Psoriasis Awareness Month
August is Psoriasis Awareness Month
Here at Sade Baron, we’ve been working on creating products that bring relief to chronic skin conditions, including psoriasis. To do this, we needed to understand psoriasis, who it affects, and how it feels. We’re going to go through the facts about psoriasis and talk about what you can do with your body care to help relieve its symptoms.
People don’t always understand the toll that comes with psoriasis. It’s frustrating to be afflicted with it, because the cause is unknown, and therefore, only the symptoms can be treated. While certain things can trigger a psoriasis outbreak, it’s important to know that controlling for those triggers doesn’t mean psoriasis won’t happen. It still can flare up anytime and anywhere. When you know someone with psoriasis, empathy is paramount. Listen to what the person is going through. Unlike a rash or a sunburn, psoriasis, doesn’t just go away, and can last decades. Our work here at Sade Baron is about providing relief, and about creating body care products that can be used alongside medical treatments without side effects.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a common, chronic inflammatory disease of the immune system. It frequently appears on the scalp, knees, hands and feet, but it can involve any part of the body. Less commonly, it can affect the fingernails, mouth and joints. 40% of patients with psoriasis also experience inflammation in the joints, known as psoriatic arthritis, and the disease affects men and women equally, and of all ages. If you have family members who have also suffered from psoriasis, you may share the condition.
Depending on your skin tone, psoriasis can look different. On fairer skin tones, the patches appear pink or red, and the scales are white or silvery. On deeper skin tones, the patches may appear purple or dark brown and have grey scales.
Severity isn’t an indicator. While it can be a minor irritant for some, it can be a major factor in the quality of life of many other sufferers. Patch sizes vary from small, frequent distribution of patches to large, overlapping patches spanning the body. Another key to identifying psoriasis is that it can come and go. It often involves periods of no symptoms, followed by periods with more severe symptoms.
Caused by an Immune Response
Psoriasis involves inflammation in the skin, caused by overactive white blood cells. Normally responsible for helping our bodies fight off infection, the white blood cells produce excess chemicals without apparent triggers. During this time, the skin cycle is altered. The main cells on the outer layer of the skin are called keratinocytes. In healthy skin, these keratinocytes take about a month to divide, mature, migrate to the skin surface, and slough off to make way for younger cells. However, with psoriasis, the entire process is sped up to as little as three to five days. The result is thickened, red skin that sheds silvery scales of keratinocytes that have matured before their time. As psoriasis is linked with the immune system, this is why psoriasis can run in families, as you share common genes with your relatives.
Tips for Body Care to Help with Psoriasis
The most important thing to remember is that what works for one person isn’t necessarily going to work for another. As an auto-immune condition, natural remedies aren’t necessarily going to cure psoriasis forever. Where it helps, though, is setting up a routine. Topical products work best in combination with medication, UV treatments, and dietary changes.
In mild cases of psoriasis that are limited to the surface of the skin, topical solutions alone might be enough to vastly relieve symptoms. However, if you experience inflammation in the joints, it’s important to see a doctor to get medical treatment.
Here are some ways to get started on adapting your topical routine to manage psoriasis.
- Go for milder soaps and shampoos. Most drugstore shampoos and soaps contain detergents, such as sodium lauryl sulphate, which remove dirt and impurities by reducing the surface tension between substances on the skin. However, they are potent at this, and thus, much of the natural sebum, the substance a skin secrets to keep it protected and hydrated. Using natural soaps without harsh chemicals is the first step to soothing the skin. The results may not be immediate, but with time, the skin is less dry and can be more resistant to feelings of irritation.
- Moisturize using products with high concentrations of nutrients. Our skin absorbs nutrients. Everything the skin absorbs should be beneficial for its health! Use creams that are formulated to help support naturally glowing, healthy skin by feeding it essential fatty acids with occlusive and humectant effects.
- Fragrance-free products are less irritating. Products containing fragrances can trigger inflammation and set off a flare-up. They may also contain things like masking agents, unbeneficial filler ingredients that mask the smell of other ingredients. When your skin is struggling, the smell is the least of your concerns. Opt for products that are formulated with fragrance to reduce the opportunity for irritation.
- Optimize your bathing or shower routine. Everyone may have to do it a little differently. If workouts make you break into a sweat, which then leads to a flare-up, plan accordingly. Washing with extremely hot water can cause more inflammation of the skin. Take advantage of warm baths to soak the scaled patches and soften them up. Afterwards, use a gentle body oil or moisturizer to maintain hydration.
Our Daily Relief | Psoriasis, Dermatitis Duo - Fragrance Free Body Care Set contains a balm and a souffle to provide rapid relief during flare-ups. Use it on the back of the neck and ears, fingertips and cuticles, between toes and feet, or forehead and chest area.
Mayo Clinic. (2015, April 17). What is Psoriasis and the Best Psoriasis Treatment at Mayo Clinic. YouTube. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53bj3ixqPQ0
Overview - - - Psoriasis. (n.d.). NHS. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/psoriasis/
Psoriasis: More than skin deep. (n.d.). Harvard Health. Retrieved August 11, 2022, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/psoriasis-more-than-skin-deep