RN Advice: Skin Deep

Posted on August 4, 2012 by


August is National Psoriasis Awareness Month.  Psoriasis is a chronic non-contagious, autoimmune, inflammatory skin disease affecting 7.5 million people in the United States.  The most common form is plaque psoriasis characterized by inflamed red lesions covered by silvery white scales.  These unsightly itchy patches usually appearing on the knees, elbows, lower back and scalp can have a profound affect on one’s self confidence and body image.

Scientists are not sure the exact cause of this disease however they do believe that 10 percent of the population inherit one or more gene creating a ‘predisposition’ to acquiring the disease.  What this means is a person must have the gene and then be exposed to specific external factors, known as triggers, to develop the disease.  These known triggers include:

• stress

• alcohol

• caffeine

• smoking

• chemicals in processed foods

• certain medications including vaccines

• injury to skin including sunburn and scratches

Treatment of this disease includes the elimination of triggers and depending on the severity of the disease, may include light therapy, topical steroids and/or injections.  While there are no large-scale studies confirming the connection of psoriasis with diet, many nutritionists and health care providers also recommend eliminating foods that cause inflammation such as glutens, processed foods, sugar, and flours.

While psoriasis may only affect the surface of the skin, its impact can affect all aspects of quality of life. With the ELIMINATION of triggers, adequate REST, and clean NON-PROCESSED FOODS, along with a great SUPPORT SYSTEM, the mental and physical ramification of psoriasis can be minimized and managed. Don’t let the affects of psoriasis be more than skin deep.

Coach Peggi Ingram

Posted in: RN Advice