Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Truth About Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disease that occurs when cells in the outer layer of skin reproduce faster than normal and pile up on the skin's surface. This produces scaling, itchiness and irritation of the skin. Psoriasis is non-contagious.

Currently in the United States almost 5 million people are affected by this disease. It occurs in all age groups and about equally in men and women.

When psoriasis develops, thick patches of skin become red with silvery scales. Often the skin at the joints cracks making outbreak very painful. Psoriasis most often occurs on the knees, lower back, soles of the feet, scalp, elbows, face and palm.

There have been huge strides in understanding what causes psoriasis. Recently, a team from the University of Michigan looked for the gene -- called PSORS1 -- in more than 2,700 people from 678 families in which at least one family member had psoriasis. According to the researchers, PSORS1 is the first genetic determinant of psoriasis to be definitively identified in a large clinical trial. The finding may help in the development of new, more effective treatments for the disfiguring inflammatory skin disease.

Some other research has found that psoriasis may be a disorder of the immune system. In a normal immune system a type of white blood cell, called a T cell is produced, that normally helps protect the body against infection and disease. Top Scientists have concluded that an abnormal immune system produces too many T cells in the skin. These excess T cells trigger the inflammation and excessive skin cell reproduction seen in people who suffer with psoriasis.

Doctors usually diagnose psoriasis after a careful examination of the skin. However, diagnosis may be difficult because psoriasis often looks like other skin diseases. A pathologist may assist with diagnosis by examining a small skin sample under a microscope.

For those people who have a suppressed immune system, the symptoms of psoriasis can be extremely severe.

Dietary change can help with psoriasis, avoid alcohol, gluten which is found in wheat, barley and rye, avoid foods that are high in saturated fats, avoid red meats, dairy products, eggs, cheese and sugar and if you are a smoker, then it is best to quit.

Topical applications to the affected areas with aloe vera gel, Dead Sea mineral salts or mud, Zambesia Botanica, mahonia ointment and gotu kola can all improve psoriasis.

Good supplements to take are fish oil, flax seed oil and borage oil. These oils are very good in hydrating the skin cells. A topical treatment that has received tremendous attention is Psoriaway which is available at www.fastpsoriasisrelief.com. This is a topical cream combining natural moisturizers, coal tar, aloe Vera, blended in a unique formula to make this product extremely effective. It has been tested in the medical field, nursing homes and in the retail market with exciting and immediate results.

One important bit of knowledge is to stay away from alcohol and products that contain alcohol as it will dry the skin out even more.

At this time there is no cure for psoriasis but many effective treatments do exist.

Doctors are learning more about psoriasis by studying:

• Genes
• New treatments that help skin not react to the immune system
• Laser light treatment on thick patches.

The unpredictable nature of psoriasis makes treatment challenging for many people. A wide range of treatments are available. No single psoriasis treatment works for everyone, but something will work for most people. It is hard to predict what will work for a particular individual; however, it is important to be open-minded and willing to work with your doctor to find a treatment that will work for you.

Researchers are studying psoriasis more than ever before. They understand much more about its genetic causes and how it involves the immune system. The National Psoriasis Foundation and the federal government are promoting and funding research to find the cause and cure for psoriasis.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Psoriasis Diagnosis and Treatment

.




Psoriasis Diagnosis and Treatment
By Adam Short



If you suffer from Psoriasis, you are not alone. Approximately 2-3% of the United States population suffers from this common skin ailment. That is almost 8 million people! Whether you are newly diagnosed with the condition, or have been suffering for a few years, there is relief out there. The key is to research all of your options and find a knowledgeable doctor that can help you explore your options.

Psoriasis has been known to afflict individuals of all races, sex, and age groups, though the majority of sufferers are adults. The condition begins when skin cells quickly rise from below the surface and begin to pile up on the surface before they have a chance to fully mature. While in a normal adult, the process takes about a month, a person suffering from Psoriasis can have this occur within a week. This excess growth of cells can lead to patches of thick inflamed skin, covered with silvery scales. They often itch and are very sore to the touch. Most sufferers have these patches on their elbows, knees, legs, lower back, etc.

