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What Is the Connection between Diet and Psoriasis?

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  • Written By: Kristeen Moore
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 02 November 2016
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Psoriasis is a type of skin disease marked by itchy, red patches of skin that are often scaly. The immune disease can sometimes last for life. Traditional medications are generally the preferred method of psoriasis treatment. The link between diet and psoriasis continues to gain more attention to help fight the altered immune system. A healthy diet and psoriasis can help promote healthy skin turnover and reduce the chances of infection associated with psoriasis.

Cell turnover is an essential component of healthy skin. The skin constantly goes through a cycle, where new cells emerge from underneath the surface and older cells on the surface are removed. A new skin cell generally takes one month to reach the surface in a healthy adult. Psoriasis causes the process to accelerate, leaving a person with too many skin cells emerging and colliding together.

Aside from medical treatments, some patients think that there is little they can do to manage psoriasis on their own. Diet and psoriasis is gaining increased attention, as dieticians and both doctors alike realize the positive influence of a healthy diet on the immune disease. Eating well can make patients feel better and more energetic, while combating flare-ups.

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A healthy diet might decrease the occurrence of things that make psoriasis symptoms flare up. These include anxiety or stress, infections, and dry skin. Though a healthy diet may not eliminate such health ailments entirely, it can help to reduce the chances of experiencing them.

Psoriasis patients are usually more prone to infections. This is partially due to the fact that patients experience decreased immunity to other illnesses. Constantly scratching wounds from skin flare-ups increases the risk of skin infections. Eating antioxidant-rich foods might decrease the chances of infection. Antioxidants are available in bright-colored fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, berries, and spinach.

When considering a diet and psoriasis, patients might keep in mind that eating healthy will help to reduce the chance of other health diseases, including cancers and heart failure. A healthy diet can also help a patient to maintain weight. A proper diet includes whole grains, leafy vegetables, and fruits, as well as low-fat dairy products, lean meats, and heart-healthy oils. Depending on a patient’s overall health, a doctor might recommend omitting or focusing on certain foods.

There are certain foods that psoriasis patients should avoid, as unhealthy foods might increase the likelihood of a flare-up. Patients should limit their intake of salt, sugar, alcohol, and processed foods. Maintaining weight my eating regularly and exercising portion control can also help reduce the occurrence of psoriasis symptoms.

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