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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey

Psoriasis Is Reversible

Nov 30, 2018 02:00AM
by Doug Pucci

Anyone with psoriasis knows the discomfort it can cause—itching, burning, stinging and soreness. It can limit participation in social activities and cause discomfort in public with telltale raised red patches, sometimes with silvery white scales on their skin.

Psoriasis and eczema are often confused. To differentiate the two, there are a couple of symptoms that help identify psoriasis—stiff, swollen joints and patches of inflamed redness. People can be genetically predisposed to contracting psoriasis if one or especially both parents suffer from it, meaning they probably share a similar gut microbiome and are exposed to similar environmental triggers.

At its core, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. Flare-ups can last from weeks to months, and can be cyclical; outbreaks may range from mild to severe, showing up in small spots or spreading over large areas. Some of the most common triggers are chronic stress, obesity, food allergies or sensitivities, medications, drying environmental conditions, infections, overconsumption of alcohol and smoking.

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) states that there are five different types of psoriasis, ranging from common to rare: plaque (most common type), guttate, inverse, pustular and erythrodermic (rare and most severe; can become life-threatening). Each type presents with a different appearance and usually shows up in specific areas of the head and body, but flare-ups can occur anywhere.

There are further risks to having psoriasis, and among them is the possibility of developing psoriatic arthritis, a debilitating condition marked by inflammation, pain and progressive joint damage. The NPF estimates that approximately 30 percent of people with psoriasis will be diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can cause permanent joint damage; in addition, more than 30 percent of patients with psoriatic arthritis developed hearing loss, and more than 26 percent had inner ear damage.

Other possible serious health conditions that could arise from having psoriasis include cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, Crohn's disease, kidney disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoporosis, depression, diabetes and more. The NPF states that there is a "significant association between psoriatic disease and metabolic syndrome", which includes several health issues like heart disease, high blood pressure and abdominal obesity; approximately 40 percent of psoriasis patients develop metabolic syndrome.

Dermatologists typically treat psoriasis superficially with topical creams and moisturizers to minimize discomfort and lessen the appearance of flare-ups; they may also use phototherapy or prescribe immune-suppressing medications. However, creams and medications don’t treat the root causes, and many have dangerous side effects. Specialists like dermatologists, endocrinologists and others focus only on the affected organ system of their specialty, rather than the whole person. Therefore, if the root of the condition stems from a different part of the body or another undetected disorder, it could remain overlooked as the problem continues and usually worsens.

As with any autoimmune disease, there is an underlying cause that goes far deeper than the skin reactions seen on the surface. And the only way to truly manage any autoimmune disease, including psoriasis, is to find out why the immune system has become confused enough to attack healthy tissue. Standard blood, urine and other tests help, but a good functional medicine doctor will identify why.

Everyone's triggers are different, and there can be a combination of culprits, including food sensitivities or allergies, stress, environmental toxins, nutritional deficiencies, undiscovered infections, genetic factors, leaky gut and others. Through a correct diagnosis and game plan, proper lifestyle changes will help to heal the source—which in turn helps heal skin, and can also prevent other health issues from developing.

Dr. Doug Pucci, DC, FAAIM, regularly offers promotions featuring the latest science and clinical data on neurotoxic illness and chronic disease. He provides nutrition, comprehensive testing for health biomarkers, toxicology and brain/body well-being. For more information, call 201-261-5430 or visit


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