Psoriasis can also affect fingernails, toenails, and the genitals. It is said that approximately 1 million people suffer from a condition called psoriatic arthritis, which is an inflammation of the joints.

The first step to getting treatment is to get diagnosed. Many physicians overlook Psoriasis because it appears similar to other skin diseases. There are many different forms of Psoriasis, which can range from smooth red patches to oozing lesions. The most reliable method of diagnosis involves a small skin sample. The doctor will look at it under a microscope to confirm.

Once you are diagnosed with Psoriasis, you can begin treatment. There are several different options, and depending on the severity of the condition, you may need several different mediations or treatments at a time. There are basically three different kinds of treatments available. These include topical creams, light therapy, and oral medications:

• Corticosteroids
• Calcipotriene
• Retinoid
• Coal tar
• Anthralin
• Salicylic acid
• Clobetasol propionate
• Bath solutions
• Moisturizers
• Light therapy- natural and artificial
• Immune suppressing treatments taken orally

While there is no known cure, there have been some major breakthroughs in the field of study. New medications and treatment options are popping up every day, and a cure is just right around the corner. Laser therapy has become extremely popular, and you can expect to see them integrated into your treatment plan in the near future.

The key is to find out what works for you. Many Psoriasis sufferers can benefit from group therapy. They can discuss their thoughts and feelings about having the condition, and form a support group of others going through the same problems. Online research and support groups are also very popular. The more you know about your condition, the better prepared you are for what lies ahead. So do a search on your favorite search engine and discuss your options with your doctor.

Adam Short is freelance writer and creator of http://www.psoriasiswatch.info - a site providing the latest news and facts about psoriasis.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/











.

Psoriasis

.




Psoriasis

Psoriasis
ICD-10 code: L40
ICD-9 code: 696




Photograph of an arm covered with plaque psoriasisPsoriasis is a disease whose main symptom is gray or silvery flaky patches on the skin which are red and inflamed underneath. In the United States, it affects 2 to 2.6 percent of the population, or between 5.8 and 7.5 million people. Commonly affected areas include the scalp, elbows, knees, navel, palms, ears and groin. Psoriasis is autoimmune in origin, and is not contagious. Around a quarter of people with psoriasis also suffer from psoriatic arthritis, which is similar to rheumatoid arthritis in its effects. Psoriasis was first given that name in complete differentiation from other skin conditions by the Austrian dermatologist Ferdinand von Hebra in 1841, although there are what are believed to be descriptions of the disease in sources going back to ancient Roman and possibly even biblical times.

Contents
1 Types of psoriasis
1.1 Plaque psoriasis
1.2 Guttate psoriasis
1.3 Pustular psoriasis
1.4 Inverse psoriasis
1.5 Erythrodermic psoriasis
1.6 Psoriatic arthritis
2 Effect on the quality of life
3 Causes
4 Treatment
4.1 Topical treatment
4.1.1 Corticosteroids
4.1.2 Calcipotriol/Calcipotriene (Daivonex/Dovonex)
4.1.3 Combined calcipotriol/calcipotriene and cortisone (Daivobet/Dovobet)
4.1.4 Retinoids
4.1.5 Coal tar
4.1.6 Anthralin
4.1.7 Salicylic acid
4.1.8 Clobetasol propionate
4.1.9 Bath solutions
4.1.10 Moisturizers
4.2 Light therapy
4.2.1 Sunlight
4.2.2 Ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy
4.2.3 Psoralen and ultraviolet A phototherapy (PUVA)
4.2.4 Computerized tunable targeted light systems
4.2.5 Light therapy combined with other therapies
4.2.6 X-ray radiation
4.3 Systemic treatment
4.3.1 Methotrexate
4.3.2 Retinoids
4.3.3 Cyclosporine
4.3.4 6-Thioguanine
4.3.5 Hydroxyurea (Hydrea)
4.3.6 Antibiotics
4.3.7 Biologics
4.4 Lifestyle
5 References
6 External links




Types of psoriasis

Plaque psoriasis
Skin lesions are red at the base and covered by silvery scales.


Guttate psoriasis
Small, teardrop shaped lesions appear on the trunk, limbs, and scalp. Guttate psoriasis is most often triggered by upper respiratory infections (for example, a sore throat caused by streptococcal bacteria).


