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Psoriasis - Helping Yourself Can Speed Up Recovery
Psoriasis has its beginnings far deeper than the skin's surface. It is often a symptom of a problem from much deeper within.
Sometimes on a psychological or emotional level. Therefore complementary therapy can be enhanced significantly if the patient takes advice on lifestyle and persuasive guidance away from factors which are known to affect this skin condition.
Common causes of psoriasis are wrong eating habits, addictions, chemical and environmental pollution, excess alcohol, caffeine, previous illnesses, after-effects of medications, immunisations, extensive dental work, hereditary factors, injuries and psychological and emotional disturbances.
If you are a sufferer of psoriasis it is very important to remember that a certain amount of your recovery will be made through helping yourself.
You will be encouraged to follow simple self-healing techniques that are easy to learn, can be practiced in your own home and can become a way of life with enough practice. Self-management, self-care, self-healing, self-help - these are the key phrases a therapist instills into a person with psoriasis - right from the first session.
Any remedy prescribed should complement this self-help attitude to healing. The first step towards healing however, is getting rid of excess toxins. De-toxifying the physical body is the key to healing the skin and releasing the your own ability to heal yourself.
Before really effective treatment can occur, you must be encouraged to turn your attention to yourself, which can be very difficult. Comments like "I can't find time to relax, time to have fun, time to treat myself and take care of my needs" are all common from psoriasis sufferers.
On many occasions, the patient does not feel they deserve to take time out for themselves. They can feel guilty or selfish. This can often lead to an over-compensated urge to look after the people around them, leading to self-neglect. You may feel inadequate, which again is a very common cause of psoriasis
Here are a few basic lifestyle changes recommended to psoriasis sufferers.
Learn to de-stress yourself
A negative reaction to stress over a period of time can take its toll on our systems of digestion and elimination, resulting in a build-up of toxins, and in the body's desperate attempt to stay healthy, the skin, another major elimination organ, overflows with toxins as it starts to become an alternative disposal system. So when you apply an external cream or treatment to the psoriasis when the body is trying to release the toxins via the skin it is a bit like putting a lid on a pot that is boiling over.
Take care of your skin
Check ingredients of any household substances. Don't let these substances come into direct contact with the lesions. You should avoid biological washing powders and fabric conditioners. Toiletries are another important consideration. Soaps with perfume and colouring can irritate. Soaps containing aloe vera are recommended.
Most shampoos contain detergent which take the grease out of the scalp. Conditioners can be very abrasive. And remember - a visit to the hairdressers can cause upset, so take along your own brand of shampoo and conditioner to avoid unnecessary irritation. Most hairdressers are very sympathetic to scalp irritations so don't feel embarrassed. Explain what is wrong to the hairdresser.
Apply moisturiser before bathing, use a non-detergent soap and avoid bubble baths that contain detergents.
Wear natural fabrics
Cotton, silk and wool are ideal as they allow the skin to breathe and will help prevent irritation. This also applies to bed linen - cotton sheets, pillowcases, natural fibre blankets should be used. Avoid feather duvets and pillows.
Get a good night's sleep
Every effort must be made to achieve a peaceful night's sleep. Sleep deprivation is one of the greatest threats to our skin. Sleep is nature's healer, as it gives the body and the mind time to relax and restore energy. Listen to relaxing music, or the sound of the sea through headphones at bedtime to help you drift off to sleep.
Eating should be avoided late at night, or watching disturbing TV - these can stimulate hormone production which keeps you awake. Catnaps can be very valuable, and they are usually quite easy to achieve during the day - find a quiet place during lunch hour to escape with a book and totally remove yourself from the stresses of the day. Relaxation and sleep are invaluable in protecting us from illness and helping the immune system. Healing time will be quicker if a good, regular nights sleep can be achieved.
Make Time for Yourself and have fun
Blatantly planning to enjoy ourselves without including others often leads to feelings of guilt. One of the most valuable tools in life for maintaining health is a sense of humour.
The ability to laugh at ourselves often determines how we cope with the ups and downs of life. Look on the bright side, be optimistic for the future and see the funny side of life.
Choose a healthy diet
The relationship between diet and the skin is a close one. Suspect foods for psoriasis sufferers are excess animal fats, acids, sugars, spices, salt and stimulants like alcohol, tea, coffee, and soft drinks. We appreciate that a complete diet change can be very difficult - don't feel guilty, but convince yourself that a gradual change in eating habits will do your skin the world of good. Small changes will bring on bigger changes as you start to improve.
The time it takes for an improvement in a patient's psoriasis condition varies according to the length of the programme, but on average, a change is seen within 12 weeks. It must be realised though, that as many sufferers have has their psoriasis for 10 or 20 years they cannot expect to experience dramatic improvements in the first part of their holistic healing programme. The body heals from the inside out so the skin tends to heal last.