Eat Away Your Psoriasis

August 11, 2016 at 7:01 am


If you have persistent red patches of skin, you might have a skin problem called psoriasis; though it’s often confused with eczema, dermatitis or a fungal skin infection. One of the difficulties in psoriasis is that it is often a chronic or long-lasting problem and it can be widespread on the body making you feel self-conscious of your appearance. An important factor associated with psoriasis that is often over-looked or underappreciated is the importance of what you’re eating and digestive health overall. In this article I’ll give more information of how your diet and digestion can impact your psoriasis.

What is psoriasis

Besides the redness and itchiness, psoriasis typically also shows with a silvery-white scale on top. It’s a chronic skin disorder that can come and go… or stay. It can show in small spots though is commonly found as larger ‘plaques’ on any part of your skin. There is an overproduction of skin cells found in psoriasis spots, as well as more cells of the immune system.

What causes psoriasis

It’s often described as an inflammatory problem and sometimes as an autoimmune problem… this means that the immune system is definitely involved. It’s not easy to establish a specific cause, though several studies are now associating pro-inflammatory conditions during early life to future development of inflammatory problems; for instance, certain microorganisms found in the digestive system is associated with inflammation. Several situations can trigger your immune system and can correlate with psoriasis: infections (respiratory, digestive, or skin infections), skin injuries (eg: cuts, sunburn), sensitivity to chemicals, poor nutrition (eg: vitamin A, selenium, zinc), obesity, alcohol, stress, cold exposure, medications (eg: antibiotics, beta-blockers, etc.).

Dietary treatment of psoriasis

Several studies have associated inadequate nutrition, or particular problematic foods with psoriasis. Omega-3 fats found predominantly in cold water fish or flaxseed helps most people with psoriasis. Foods higher in monounsaturated fats are also beneficial such as from olive oil. Vitamin D has also been studied and has shown an improvement in the degree of psoriasis ranging from 25% to 88%. Vitamin B12 injections may also be helpful. Selenium is a mineral required for regulating the immune system and some studies have shown it to be of benefit in psoriasis.

Some people with psoriasis exhibit food intolerances. Two of the most common are dairy and gluten but may involve different foods for different people. It is thought that dairy may be pro-inflammatory and that gluten can also disrupt the digestive and immune systems of the body in susceptible people. Some who have incorporated more vegetables, such as a Mediterranean diet, or towards a vegetarian diet have also shown improvement since their levels of inflammation reduce. Many people have nutritional deficiencies and changing your diet to be more healthy can be the simplest way to make a significant impact on your skin.

Other natural treatments for psoriasis

Brief sun exposure to psoriatic spots may help, which is part of the basis of doctor administered phototherapy using ultraviolet light treatments. Reducing your weight is one important way to help your psoriasis since people who are overweight or obese are more prone to inflammatory problems including psoriasis. Those with psoriasis are also prone to blood-glucose regulation problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular risk.

Putting together a strategy for helping your psoriasis should involve the role of nutrition since it is a fundamental basis for your health overall.

About the Author

Rahim Habib is a registered naturopathic doctor with over 15 years of experience in general family practice. He has a special interest in helping patients comprehensively detoxifying their bodies for preventative and therapeutic benefit. He also has a special interest in children’s health, assisting kids in their learning and behavioural health with conditions such as ADHD, Autism spectrum, asthma, allergies and childhood obesity. He also helps adults with chronic conditions, such as thyroid disorders, infertility, inflammation, obesity, autoimmunity, dementia and cancer care. He is the director of the Four Seasons Naturopathic Clinic for Detoxification and Healing and can be reached at 905-597-7201 or