Eczema and Psoriasis

Did you know that skin is our body’s largest organ? It is, and it can take some TLC to keep this organ healthy and functioning to the best of its ability. Unfortunately, conditions such as eczema and psoriasis that I will touch on today, can greatly affect the skin and its condition. 

However, diet can play a major role in these conditions. So, it’s important to be mindful. 

What are Eczema and Psoriasis?

It seems that so many people experience some form of skin irritation these days – eczema and psoriasis being two common culprits.

Eczema, can be defined as a skin disease that results in a rash with varying degrees of redness, swelling, itching, dryness, and flaking. This rash can occur on an isolated part of the body (hands, face, and extremities are common), or it can be more prevalent and affect several areas at once.

Psoriasis, on the other hand, is a result of the quick turnover of skin cells that form red, scaly patches on the skin. These patches can be quite itchy and can also bleed and/or burn. In some severe cases, psoriasis can even lead to the swelling and stiffness in one’s joints. Both skin conditions can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and damaging to one’s confidence.

While people experience these skin conditions very differently – there is not one isolated cause or cure for either.

In my experience, an Ayurvedic lifestyle can be very beneficial in the care and treatment of both.

For years, my husband lived with a small patch of psoriasis on one of his elbows.  At one point, it appeared on one of his ears as well. A doctor prescribed a steroid cream, but it seemed to just mask the underlying condition.

In 2015, we started our anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

By December of that year, his psoriasis had completely disappeared. Over the last couple of years, we have found that a small patch will occasionally reappear on his elbow. What I have noticed is that it seems to happen after he has consumed foods that are high in sugar.

Similarly, a good friend of mine had a severe case of psoriasis. After suffering for a long time, he sought treatment at an Ayurvedic clinic in India and his symptoms cleared up!

Their recommendations were very similar to the anti-inflammatory diet that we were following here at home.

Lastly, I had a client call me to tell me he had been living with severe eczema for most of his life, and no one could seem to help him. He had tried many different topical creams over the years, but none of them did more than temporarily mask the symptoms. He eventually switched to a vegan, no sugar diet, and for the first time in his life, he was eczema free. Now, I’m not saying that a low/no sugar diet is the cure for everyone, but it certainly has been for these three men.

What causes these common skin conditions?

According to Ayerveda, eczema and psoriasis can be caused by stress, a compromised immune system, and especially by poor dietary choices. Other factors like genetics and climate (extreme temperatures and humidity) can also dispose someone to these conditions.

When examining the role of food specifically, we recommend avoiding the following from your diet:

  • excessively sour or spicy food
  • caffeinated and carbonated beverages
  • fried food
  • salty and fermented food
  • canned or preserved food
  • food high in sugar
  • alcohol
  • dairy products (cow’s milk, in particular)

* It will come as no surprise that milk and other dairy products are known irritants of the skin. According to Ayurveda, ingesting milk in combination with other foods can be particularly bothersome.

For example, it is not recommended to take milk with any of the following foods:

  • dark, leafy greens
  • alcohol
  • radish
  • fish and/or lemon
  • sesame seeds
  • venison

Lifestyle Recommendations in Managing + Preventing Eczema and Psoriasis 

Other than modifying your diet, studies have shown that adopting the following habits can also help with the treatment of both eczema and psoriasis:

  • avoid hot, humid environments
  • wear loose, cotton clothing (synthetic fabrics don’t allow the skin to breathe properly and inhibit natural sweating)
  • use a mild, herbal soap
  • use a soft, smooth towel and avoid rubbing the skin
  • avoid strong scents and harsh chemicals which can irritate the skin
  • steer clear of known allergens
  • avoid smoking
  • practice Agnisar Prayanama (a type of yoga which increases internal energy and gives vitality)

Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it!

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcome!

I look forward to connecting with you next time!

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