What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease that has no cure. It cannot be passed from person to person through simple contact. People who get psoriasis carry the gene that puts them at risk of developing the chronic ailment.
The skin cells of people with psoriasis starts to grow at a faster rate than older ones can be cast-off from the body, this leads to a piling of new skin cells on top of the unshed ones with the net result of thick, silvery patches on the skin that are itchy and at times painful.
There are five different kinds of psoriasis known as inverse, guttate, plaque, pustular and erythrodermic. Plaque psoriasis is the most common form of the disease appearing as red patches covered with silvery collection of dead skin cells.
These commonly appear on the elbows, knees, scalp and the lower back. Guttate, the second most common form of psoriasis appears as small dotted lesions that may begin in childhood or early adulthood. It may be activated by strep infection.
Inverse psoriasis appear in the folds of the body such under the arms, behind the knee or the groin region as bright red abrasions. Pustular psoriasis can be recognized by their white blisters of pus encircled by red skin.
While the pus is not infectious, the blisters can show up on any part of the body, but most commonly they appear on the hands and feet. Erythrodermic psoriasis is the most acute form of the disease producing fiery redness that covers most of the body. In addition to itching and pain it makes skin peel off in layers.
It’s About the Curcumin, Not the Turmeric!
Before you dive out to the shop and raid their spice section, keep reading. According to Volume 595 of the journal Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, it is the curcumin found in turmeric which has many health benefits, and one that holds the power to inhibit growth factors that cause psoriasis.
Research is Backed by Science
Curcumin is a well-researched antioxidant that can reduce two of the inflammation causing enzymes while its anti-inflammatory properties aide people with psoriasis.
In one study patients with psoriasis covering at least 6% of their bodies were given 500 mg capsules of curcumin thrice a day. At the end of the four month trial period, some patients observed improvements of more than 80%.
In another clinical trial carried out by the University of California, the capability of curcumin was tested against calcipotriol, the commonly prescribed medicine for treatment of plaque psoriasis.
The study subjects either used alcoholic gel containing 1% curcumin or calcipotriol branded as Dovonex. Five of the participants using curcumin showed 90% improvement after being treated for two to six weeks, while the rest of the five trial subjects observed 50 to 85% improvement after three to eight weeks of treatment.
According to a study by Dr. Antiga, a dermatologist at the University of Florence (Italy), 60 people with mild to moderate psoriasis (evaluated on the basis of Psoriasis Area and Severity Index, PASI score of 5.5) were randomly treated to 12 weeks of topical corticosteroids and 3 grams a day of oral curcumin or only topical steroids and a placebo.
Out of the 49 patients who completed the study, the group being treated with curcumin and topical steroids showed a much greater change in PASI scores compared to the group receiving only steroids and placebo. The only reported side effects in curcumin treated group was one case of diarrhea, one of nausea and one of popular eruption.
Current psoriasis treatments employ expensive agents that usually target the patients with moderate to severe psoriasis, however being a chronic condition large numbers of patients require long term treatment that is non-toxic as well as inexpensive. Curcumin fills this requirement perfectly.
You should also know that much research is being carried out on how turmeric can help cancer patients, to see some relief of their symptoms, because the curcumin kills off cancer cells in the human body. Great news, I’m sure you’ll agree.
What Should You Do if You Have Psoriasis?
Before you head out to buy bags of turmeric, you should know that only a very small percentage of curcumin is found in turmeric. So, you’d need heaps of the stuff to ensure you’re getting an adequate amount.
Whilst you can get it this way (I add a lot of turmeric to my meals), you can also rub a turmeric paste (just mix it with water) directly into the psoriasis affected skin.
BUT. And its a big but too.
Make sure you don’t wear your best clothes after a treatment, because turmeric is also a coloring, and its a really good one too!
Or, you can take a supplement of curcumin to get the desired amount. This is a good idea if you don’t like the taste of turmeric, even better if you don’t want to look like a pasty ‘Oompa Loompa’! The source we use and recommend is Good Health Naturally, because they are a trusted brand offering many other great, natural products that work.