Psoriasis, is one of the most well-known skin conditions. Psoriasis is derived from the Greek “Psore,” which means scale, scaling. When you pronounce psoriasis, the emphasis is on the first “i.”
It is estimated that psoriasis occurs in 2 to 4 percent of the Dutch population. It can begin at any age and is chronic in nature.
On this page you will find the following information about psoriasis:
Dr. Francis Wu on psoriasis
Below, Dr. Francis Wu briefly explains psoriasis and its care
In psoriasis, a non-infectious scaly skin condition is at the forefront. The skin is characterized by a sharply demarcated white raised scaly plaques on a red bottom of various sizes. Sometimes pustules are also present and from the culture there are no signs of infection. Psoriasis is often located symmetrically on the elbows, knees, around the navel, buttocks, hairy head. Itching can also occur and sometimes pain. Nails can also join, characterized by pitting, nail thickening, brown discoloration of the nail (oil slick phenomenon) and even nail peeling.
1 in 3 people also suffer from their joints. This is called psoriatic arthritis (AP). The complaints are stiffness, joints feel warm, painful and swelling in and around the joints such as hands, feet, elbows, knees, ribs and pelvis. Also enthesitis (pain of attachment of tendons to bone). for example Achilles tendon occurs. In psoriatic arthritis, the joint complaints are asymmetrical and the joint between the middle and end phalanges of the finger is affected, also called the DIP joint (Distal Interphalengale joint). The combination of the clinical picture, X-ray or ultrasound of the affected joints and blood tests can make the diagnosis AP plausible. Unfortunately, there is no reliable blood marker that can detect AP.
Other conditions linked to psoriasis include: metabolic syndrome (such as obesity, diabetes), high blood pressure, gastrointestinal (50% have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, 0.5% have Crohn’s disease, 0.2-4.3% Celiac disease), kidney diseases, slightly increased risk (1.18-1.22x) of malignancies and mood disorders are common in psoriasis patients.
Psoriasis, underexposed subjects during consultation hours
Below you will find a summary of least given advice from Dr. Francis Wu
Tip: Gluten-free diet or not?
It has been shown that patients with psoriasis often also suffer from other conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension (increased blood pressure) and dyslipidaemia (increased values of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and decreased HDL cholesterol) and that they also have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
More likely to develop diabetes
An analysis of 27 different observational studies found that psoriasis is associated with both an increased risk of developing diabetes.
More likely to have elevated cholesterol
An overview of 25 observational studies, with more than 265,000 psoriasis patients, shows that psoriasis increases the risk of dyslipidemia (elevated cholesterol). The presence of psoriasis alone is an independent risk factor for myocardial infarction.
Diet to reduce cardiovascular disease risk in psoriasis patients
It is very useful to give dietary advice to patients with psoriasis to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease. It has been shown that certain nutrients such as fruits and vegetables, unprocessed grains and omega-3 fatty acids (in oily fish, linseed oil, walnut and soybean oil) and fewer omega-6 fatty acids actually improve vascular inflammation, a risk factor for psoriasis patients.
Eating salt and Psoriasis
A recent study showed a relationship between salt in your diet and psoriasis. If the salt content is very high, the immune system is activated even more and the symptoms of psoriasis can get worse.
Tip: supplement, useful?
There are some studies that have looked at which supplements make sense to take if you have psoriasis. A 2018 review article sorted it out. There are some studies that have looked at which supplements make sense to take if you have psoriasis.
These are the supplements that have beneficial effects on psoriasis.
Side note from Dr. Wu: when you take a long-term zinc supplement, copper can leach out of your body. In order to prevent; look for a combined zinc with copper supplement. 2. Brazil nuts are high in selenium; 1-2 per day will give you enough selenium. No more than 5 Brazil nuts per day. 3. Omega-3 from krill oil is better.
Other supplement research and beneficial effect on psoriasis include:
- Dunaliella bardawil – algae
- Tripterygium wilfordii
- Azadirachta indica – Neem leave
- Kurcuma – with black pepper for better absorption. Not suitable for people undergoing chemotherapy.
Side note from Dr. Wu: the above study groups are quite small, discuss it with your own doctor.
Tip: Ensure good skin acidity
Several influences can cause your skin acidity (pH) to fluctuate. As we get older, but also the weather, showering, soap use, the pH value of the skin increases.
Research has shown that for the skin, the “ideal” pH is 4.7. pH Is the measure of acidity of an aqueous solution. pH neutral has a value of 7. For example, lemon (acid) has a pH value of 2 and liquid soap (alkaline) has a pH value of 10.
The more alkaline the skin, the more less the integrity, less bonding and more flaking.
A low skin pH (around pH 5) contributes to moisturizing the skin and also to psoriasis.
Tip: skin care ingredients
Ensure optimum skin acidity by not showering, bathing or using soap/shower gel for too long.
Hydrate your skin, also helps against flakes
Cosmetic ingredients in skin care that can help you further are:
- Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): An observational study was done on 60 people with mild to moderately severe psoriasis. The researchers showed that 4% Niacinamide twice a day for 12 weeks gave a satisfactory result. It had a better effect in men than in women. A great addition for psoriasis treatment.
- Aloe Vera: Few studies have studied the effect of aloe vera on psoriatic skin. A prospective randomized study concluded that Aloe Vera is more potent than a class 2 hormone (Triamcinolone) and reduced clinical psoriasis symptoms. More on hormone ointments. Another placebo controlled, double blind study suggested that Aloe Vera 0.5% cream was effective in reducing psoriasis compared to a placebo.
The best products against itching and flaking
Below you will find some products that can help you take care of your skin.
- All products have the ideal pH 5 acidity – for good skin resistance and skin barrier.
- Vegan, Zero Plastic inside
- Iconic Elements skincare has been named the Best Holistic skincare line 2022 by EU Business News.
What our customers think of our products
Frequently asked questions about psoriasis
Psoriasis causes a red scaly rash. It can look like a rash, so you may worry that someone else will get it from you or pass it on to others. But rest assured: it is absolutely not contagious.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that cannot be cured and does not go away by itself. However, the condition fluctuates and many people can have calm skin for years and suddenly experience a worsening. Make sure you start treatment early to prevent worse.
One of the dermatological psoriasis treatment is light therapy, which uses narrow spectrum Ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays. UVB is effective in improving moderately severe psoriasis. The treatment lasts about 12 weeks and is 2-3 times a week. The UVB strength and duration is slowly increased with each session.
Sunlight also contains UVB rays and can reduce psoriasis. Make sure you do NOT burn because that is another trigger for new psoriasis spots.
Psoriasis on the hairy head does not cause hair loss. Severe psoriasis spots on the head, can lead to temporary hair loss.
Psoriasis capitis may develop thick, crusty plaques on the scalp. The hair can become entangled with the plaques and if you try to remove it, the hair can go with it. Medical topical treatment can also loosen the tangled hair and cause significant hair loss. But because psoriasis and treatment don't cause hair loss, your hair will grow back.