Pustular psoriasis
Blisters of noninfectious pus appear on the skin. Attacks of pustular psoriasis may be triggered by medications, infections, stress, or exposure to certain chemicals.


Inverse psoriasis
Smooth, red patches occur in the folds of the skin near the genitals, under the breasts, or in the armpits. The symptoms may be worsened by friction, sweating and/or the presence of yeast or fungal infections.


Erythrodermic psoriasis
Widespread reddening and exfoliation of the skin that may form the initial outbreak of psoriasis, but is more often the result of exacerbation of unstable plaque psoriasis, particularly under the triggering effect of: abrupt withdrawal of systemic treatment, use of systemic steroids or excessive use of high potency topical steroids corticosteroids (cortisone) or in a koebner response to a widespread allergic reaction or severe sunburn. This form of psoriasis can be genuinely dangerous, since the extreme inflammation and exfoliation interfere with the body's ability to regulate temperature and perform other barrier functions.


Psoriatic arthritis
Joint and connective tissue inflammation that produces symptoms of arthritis in patients who have or will develop psoriasis.


Effect on the quality of life
Individuals with psoriasis may experience significant physical discomfort and some disability. Itching and pain can interfere with basic functions, such as self-care, walking, and sleep. Plaques on hands and feet can prevent individuals from working at certain occupations, playing some sports, and caring for family members or a home. The frequency of medical care is costly and can interfere with an employment or school schedule. People with moderate to severe psoriasis may feel self-conscious about their appearance and have a poor self-image that stems from fear of public rejection and psychosexual concerns. Psychological distress can lead to significant depression and social isolation.


Causes
Psoriasis is driven by the immune system, especially involving a type of white blood cell called a T cell. Normally, T cells help protect the body against infection and disease. In the case of psoriasis, T cells are put into action by mistake and become so active that they trigger other immune responses, which lead to inflammation and to rapid turnover of skin cells. These cells pile up on the surface of the skin, forming itchy patches or plaques. The first outbreak of psoriasis is often triggered by emotional or mental stress or physical skin injury, but heredity is a major factor as well. In about one-third of the cases, there is a family history of psoriasis. Researchers have studied a large number of families affected by psoriasis and identified genes linked to the disease. (Genes govern every bodily function and determine the inherited traits passed from parent to child.) People with psoriasis may notice that there are times when their skin worsens, then improves. Conditions that may cause flareups include infections, stress, and changes in climate that dry the skin. Also, certain medicines, including Lithium salt and beta blockers, which are prescribed for high blood pressure, may trigger an outbreak or worsen the disease.


Treatment
Doctors generally treat psoriasis in steps based on the severity of the disease, size of the areas involved, type of psoriasis, and the patient's response to initial treatments. This is sometimes called the "1-2-3" approach. In step 1, medicines are applied to the skin (topical treatment). Step 2 uses ultraviolet light treatments (phototherapy). Step 3 involves taking medicines by mouth or injection that treat the whole immune system (called systemic therapy).

Over time, affected skin can become resistant to treatment, especially when topical corticosteroids are used. Also, a treatment that works very well in one person may have little effect in another. Thus, doctors often use a trial-and-error approach to find a treatment that works, and they may switch treatments periodically (for example, every 12 to 24 months) if a treatment does not work or if adverse reactions occur.


Topical treatment
Treatments applied directly to the skin may improve its condition. Doctors find that some patients respond well to ointment or cream forms of corticosteroids, vitamin D3, retinoids, coal tar, or anthralin. Bath solutions and moisturizers may be soothing, but they are seldom strong enough to improve the condition of the skin. Therefore, they usually are combined with stronger remedies.

A biotechnology company called Curry Pharmaceuticals is investigating the use of curcumin creams to treat psoriasis. Another company sells "Psoria-Gold", which is also based on curcumin. In the article "Common Indian Spice Stirs Hope", the Wall Street Journal reports that "Psoria-Gold" shows anecdotal promise.


