will crack and bleed.  Some people may just get incredibly dry, patchy skin on the affected areas.  And some people may get dandruff-like scaling.  Usually when a flare-up occurs there is inflammation and redness around the area.  One of the first ways to find a solution to ease skin is to pay attention to potential triggers when a flare-up occurs.  Did you use a different soap?  Did you eat any common food triggers like gluten or dairy?  Was there a change in the weather pattern?  Most skin conditions will get better in the sunshine in the summer, and can worsen in cold, dry weather like the winter.

Start paying attention to what you eat, your environment, your stress level, and your quality of sleep, when a flare-up occurs.  All this information will help you and your naturopath to identify your personal triggers so that you know what to do the next time a flare-up occurs.  

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