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Understanding Psoriasis: Symptoms and Common Treatments

In honor of National Psoriasis Day (October 29th), let’s talk about the immune-mediated skin disorder that affects about 3% of U.S. adults. Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that affects millions of people worldwide. I am personally very familiar with this skin condition as it runs in my family and affects both of my siblings and my mom. It's characterized by the rapid and excessive growth of skin cells, leading to the formation of red, scaly patches on the skin's surface. These patches can be itchy, painful, and may cause discomfort both physically and emotionally. These patches can occur pretty much anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found on elbows, knees and the middle of the body. Unfortunately for my family members, they are plagued with psoriasis on their scalp, facial hair line, legs and even nails.

Psoraisis on Elbows
Psoriasis patches can be itchy, painful, and may cause discomfort both physically and emotionally.

Symptoms of Psoriasis:

  • Red, Raised Patches: The hallmark of psoriasis is the appearance of raised, reddish patches of skin. These patches, known as plaques, are covered in silvery-white scales.

  • Itching and Discomfort: Psoriasis can be quite itchy and may cause discomfort, especially if the skin cracks and bleeds.

  • Dry, Cracked Skin: The affected areas often become dry, leading to painful cracks that can be difficult to manage.

  • Thickened Nails: Psoriasis can also affect the nails, causing them to become thick, pitted, or ridged.

  • Joint Pain: In some cases, a type of psoriasis known as psoriatic arthritis can develop, leading to joint pain and swelling.

Common Treatments for Psoriasis:

  • Topical Treatments: These include creams, ointments, and lotions applied directly to the affected skin. They can help reduce inflammation and slow down skin cell growth. Corticosteroids, vitamin D analogs, and retinoids are commonly prescribed topical treatments. (Of course, we have our own natural topical treatments mentioned below!)

  • Phototherapy: This involves exposing the skin to ultraviolet (UV) light under medical supervision. Both natural sunlight and artificial UV lamps can be used to manage psoriasis symptoms.

  • Oral and Biologic Medications: In more severe cases, doctors may prescribe oral medications or biologics, which are injected or infused. These work to suppress the immune system's response to reduce inflammation.

  • Lifestyle Changes: Lifestyle modifications can also be beneficial. Keeping the skin moisturized, avoiding triggers like stress and certain foods, and managing stress can help alleviate symptoms.

  • Alternative Therapies: Some individuals find relief through complementary therapies such as acupuncture, meditation, and dietary adjustments. However, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any alternative treatments.

Image by <a href="">Freepik</a>
Hair line Psoriasis - Ouch!

Let’s Nerd Out 🤓

A study mentioned in an article in the National Library of Medicine states that topical applications of chamomile have been shown to be moderately effective in the treatment of atopic eczema which has very similar side effects to psoriasis, so much so that most untrained eyes cannot tell the difference between the two. This study found chamomile to be about 60% as effective as 0.25% hydrocortisone cream which is said to be due to the 1-2% volatile oils including alpha-bisabolol, alpha-bisabolol oxides A&B, and marticin which possess anti-inflammatory and antiphlogistic properties found in the flowers of chamomile.

How can 🌿 In The Weeds help with your psoriasis?

Naturally, In The Weeds takes a more holistic approach to our topical treatments. I discovered this little tidbit of information from the article in the National Library of Medicine years ago and that is where I began the creation of our first oil infusion! I begin by soaking organic chamomile flowers in apricot kernel oil on a low heat for about a month. The flowers are strained out of the oil and this oil is used in several of our products. These chamomile products have helped several of my customers with skin conditions or issues that have the unfortunate side effect of itchy skin including, but not limited to psoriasis, eczema, diaper rash, cradle cap, pregnancy itchy bellies, and even tattoo aftercare!

Let’s talk In The Weeds products!

T's TLC Chamomile Flower Skin Calming Salve - In The Weeds
T's TLC Chamomile Flower Salve

T’s TLC Healing Salve - is a chamomile infused salve and the first chamomile infused oil product in our collection. This salve is soft and easy to spread on more aggravated cases of psoriasis. I have personally seen psoriasis outbreaks that look like shingles and this product is a great option for individuals that need a little extra TLC to these very irritated spots. It does not contain any essential oils besides benzoin which has microbial benefits, so this salve is wonderful for the most gentle of skins.

Purple Reign Lavender & Chamomile Hard Lotion Stick - In The Weeds
Purple Reign Hard Lotion Stick

Purple Reign - is a hard lotion stick containing lavender essential oil which is known for it's antibacterial properties. This product is thicker than T’s TLC, but requires some rubbing so that the product will melt to your skin temperature. If your psoriasis patch can take a little rubbing, this product is a great option.

210 Beard Balm - is a beard balm made with our chamomile infused oil. From what I’ve heard, beards can get really itchy! We added this oil to help with itchy beards, but have found from usage in my family that it adds relief to psoriasis patches on the scalp and hairline. Maybe I should change the name?

Just like my family members, it's essential to remember that psoriasis varies from person to person, and what works for one individual may not work for another. A dermatologist can provide a tailored treatment plan based on the type and severity of psoriasis, as well as the patient's unique needs and preferences. While psoriasis is a chronic condition, proper management can significantly improve the quality of life for those affected. If you suspect you have psoriasis or are struggling with its symptoms, you can also consult a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and treatment options.

About Us

In The Weeds creates handcrafted products that are 100% cruelty-free and made with premium all-natural botanicals, butters, and essential oils. Everything is packaged in eco-friendly, recyclable containers for health and planet-conscious consumers. We center the development of products for intimate spaces and places around the following pillars and the promise that our products will not contain parabens, sulfates, fragrances (aka EDCs), or aluminum.

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