Corticosteroids
These drugs reduce inflammation and the turnover of skin cells, and they suppress the immune system. Available in different strengths, topical corticosteroids (cortisone) are usually applied to the skin twice a day. Short-term treatment is often effective in improving, but not completely eliminating, psoriasis. Long-term use or overuse of highly potent (strong) corticosteroids can cause thinning of the skin, internal side effects, and resistance to the treatment's benefits. If less than 10 percent of the skin is involved, some doctors will prescribe a high-potency corticosteroid ointment. High-potency corticosteroids may also be prescribed for plaques that don't improve with other treatment, particularly those on the hands or feet. In situations where the objective of treatment is comfort, medium-potency corticosteroids may be prescribed for the broader skin areas of the torso or limbs. Low-potency preparations are used on delicate skin areas. Cortisol (a.k.a. hydrocortisone) is an inexpensive corticosteroid available over the counter (without a prescription) in strengths that may be effective on very mild and emerging plaques. (Note: Brand names for the different strengths of corticosteroids are too numerous to list.)

Other side effects of corticosteroids are stretch marks in the skin, and rosacea that can affect the facial skin.

When using corticosteroids, it is important to follow the doctors advice. Corticosteroids are very useful in the treatment of psoriasis, and used the correct way, side effects are seldom a problem.


Calcipotriol/Calcipotriene (Daivonex/Dovonex)
This drug is a synthetic form of vitamin D3 that can be applied to the skin. Applying calcipotriol/calcipotriene (for example, Daivonex*) once to twice a day controls the speed of turnover of skin cells. It is sometimes combined with topical corticosteroids to reduce irritation. Use of more than 100 grams of calcipotriol/calcipotriene per week may on very rare occasions raise the amount of calcium in the body. Calcipotriol is the most effective vitamin D3 available for the treatment of psoriasis. Daivonex is available as creme, ointment and scalp solution. Daivonex can cause skin irritation, and should hence be used with care in sensitive areas (face, genitals).


Combined calcipotriol/calcipotriene and cortisone (Daivobet/Dovobet)
Calcipotriol/Calcipotriene based ointments are usually not to be mixed with corticosteroids at the same time due to problems with the active substances interfering with each other. Lately a product has appeared that combines Betamethasone dipropionate, a steroid based product and calcipotriol/calcipotriene. This product is characterized by its rapid onset of action. The product is also more effective than the two products used separately. A third advantage with this product over most other products used to treat psoriasis is that its applied only once daily. Due to its rapid release of psoriasis symptoms it is suitable as an initial treatment.


Retinoids
Topical retinoids are synthetic forms of vitamin A. The retinoid tazarotene (Tazorac) is available as a gel or cream that is applied to the skin. If used alone, this preparation does not act as quickly as topical corticosteroids, but it does not cause thinning of the skin or other side effects associated with steroids. However, it can irritate the skin, particularly in skin folds and the normal skin surrounding a patch of psoriasis. It is less irritating and sometimes more effective when combined with a corticosteroid. Because of the risk of birth defects, women of childbearing age must take measures to prevent pregnancy when using tazarotene.


Coal tar
Preparations containing coal tar (gels and ointments) may be applied directly to the skin, added (as a liquid) to the bath, or used on the scalp as a shampoo. Coal tar products are available in different strengths, and many are sold over the counter (not requiring a prescription). It is less effective than corticosteroids and many other treatments and, therefore, is sometimes combined with ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy for a better result. Coal tar has an effect on some of the enzymes involved in psoriasis, and it increases the skin's sensitivity to light. The most potent form may irritate the skin, is messy, has a strong odor, and may stain the skin or clothing. Thus, it is not popular with many patients.


Anthralin
Anthralin reduces the increase in skin cells and inflammation. Doctors sometimes prescribe a 15- to 30-minute application of anthralin ointment, cream, or paste once each day to treat chronic psoriasis lesions. Afterward, anthralin must be washed off the skin to prevent irritation. This treatment often fails to adequately improve the skin, and it stains skin, bathtub, sink, and clothing brown or purple. In addition, the risk of skin irritation makes anthralin unsuitable for acute or actively inflamed eruptions.


Salicylic acid
This peeling agent, which is available in many forms such as ointments, creams, gels, and shampoos, can be applied to reduce scaling of the skin or scalp. Often, it is more effective when combined with topical corticosteroids, anthralin, or coal tar.


