Psoriasis is the result of an overactive immune system. So, is boosting your immune system counterintuitive when it comes to fighting it?
Everybody has an immune system to protect and defend us from infections. However, when a person has an autoimmune disease, their immune system mistakenly mounts a response.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that specifically causes white blood cells or T-cells to attack the skin cells, speeding up the process of cell production. This creates a build up on the surface of the skin. The body also launches an inflammatory response which causes problems below the skin, deep within the body.
Being a chronic illness, unfortunately, there is no known cure for psoriasis; however, it is possible to target and treat symptoms, resulting in remission for long periods of time.
Although the immune system is the cause of psoriasis, it is also key in helping to manage it. It is thought that supporting the immune system to function effectively can help to calm the overactive immune response, while reducing inflammation.
Here are some of our top tips for supporting the immune system and helping reduce psoriasis symptoms:
Adopt a healthy diet Although there isn’t enough scientific data to show a link between diet and psoriasis severity, many people find that adopting a healthy diet is beneficial, especially one rich in vitamin D. Many psoriasis sufferers find an anti-inflammatory diet is helpful; that’s one rich in fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, berries, herbs, spices (especially turmeric); good fats like olive oil and omega three rich foods, including oily fish. Although they might seem ‘healthy’, you could also try avoiding any foods from the nightshade family such as bell peppers, aubergines, tomatoes and potatoes because they can provoke inflammation. Keep a trigger diary and see which foods work for you, and which don’t!
Reduce stress levels An increased level of stress can commonly trigger psoriasis symptoms, exacerbating painful itching. Try to build in time in your day to reduce stress, perhaps with calming activities such as yoga, mindfulness or meditation.
Quit smoking Smoking can make symptoms of psoriasis worse. Because of a link between psoriasis and lung disease, it is important to give up smoking for overall lung health.
Avoid alcohol Alcohol causes inflammation in the body and excessive alcohol consumption has now been scientifically proven to worsen psoriasis symptoms. With so many tasty alternatives out there at the moment, we recommend switching some of your weekly intake to an alcohol-free substitute.
As well as playing a role in the fight against psoriasis symptoms, boosting your immune system adds to your overall health, wellbeing and reduces susceptibility to other illnesses.
Recommended products for skin prone to psoriasis:
Try a trio of our topical treatments to manage the painful symptoms of psoriasis:
Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
based on gentle, plant-based cleansers, our two-in-one hair and body wash is perfect for sensitive skin.
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream
our natural moisturiser that softens, hydrates and feeds the skin with super-soft shea butter.
Balmonds Skin Salvation
our beeswax-based signature product is an intensive moisturising ointment, that works wonders on broken or scratched raw skin.
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.