Tips on how to manage eczema and psoriasis in the long-term.
Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory, cell-mediated disease, which involves the skin, and sometimes joints, bones, tendons, ligaments, nails, and mucosal membranes. Research shows that in rheumatoid arthritis and some other inflammatory conditions, too much of a protein called Tumour Necrosis Factor or (TNF) is produced in the body, causing inflammation, pain and damage to the bones and joints.
Common treatment for psoriasis include topical steroids, Vitamin D analogue creams, and oral medications such as methotrexate and sulfasalazine which suppress or modulate the immune response. The newer treatment for severe arthritis or psoriasis are biologics such as Etanercept (Enbrel) and Remicade.
Enbrel is a biopharmaceutical that treats autoimmune diseases by inhibiting the production of TNF. It is prescribed for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Psoriatic Arthritis when other conventional treatments such as Methotrexate have failed. Certain side-effects of concern are an increase in malignancies, more particularly lymphomas, autoimmune syndromes, and demyelinating conditions associated with Enbrel treatment.
1. First benefit of Turmeric: reduces the same inflammatory markers in the body as the Biologic pharmaceutical drugs Enbrel and Humira
In-vitro studies show that curcumin was able to inhibit the proliferation of psoriatic - like cells, by the down-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as Interleukin - 17, Tumour Necrosis Factor (TNF)- α, Interferon - γ and Interleukin - 6. This is what turmeric have in common with Enbrel and Humira. They both reduce levels of TNF-alpha.
In mice models, a decrease of more than 50% level of inflammatory factors, was shown when given curcumin.
2. Second benefit of Turmeric: Restoring skin barrier
Curcumin significantly enhanced the skin - barrier function by the up-regulation of involucrin (iNV) and filaggrin (FLG). Restoring the skin barrier is so important for conditions such as eczema, atopic dermatitis and psoriasis as the skin acts as a wall to keep potential allergens, irritants and microorganisms out of your body which may cause your immune system to flare up. A deficiency in filaggrin is a major cause of defective barrier function.
After it's synthesis, filaggrin undergoes various reactions to bind with keratin fibres in the epithelial cells. It's breakdown results in the formation of natural moisturising factor responsible for water retention and hydration of skin.
Using emollients and barrier creams or ointments also acts as a barrier to keep potential allergens out.
That is why keeping your skin hydrated and moisturised is so important.
Creams soak in easily but does not hydrate as much as an ointment. Using dry or wet wrapping to keep the ointment on the skin and prevent it from rubbing off on clothes and bed sheets is also very beneficial.
We see the most improvement in flare-ups and skin dryness when dry or wet wraps are used.
For a video on how to use wraps, visit the National Eczema Organisation.
You can also use a natural moisturiser with oils such Hemp Seed Oil that have a high amount of Omega 3,6 and 9 to decrease inflammation and restore the lipid layer of the skin. Evening Primrose Oil have a high amount of Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA) which is the building block for ceramides, one of the skin's main moisturising element. It makes the skin barrier stronger so keeps water in and allergens out. Our moisturising Skin Radiance lotion has Vitamin B3 which reduces redness and inflammation and replenishes cellular energy so cells can repair itself after exposure to environmental toxins and radiation, and Hempseed Oil, Avocado Oil and Manuka Oil to hydrate the skin, decrease inflammation and reduce bacterial infection.
3. Third benefit of Turmeric
Curcumin, with its antioxidative property, may reduce the oxidative stress of psoriatic lesions. An increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) and insufficient antioxidant activity have been determined in psoriatic lesions.
For ways on how to incorporate Turmeric into your diet, click here.
Other areas to work on when trying to manage psoriasis and arthritis is gut healing and reducing stress. We definitely recommend a good probiotic, L-Glutamine and S.Boulardii to help the gut lining heal. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant and L-Glutamine converts to GABA which relaxes the nervous system and keeps the stress levels low. You might think that having coffee is a great way to boost your energy levels but caffeine can cause an increase in cortisol which is a stress hormone.
High cortisol from emotional or physical stress can reduce levels of sIGA, which protects the stomach lining, so managing stress is crucial to prevent flare-ups or reduce the severity of a flare up. Caffeine also counteracts the way Methotrexate works so if you are taking Methotrexate to reduce the symptoms of arthritis, psoriasis or severe atopic dermatitis, please make an effort to reduce your coffee intake.
How to manage the flare-ups
Combined with a good probiotic and moisturiser such as Epaderm, QV Eczema Moisturising Lotion with Ceramides or our Skin Radiance Lotion, the skin responds within a few weeks. The Wound Healing ointment containing Propolis, Manuka Oil and Calendula should be used if the flare ups are bad. Once under control regular moisturising will help maintain the skin integrity.
For symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, pain and inflammation can be reduced by looking after the gut, managing stress, taking turmeric and gut healing supplements, and reducing foods that cause inflammation such as wheat, gluten, dairy and plants from the night-shade family such as pepper and tomatoes.
Please get in touch if you need help with managing your arthritis, psoriasis, eczema or atopic dermatitis.
We have a fantastic Naturopath Victoria Martin who has treated many patients with auto-immune conditions and helped them reduce their symptoms and flare-ups. She has even cured her own symptoms of Psoriasis and her child's eczema with diet and nutrition, so has first-hand experience of these conditions.
Email Me email@example.com
Phone: 0438 989 607
We also have Katie Chynoweth who is our Ketogenic Program Consultant. She has helped support many people who are wanting to eat a low carbohydrate, high protein and good fats diet, which goes back to eating clean, healthy food prepared by yourself so you know exactly what goes in your body. Eating clean reduces inflammation in the body, and helps reduce weight and overall fat percentage as the body uses fat for fuel, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, increases muscle mass, increases energy levels and evens sugar cravings and mood swings.
Most people on this program say they feel better, have more energy, sleep better and have nearly no pain, so they can exercise more and stay fit and active. She is excellent at providing the support you need to take control of your own body and make the right food choices. Getting into ketosis is an exact science, as you need to get the portions and daily percentages just right, and everyone's body is different.
Get in touch today!
If you are taking blood thinners, turmeric supplements should be avoided. Turmeric can be included in diet in small doses. If suffering from a bleeding disorder consult a doctor and herbalist or naturopath before taking turmeric.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of pregnancy and lactation. Discontinue use of turmeric supplements 2 weeks prior to surgery.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of gall bladder obstructions.
If your symptoms do not improve, please consult you Doctor.
1. Use of Curcumin in Psoriasis. Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2018 Jan 25; 6(1): 218–220.
2. Barygina V, Becatti M, Soldi G, et al. Altered redox status in the blood of psoriatic patients:involvement of NADPH oxidase and role of anti-TNF-αtherapy. Redox Rep. 2013;18(3):100–6.https://doi.org/10.1179/1351000213Y.0000000045 PMid:23601139. [PubMed]