Clobetasol propionate
Clobetasol propionate is a corticosteroid available as ointment, cream, liniment, solution and foam. It is used to treat psoriasis on the body, and in the scalp. The foam penetrates the skin very well, is easy to use, and is not as messy as many other topical medications. Since clobetasol propionate is a superpotent corticosteroid, it should not be used for more than 14 days in a row. As with many medications of this potency, abruptly discontinuing it use may cause rebound effect.


Bath solutions
People with psoriasis may find that adding oil when bathing, then applying a moisturizer, soothes their skin. Also, individuals can remove scales and reduce itching by soaking for 15 minutes in water containing a coal tar solution, oiled oatmeal, Epsom salts, or Dead Sea salts.


Moisturizers
When applied regularly over a long period, moisturizers have a soothing effect. Preparations that are thick and greasy usually work best because they seal water in the skin, reducing scaling and itching.


Light therapy
Natural ultraviolet light from the sun and controlled delivery of artificial ultraviolet light are used in treating psoriasis.


Sunlight
Much of sunlight is composed of bands of different wavelengths of ultraviolet (UV) light. When absorbed into the skin, UV light suppresses the process leading to disease, causing activated T cells in the skin to die. This process reduces inflammation and slows the turnover of skin cells that causes scaling. Daily, short, nonburning exposure to sunlight clears or improves psoriasis in many people. Therefore, exposing affected skin to sunlight is one initial treatment for the disease.


Ultraviolet B (UVB) phototherapy
UVB is light with a short wavelength that is absorbed in the skin's epidermis. An artificial source can be used to treat mild and moderate psoriasis. Some physicians will start treating patients with UVB instead of topical agents. A UVB phototherapy, called broadband UVB, can be used for a few small lesions, to treat widespread psoriasis, or for lesions that resist topical treatment. This type of phototherapy is normally given in a doctor's office by using a light panel or light box. Some patients use UVB light boxes at home under a doctor's guidance.

A newer type of UVB, called narrowband UVB, emits the part of the ultraviolet light spectrum band that is most helpful for psoriasis. Narrowband UVB treatment is superior to broadband UVB, but it is less effective than PUVA treatment (see next paragraph). It is gaining in popularity because it does help and is more convenient than PUVA. At first, patients may require several treatments of narrowband UVB spaced close together to improve their skin. Once the skin has shown improvement, a maintenance treatment once each week may be all that is necessary. However, narrowband UVB treatment is not without risk. It can cause more severe and longer lasting burns than broadband treatment.


Psoralen and ultraviolet A phototherapy (PUVA)
This treatment combines oral or topical administration of a medicine called psoralen with exposure to ultraviolet A (UVA) light. UVA has a long wavelength that penetrates deeper into the skin than UVB. Psoralen makes the skin more sensitive to this light. PUVA is normally used when more than 10 percent of the skin is affected or when the disease interferes with a person's occupation (for example, when a teacher's face or a salesperson's hands are involved). Compared with broadband UVB treatment, PUVA treatment taken two to three times a week clears psoriasis more consistently and in fewer treatments. However, it is associated with more short term side effects, including nausea, headache, fatigue, burning, and itching. Care must be taken to avoid sunlight after ingesting psoralen to avoid severe sunburns, and the eyes must be protected for one to two days with UVA-absorbing glasses. Long-term treatment is associated with an increased risk of squamous-cell and, possibly, melanoma skin cancers. Simultaneous use of drugs that suppress the immune system, such as cyclosporine, have little beneficial effect and increase the risk of cancer.


Computerized tunable targeted light systems
Newly developed tunable targeted multiwavelength system claim to supersede classical phototherapy. These systems use narrow band UVB targeted selectively to the psoriatic lesions through a fiber optic delivery system. Since by using these systems light targets only the psoriatic lesions there is no damage to surrounding normal skin. Since normal skin is not exposed, high intensity may be used allowing clearing of psoriatic plaques in 8-10 treatments instead of 30 to 40 treatments with the classical full body phototherapy units[1]


Light therapy combined with other therapies
Studies have shown that combining ultraviolet light treatment and a retinoid, like acitretin, adds to the effectiveness of UV light for psoriasis. For this reason, if patients are not responding to light therapy, retinoids may be added. UVB phototherapy, for example, may be combined with retinoids and other treatments. One combined therapy program, referred to as the Ingram regime, involves a coal tar bath, UVB phototherapy, and application of an anthralin-salicylic acid paste that is left on the skin for 6 to 24 hours. A similar regime, the Goeckerman treatment, combines coal tar ointment with UVB phototherapy. Also, PUVA can be combined with some oral medications (such as retinoids) to increase its effectiveness.


