Treating Psoriasis with an Alternative Approach

By: Ann Knapp

Psoriasis, which means "to itch" in the Greek, is a chronic condition that consists of red lesions that develop into scales and patches over the skin. These red lesions cause itching and discomfort. Intensity of the condition range from massive outbreaks to a mild outbreak with just a few patches.

An autoimmune disorder, psoriasis is not infectious or contagious and there is no known cure for the disease. However, there are steps psoriasis sufferers can take to reduce the level of itching and outbreaks. While medicated creams and other prescription treatments are available, some prefer an alternative approach to their condition or want to combine a Western medical approach with alternative treatment. It's always important to consult a physician first when considering alternative treatments to psoriasis.

According to naturopathic doctors, the inflammation of the skin, red irruptions, scales, and flakes associated with psoriasis are clear evidence of toxins in the system. An alternative treatment for psoriasis, detoxification helps to remove harmful toxins and poisons from the liver and body. You should consult a naturopathic doctor for a detox diet program designed to clean the liver. He or she will be able to advise you on the safest and most effective way to detoxify. Again, it's important to consult with your physician if you are taking any conventional medicine before going on a detox diet.

As always, it's important to adhere to a healthy and balanced diet. Avoid foods and drinks that might aggravate your disease. Spicy foods, red meat, shellfish and tropical fruit should be avoided, as well as beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee or strong tea. Herbal tea, however, is recommended for psoriasis.

There are a variety of herbal supplements that are effective for liver detoxification. Herbal supplements help to enhance the immune system and can help to prevent the reoccurrence of psoriasis. Peony Red, Moutan, Lithospermum, Mellettia, Salvia, Carthamus, Sophora (root), Gardenia, Isatis Root, and Smilax are some of the herbs used in psoriasis tablets.

Another option for detox is the hydra detox system. Patients soak their feet in this machine filled with water. The machine helps to remove the harmful toxins through the pores of the feet. A new age method for detoxification of psoriasis, the hydra detox system can be included as part of your overall treatment plan.

Like most other diseases, psoriasis is worsened by stress. Stress increases the toxins in a body, resulting in negative effects on your health and skin. Some alternative methods for alleviating stress include meditation, yoga, and sleeping well. Managing and relieving stress helps to rebalance our systems to a healthier and stronger state.

Acupuncture is another alternative method that may be effective in controlling your psoriasis. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, most pain conditions and disease are caused by an imbalance or blockage of energy circulating through the body. Acupuncture is used to restore the proper flow of energy and the body toward balance. In an acupuncture treatment, thin sterile needles are inserted at specific points on the body. These points are selected according to the patient's problem.

Some patients with psoriasis have reported that acupuncture helped their disease while others reported no effect. Those who see an improvement in their condition say it takes many treatments.

Those who take the Ayurvedic medicine approach seek the knowledge which has been practiced for more than 5,000 years in India. Prevention is the key to this form of treatment. It encourages attention to balance in one's life through diet, herbs, lifestyle, and "right thinking." Managing disease and restoring health involve assessing the whole person to understand the nature of the imbalance. For psoriasis, a specific treatment regimen might involve topical application of sesame and mustard oil; fasting and other dietary guidelines; elimination of stress; and regular physical exercise.

If you decide to seek medical care for your psoriasis from an alternative medicine practitioner, here are some questions to ask before beginning treatment:

- Are you licensed to use this treatment?
- Do you have experience and success treating psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis?
- How many patients have you successfully treated?
- What is the length and cost of the treatment?
- What are reasonable expectations for improvement based on your experience treating patients with similar conditions?
- What are the risks or possible side effects?
- Are your professional references available?
- How long have you been administering this treatment?

Skin Disorders
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