If you know psoriasis, you know the tell-tale red lumps that appear before patches of scaly dry skin spread and skin becomes sensitive, itchy and may crack and bleed.
If you live with psoriasis you will have been told that it is chronic (there is no cure) and that it can last a lifetime. This skin condition is thought to be an immune system issue, and psoriasis can be triggered by cold, infections or stress. Our experience suggests that it can also be exacerbated by chemical exposure, through the use of mainstream shampoos and body creams.
But there's a deeper, darker level to psoriasis too, as the visible skin condition can simply be an outer sign of a much more pervasive infliction... Psoriasis can cause joint pain and stiffness, nail pitting and depression.
Alternative, natural ways to treat psoriasis
Step one - Create a barrier on the skin.
Commercial products containing petroleum, coal tars and urea are often recommended to provide a barrier on the skin. Let's pause for a minute right there!
- Petroleum is a known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor (affects your hormones).
- Coal tar can cause mild stinging, skin irritation and photosensitivity. There is controversy around the carcinogenic properties of coal tar as it has been shown to increase the rate of skin cancers in animals but not in humans, yet. The use of Coal Tar for psoriasis is becoming less common.
- Urea is carbonic acid, known to cause itching and respiratory, eye and skin irritation.
The alternative natural skin barrier we know and love is...
Not only does it create a protective barrier on the skin to retain moisture, our high proportion of native Kawakawa extract offers skin rejuvenating lignins and antioxidants, antimicrobial and analgesic properties which help reduce inflammation, anti-inflammatory and immuno-suppressant diayangambin as well as myristicin which prevents pain signals from the skin travelling to the brain, bringing relief from itching, stinging and painful rashes.
There is good reason why Máori have used this beautiful, generous shrub for centuries. In our Kawakawa Repair Balm we add nourishing protective natural oils, waxes and butters to provide extra skin protection and healing properties.
Step two - Medication for psoriasis
Commercial medication for psoriasis is designed around Vitamin A, immune suppressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, vitamins and steroids.
While the Kawakawa extract in our Body Oils, Kawakawa Repair Balm and Sunscreen offers natural anti-inflammatory and immune suppressant properties, our Bakuchiol Rejuvenate Serum is a facial oil with a high concentration of Vitamin A-rich Cacay oil and Bakuchiol extract that mimics the action of Vitamin A on the body to support skin health and the natural healing process.
Step three - Nourish the skin
Steer away from commercial facewash and soaps and reach for our Skin soothing Kawakawa & Chlorophyll Cleansing Bar. Chlorophyll is an antioxidant and helps protect skin from free-radicals, but also helps the body deal with the inflammation which can manifest as psoriasis or eczema.
Try our Colloidal Oat Bath Soak as the oat proteins are nourishing for the skin, and this bath soak often calms eczema and psoriasis just in time for a better sleep. Psoriasis itch is often worst at night and may interfere with much needed sleep.
After bathing, patting skin dry with a towel, apply Kawakawa Body Oil all over while your skin is still slightly damp. Then Kawakawa Repair Balm can be applied to the most affected areas of skin.
Step four - Hydrate
Yes! Simply drinking the right amount of water for your body helps your skin stay healthy and hydrated. If you can, use filtered or rain water. And on the topic of water, avoid very hot showers and set the heat to warm. It's less drying for your skin.
Step five - Holistic care
There's nothing like creating a lifestyle that nourishes you to help your body thrive. And you know what to do!
Get outdoors, enjoy the sunshine (we can help protect you with natural sunscreen), do things that bring you happiness.
Buy seasonal local produce and eat whole foods rich in vitamins and minerals. (Coffee, alcohol and gluten, not so much).
Get some good sleep and let your body repair at night.
Let go of stress and reduce harmful patterns of behaviour. Spend time with people you love.
We would love to hear from you if you or your whanau are dealing with psoriasis, feel free to message us direct and ask about your skin situation.