Psoriasis – When our skin becomes a burden


Our skin is our outermost layer that serves to protect us. We expose our skin to so many environments day in and day out. Our skin is also something that is visible to ourselves and others, so we tend to want to take care of it in leu of how we see ourselves and what others see of us. When skin conditions arise, we can become self-conscious, irritated, and very uncomfortable. Teenage years of acne are no fun for anyone, but other skin conditions such as psoriasis can be painful, itchy, scaly, and burden us with a bothersome rash. A person’s elbows, scalp, trunk, and knees can have patches on them.

Not every case of psoriasis looks the same but most of the time it looks like scaly patches that have a dandruff like nature. It can also come in the form of rashes that look a red/pink color on persons with white skin and purple/gray on persons with dark skin tones. The areas can be very dry and crack to the point of bleeding.

There are a few types of psoriasis.

1.       Nail psoriasis – This happens around the toenails and fingernails. Nail growth is affected, there may be deep pits in the nail beds, and discoloration.

2.       Plaque psoriasis – This is the most common type which causes the patches that are itchy, dry, and raised. They are typically found on a person’s elbows, scalp, trunk, and/or knees.

3.       Inverse psoriasis – This occurs around skin folds usually on the folds of the breasts, groin, and/or buttocks. They get worse with sweat and friction.

4.       Guttate psoriasis – This is most common in children. Bacterial infections are common triggers such as getting strep throat. Spots that look scaly appear on the arms and legs.

5.       Pustular psoriasis – This is when a person gets blisters that are filed with puss that normal happen on the palms or soles.

Causation usually comes from an immune system problem that occurs by skin cells growing faster than normal. The cells that are supposed to attack infections start to attack healthy cells. Unfortunately, psoriasis has no cure and can be chronic, flaring up periodically lasting as long as a couple weeks or even up to a couple months. Symptoms can be managed and avoided with lifestyle changes. It is not contagious. Genetics can be a culprit. There are several possible triggers that can cause psoriasis which include heavy alcohol use, infections, weather, certain medications, or having a cut/scrap/burn. Smoking and secondhand smoke may also cause this.

There are a few natural ways to help with psoriasis symptoms. Many flare ups are caused by stress with 31 – 88% of people saying stress is a trigger for theirs. Reducing stress is critical. Topical creams that have capsaicin in them which is a spice in chili powder can help. Oregon grape is an herb that can be put in moisturizers to help inflammation. UV rays from the sun can help but sunlight exposure has its risks and should be controlled and done in small increments of time. Aloe vera gel can be soothing. A warm bath can also feel good. Humidifiers can be used because they put moisture into the air. Diet and exercise come into play. Including turmeric and foods with omega 3 fatty acids can help. Exercise gets the blood moving which can send more blood to areas that need healing.

We have to protect our skin which in turn protects us. We can’t control genetics or predispositions, but we can control our lifestyle choices that can increase risks. Our body can speak to us when something such as psoriasis strikes. Being healthy and staying healthy are not to be taken for granted because living in pain and with illness is not something to look forward to.

Psoriasis: a brief overview – PMC (

Psoriasis: Pathogenesis, Comorbidities, and Therapy Updated – PMC (

Does psoriasis spread? It it contagious, facts, and relief ( What It Is, Symptoms, Causes, Types & Treatment (

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Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough owns a fitness studio in Oceanside CA called Every BODY's Fit. She has a Doctorate in Health and Human Performance, M.A. in Physical Education & Health Science, and she's an NASM Master Trainer & Instructor. She's also a professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, Wellness Coach, and AFAA Group Exercise Instructor. She has 6 books on Amazon too,.