X-ray radiation
Stubborn psoriasis on the scalp can be treated with a form of X-ray radiation called Grenz ray. There is a limit to the number of treatments that can be given. Effect is said to be longer lasting than other treatments. This form of therapy is considered to have unacceptable risks and is no longer used in most countries.


Systemic treatment
For more severe forms of psoriasis, doctors sometimes prescribe medicines that are taken internally by pill or injection. This is called systemic treatment.


Methotrexate
Like cyclosporine, methotrexate slows cell turnover by suppressing the immune system. It can be taken by pill or injection. Patients taking methotrexate must be closely monitored because it can cause liver damage and/or decrease the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, infection-fighting white blood cells, and clot-enhancing platelets. As a precaution, doctors do not prescribe the drug for people who have had liver disease or anemia (an illness characterized by weakness or tiredness due to a reduction in the number or volume of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the tissues). It is sometimes combined with PUVA or UVB treatments. Methotrexate should not be used by pregnant women, or by women who are planning to get pregnant, because it may cause birth defects.


Retinoids
A retinoid, such as acitretin (Soriatane), is a compound with vitamin A-like properties that may be prescribed for severe cases of psoriasis that do not respond to other therapies. Because this treatment may also cause birth defects, women must protect themselves from pregnancy beginning 1 month before through 3 years after treatment with acitretin. Most patients experience a recurrence of psoriasis after these products are discontinued. Common side effects include dry lips, hands and feet. Use of retinoids in conjunction with UV treatments has been found to be very effective for some people.


Cyclosporine
Taken orally, cyclosporine acts by suppressing the immune system to slow the rapid turnover of skin cells. It may provide quick relief of symptoms, but the improvement stops when treatment is discontinued. The best candidates for this therapy are those with severe psoriasis who have not responded to, or cannot tolerate, other systemic therapies. Its rapid onset of action is helpful in avoiding hospitalization of patients whose psoriasis is rapidly progressing. Cyclosporine may impair kidney function or cause high blood pressure (hypertension). Therefore, patients must be carefully monitored by a doctor. Also, cyclosporine is not recommended for patients who have a weak immune system or those who have had skin cancers as a result of PUVA treatments in the past. It should not be given with phototherapy.


6-Thioguanine
This drug is nearly as effective as methotrexate and cyclosporine. It has fewer side effects, but there is a greater likelihood of anemia. This drug must also be avoided by pregnant women and by women who are planning to become pregnant, because it may cause birth defects.





Hydroxyurea (Hydrea)
Compared with methotrexate and cyclosporine, hydroxyurea is somewhat less effective. It is sometimes combined with PUVA or UVB treatments. Possible side effects include anemia and a decrease in white blood cells and platelets. Like methotrexate and retinoids, hydroxyurea must be avoided by pregnant women or those who are planning to become pregnant, because it may cause birth defects.





Antibiotics
These medications are not indicated in routine treatment of psoriasis. However, antibiotics may be employed when an infection, such as that caused by the bacteria Streptococcus, triggers an outbreak of psoriasis, as in certain cases of guttate psoriasis.





Biologics
One of the newest classes of treatment for psoriasis are drugs collectively known as "biologics". These in general are types of manufactured proteins that attempt to impact the actual immune pathway of psoriasis, instead of affected skin cells. However, unlike other immunosuppression therapies such as Methotrexate, biologics try to narrowly focus on the one aspect of the immune function causing the psoriasis instead of broad immune system suppression. These drugs have only recently begun to receive approval by the FDA, and their long-term impact on immune function is currently unknown. Examples of biologics would be compounds such as Amevive®, etanercept (Enbrel®), Humira®, infliximab (Remicade®) and Raptiva.


