Why you should not trust people's advice and methods of dealing with the disease, the effectiveness of which has not been proven.
Psoriasis is a chronic condition in which new skin cells are produced too quickly. Because of this, flaky spots appear on certain parts of the body, sometimes the affected skin itches or even hurts. Psoriasis causes physical and psychological discomfort: firstly, it is simply unpleasant, and secondly, many people worry about how the manifestations of the disease look.
Although there is no remedy that could completely get rid of psoriasis and permanently prevent its exacerbation, there are ways to alleviate the symptoms of the disease. The main treatments for psoriasis are systemic therapy, topical medications, and phototherapy. They are used individually or together, depending on the course of the disease and on the recommendation of a specialist. Treatment methods do not always fully satisfy patients, and periods of remission, when symptoms disappear, are often replaced by exacerbations. This is due to the fact that it is not yet possible to establish the true cause of psoriasis and understand how it can be eliminated, although experts are inclined to believe that disturbances in the functioning of the immune system are to blame.
Since medicine does not give absolute guarantees, patients can turn to folk remedies and alternative methods of getting rid of the disease. Unfortunately, many of them can only exacerbate the situation. Here are some treatments for psoriasis that don't work.
A healthy diet and physical activity can reduce the risk of complications such as diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Experts may also recommend that a person with psoriasis follow a diet if he is overweight. But sometimes advice goes further.
For example, to improve the condition of the skin, it is recommended to completely abandon dairy products. Sometimes it is advised to completely switch to strict vegetarianism or stop eating red foods, whether animal or vegetable. Another popular trend is the gluten-free diet. It must be observed only with celiac disease - intolerance to a certain protein.
Studies show that specific diets have no effect on psoriasis. And an unbalanced diet can negatively affect the quality of life: from a deficiency of the elements necessary for the body to a bad mood due to constant restrictions.
Since phototherapy is used to treat psoriasis, many patients think that it can be replaced with a solarium. The problem is that ultraviolet is different. So, for phototherapy, it is recommended to use ultraviolet B - medium wave. In solariums, ultraviolet type A is most often used for tanning - long-wavelength.
Ordinary sunlight contains all these types of rays, so it can bring relief, but tanning beds are much less effective. In addition, there is a risk of getting burns - especially if you use photosensitizing compounds before a visit to the solarium. The abuse of ultraviolet light can provoke the onset of skin cancer, so light treatment should only take place under the supervision of specialists.
In the line of many manufacturers of dietary supplements there are remedies “for psoriasis”. In essence, nutritional supplements are food, and diet does not affect psoriasis. Of course, you need to get all the necessary substances, especially when they are deficient. But in the recommendations for psoriasis professionals, dietary supplements are not even mentioned as a remedy.
The exception is vitamin D, which experts sometimes recommend taking. The fact is that it is responsible for the regulation of many processes, including cell renewal - the one that leads to the formation of psoriatic foci. But basically, the forms and analogues of this vitamin (for example, calcipotriol) are used as an external agent.
These are baths with mineral water enriched with radioactive gas radon. Similar procedures came to medicine from sanatorium treatment. They are credited with unique properties - judging by the advertising, radon treats everything.
Taking such baths with psoriasis is not a good idea. During an exacerbation, even a regular shower can cause itching and dry out the skin, so experts recommend staying in water for no longer than 15 minutes a day.
The benefits of radon baths for psoriasis have not been established according to the standards of evidence-based medicine. There are only two evidence-based studies on the benefits of radon baths, but they do not concern psoriasis, but other diseases. In addition, data on the benefits of radon are given with a huge number of reservations.
Finally, radon is simply dangerous. According to the World Health Organization, its exposure is one of the main causes of lung cancer.
It is hard to imagine, but on the Internet you can really find proposals to alleviate psoriasis with the help of radical interventions. They can only be justified in some cases - when psoriasis leads to problems with vision or joints. But proposals to somehow “cut off” the affected areas of the skin are nonsense. In fact, any additional traumatization of the skin will not be able to remove the cause of psoriasis, but it can provoke deterioration.
It is suggested to be used orally, calculating the required number of drops depending on age and weight. The logic is clear: echinacea is a folk remedy for strengthening immunity, and since psoriasis is caused by a malfunction in the immune system, then echinacea will help.
In fact, immunity is too complex a system, and it cannot be abstractly “improved”. Eating, being active, walking, getting enough sleep, avoiding smoking and alcohol help maintain health. Only vaccinations can directly affect the development of immunity, but not herbal extracts. According to the results of evidence-based studies, echinacea is ineffective even for combating SARS, to say nothing of such a complex condition as psoriasis. With this disease, the immune system is already active, and interference with its work can only worsen the course of the disease.
Before there were effective external remedies, people tried to use everything that came to hand to relieve itching and moisturize the skin. For example, the web is full of advice on how to deal with psoriasis with baking soda. It can bring temporary relief, but then the condition may worsen because the skin loses moisture. Approximately at the same level are recommendations to treat the skin with grated garlic, potatoes or aloe. Their effectiveness has not been proven, but some substances in the composition of plants can cause allergies.
Another option is any moisturizers. Indeed, with psoriasis, the skin can and should be maintained. Tar preparations are generally able to help, but their smell can exacerbate psychological discomfort. Still, it’s more pleasant to use compositions that don’t make you want to pinch your nose. For this, there are special tools created taking into account the condition of the skin with psoriasis.