What is the Best Psoriasis Diet?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

Psoriasis can be a very troublesome, even painful, skin disease. In order to combat the condition and its symptoms, many people opt to subscribe to a psoriasis diet. Such a psoriasis treatment is generally focused around a gluten-free diet high in vegetables, fruits, and proteins.

Psoriasis is an uncomfortable and painful disease.
Psoriasis is an uncomfortable and painful disease.

Diet modification to treat psoriasis has gluten-free eating at its center. Avoiding gluten has proven to be effective in treating the anti-glidadin condition, celiac disease, which produces antibodies in response to gluten, as well as its symptoms, such as dermatitis herpetiformis, or skin breakouts. The pustules in these breakouts are very similar to psoriasis.

In general, psoriasis diets are gluten free and rich in vegetables and lean proteins.
In general, psoriasis diets are gluten free and rich in vegetables and lean proteins.

Because of this success, as well as the presence of anti-glidian antibodies found in many people with psoriasis, a gluten-free lifestyle may help prevent psoriasis symptoms from occurring. Some studies indicate that psoriasis conditions can at least improve with this type of diet. A variant of psoriasis, known as palmo-plantar pustulosis, has also shown signs of improvement when treated with the diet.

Some patients may find their psoriasis is triggered by certain foods or drinks.
Some patients may find their psoriasis is triggered by certain foods or drinks.

Other psoriasis diet alterations have not proven to be as successful. Some people have tried fish oil to combat the illness, which has yet to yield any known benefits. Like most other conditions, a general health diet filled with fresh vegetables and fruits, olive oil, healthy low-fat protein, and fiber has been recommended to treat psoriasis as well. Though this diet is considered beneficial and healthful for most people, it has shown only slight benefits, if any, in terms of treating psoriasis.

Psoriasis on the scalp may produce unsightly flakes.
Psoriasis on the scalp may produce unsightly flakes.

Avoiding certain foods is another psoriasis diet treatment for the skin disease. Red meat, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods are often reduced or completely avoided when treating psoriasis with diet. As with most other dietary changes, while this practice yields many health benefits, it has not been proven to specifically treat psoriasis.

The reasoning behind the psoriasis diet is considered to be largely sensible. Many doctors often prescribe dietary and lifestyle changes to treat a multitude of conditions, from obesity to cancer. The success of eating a special diet to treat psoriasis, however, has yet to be scientifically substantiated. Since the cause of psoriasis is not entirely known, a completely successful treatment has proven to be elusive.

Healthy options for managing psoriasis are not limited to a special psoriasis diet. Avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight can help make such chronic conditions more bearable. Drinking plenty of water may also help, as can reducing the stress in one's life. Some patients may find that they have certain psoriasis trigger foods, such as acidic foods and soft drinks. By avoiding these a patient can often better manage his or her disease.

The diet for someone with celiac disease may be useful for someone with psoriasis.
The diet for someone with celiac disease may be useful for someone with psoriasis.
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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Discussion Comments

anon139666

It is not hard to eat gluten free, there are all kinds of gluten free pastas and breads, it just takes some looking around. Also if you cut out dairy, almond milk is a very good alternative to soy; it's yum!

closerfan12

Do you know, one of my daughter's friends had severe psoriasis -- the kind you see in those psoriasis pictures online -- and she had tried pretty much every treatment for psoriasis in the book.

She even had a psoriasis diet book that listed out all of the things that she thought triggered her psoriasis, and which parts of her diet seemed to help her psoriasis.

Eventually she narrowed it down to a very specific set of items that she knew she could eat, and then others that she knew where "problem foods." Although she was really glad to have figured out a list of "safe foods," it really was a long process.

If you have the time and inclination to follow an elimination diet for your psoriasis, you can see some really good results -- but just remember, it does take a lot of time and determination.

LittleMan

Are there any good diets for psoriasis besides the gluten-free option?

I have intermittent psoriasis, which I really want to get rid of, but I really don't want to have to give up all of my bread and cereal things -- I'm just not much of a soy person.

So are there any other options for people like me who want a good anti psoriasis diet that still includes wheat products? It's not like I eat them all the time, but I really don't know what I would do without my cereal and pasta!

What do you think I should do?

Charlie89

Great article on the connection between psoriasis and diet -- in this case, you really are what you eat.

You can try all the psoriasis remedies you want, but if you don't follow a healthy diet, you might as well not be using them.

I have a friend who kept trying all these psoriasis lotions, creams, pills, etc, but she still insisted on eating a lot of red meat, soft drinks, and acidic food.

That kind of diet can cause skin problems in most people, so of course it exacerbated her psoriasis! So seriously, if you have psoriasis, try modifying your diet first. You might be surprised at the changes you see.

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