Lifestyle
Unproven anecdotal evidence suggests that psoriasis can be effectivey managed through a healthy lifestyle. Some sufferers have found that minimizing stress and consumption of alcohol, sugar and other "aggressive" foods, combined with rest, sunshine and swimming in saltwater keep lesions to a minimum. This type of "lifestyle" treatment is effective as a long-term management strategy, rather than initial treatment of severe cases. One sufferer describes his psoriasis as his "barometer" which lets him know when he is getting too stressed and not living "well." This positive attitude and proactive approach can be an effective part of, or short-term replacement for, medical solutions.


References
Some of the information on this page was taken from the public-domain resource at http://www.niams.nih.gov/hi/topics/psoriasis/psoriafs.htm.
For an in-depth coverage of the causes of psoriasis
Gudjonsson JE, Johnston A, Sigmundsdottir H, Valdimarsson H.; (2004). Immunopathogenic mechanisms in psoriasis.. Clin Exp Immunol. 135 (1): 1-8. PMID 14678257
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
>>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psoriasis










.

Conditions and the Introduction of All-natural Relief

.




Conditions and the Introduction of All-natural Relief
By Penelope Marsh



Eczema can be an acute or chronic inflammatory skin condition with scales, papules, crusts, pustules, and/or scabs. There may or may not be a watery discharge. Eczema is more realistically describing a symptom rather than a disease. It is synonymous with another word, dermatitis, used to describe the body's external skin reaction to irritants.

Irritant contact dermatitis is a type of eczema that can be caused by a variety of substances. Solvents, paints, industrial chemicals, astringents, bleach, and some fabrics such as wool can cause redness, itching, and burning upon contact. Any irritant that is concentrated or potent enough can cause an irritation whether the person has skin sensitivity or not. Food allergies can initiate a flare-up. This is one of the more difficult sources to identify. Incorporating and removing certain foods from the diet usually determine it. If a food is suspect, it should be confirmed under the care of a physician. Presuming a food is the cause and simply removing it from the diet may deprive the body of needed nutrients while missing the real irritant.

Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, it is important to follow all the steps to control the disease. You can avoid the side effects that are often experienced with prescription medication by taking a natural approach to management. Eczana™ has been created specifically to address these conditions. The products at NeuLife laboratories are made from top quality, all natural ingredients. All formulations have been through a rigorous process of laboratory testing and clinical studies for effectiveness and safety.

Continual eczema treatment is essential to keep the condition under control. There is no cure, but there are several things that can be done to prevent flare-ups or an exacerbation of the symptoms. The first requirement is to have an accurate diagnosis. In order to have a treatment plan, you must know which type of eczema you are dealing with. You will also need to know the trigger for the symptoms.

Some of the information you will need to give the dermatologist includes when the condition first started, specifics about the signs and symptoms, circumstances that make the condition worse, and a family medical history regarding allergies, hay fever, or eczema. It may be necessary for the dermatologist to do a skin biopsy to rule out other causes before a diagnosis is made.

Depending on the type of eczema, a topical medication may be required to relieve the inflammation and discomfort from itching. Quite often, the prescription medication of choice is some type of steroid cream or ointment. Possible side effects include the very symptoms you are trying to control--dry skin, rash, redness, burning, or itching. If too much is absorbed, you may experience dizziness, persistent headache, or vision problems.

For excellent products to moisten the skin and to treat the flare-ups of eczema, browse through the products at NeuLife Laboratories. You will find products to repair and revitalize damaged skin. Eczana™ is an all-natural product designed specifically to treat the discomfort of itchy, scaly skin conditions. Regardless of the source of the eczema, NeuLife Laboratories can provide effective treatment with virtually no side effects.

The skin is the largest organ in the body, and it can be excruciatingly painful with an eczema flare-up. It is often difficult to determine the initial cause of eczema, but most people are found to have an accompanying medical history of allergies, hay fever, or family members with the condition. This condition goes away for many by the time they are in their teens. Unfortunately, it remains a life-long battle for hundreds of thousands. Sometimes an emotional state will precipitate a flare-up. Stress and anger are commonly noted among people experiencing an increase in eczema symptoms. Add frustration and anxiety to the mix, and one with a history of eczema is almost certain to experience a flare-up. Emotional highs and lows affect some people physically more than others.

Other causes for an eczema outbreak include temperature changes, weather changes, and sweat. It is important to acclimate slowly to changes such as from the outside cold to a warm fire. If the weather is particularly dry, use plenty of moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated. If the humidity is high, make sure you wear clothing that can breathe so you don't collect moisture in skin folds.

Since there is no cure for eczema, it is necessary to maintain treatment to prevent a major flare-up. NeuLife Laboratories offers an effective natural approach to managing the unending battle against the itching and discomfort of eczema. One major component in Eczana™ is the Canadian Willowherb. It has been used successfully in regions of the Canadian forest to soothe irritated skin. The perfect blend has been developed by NeuLife and is offered to you at a price you can afford.

Psoriasis is a non-contagious genetic disease that is immune mediated. It may begin at any age. The first sign is a flat papule that is covered with a grayish-white, thin scale. It spreads peripherally. Some individuals have a widespread outbreak while others have only one or two spots.

Psoriasis can also be present as an arthritic condition. Psoriatic arthritis causes damage to the bone and connective tissue surrounding the joints. This disease follows the same pattern of psoriasis in exacerbation and remission. Between psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis, almost 5 million people are affected.

If you have been recently diagnosed with either or both psoriatic conditions, you may feel relieved to have a diagnosis. At the same time, you are coping with the fact that there is no cure and you will have to learn to live with the cosmetic results of this disease. This can have a devastating affect on self-esteem. In addition to the physical difficulties, many living with psoriasis must deal with the depression that is often experienced.

While there is no cure, there are great products on the market to help with the symptoms of psoriasis. NeuLife Laboratories has a product that is helping people reclaim their lives. Eczana™ is an all-natural cream that will control the itching and help repair the skin. It includes ingredients to provide protection and moisture to the affected areas. This allows the body to heal and reduces the intensity of recurring episodes. Many factors go into finding the right psoriasis treatment. This includes the location on the body of the outbreak, the severity, one's medical history, and one's age. The right kind of treatment can reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks. A trial-and-error approach is often necessary to find the best treatment for each individual.

Outbreaks of psoriasis are rated and treated according to severity. For moderate or mild psoriasis, topical treatments are the first line of defense. This consists of gels, ointments, or lotions with coal tar or steroids. Steroids are drugs that have been developed to mimic hormones such as cortisone that occur in the body naturally. Coal tar is a centuries-old treatment for itching and inflammation.

For moderate to severe outbreaks, an added therapy of ultraviolet light may be initiated. This involves the exposure of the skin to a specific light wavelength. If either of these treatments do not resolve or control the outbreak, systemic medications may be prescribed. However, these prescription drugs can have serious side effects. This is particularly true for the anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed for psoriatic arthritis. To avoid the side effects of so many of the medications on the market today, check out the all-natural treatments available at NeuLife Laboratories. You will find products that provide support to the immune system and overall good health. Eczana™ is specifically designed to help with the discomfort and control of psoriasis.

Eczema and Psoriasis are incurable and uncomfortable. The introduction of Eczana™, from NeuLife Labs, has offered the public an all-natural defense against these afflictions and unfair skin ailments.

Penelope Marsh remains one of the most knowledgable and trusted sources for objective reporting on developments within the field of dermatology. She is committed to reporting on these incurable conditions and provides a voice for the millions who suffer.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/











.

What Causes Osteoporosis and Ten Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis

.




What Causes Osteoporosis and Ten Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis
By John Mericle M.D.


Ten Simple Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Reduce Your Risk for Osteoporosis




Stop or decrease your meat intake.


Stop or decrease your dairy intake.


Decrease or eliminate sugar from your diet.


Cut back on processed foods.


Eliminate highly acid vinegars.


Decrease or stop caffeine.


Stop smoking.


Cut back or eliminate alcohol consumption.


Start a weight bearing exercise program.


Get plenty of sunshine or supplement vitamin D.

“The myth that osteoporosis is caused by calcium deficiency was created to sell dairy products and calcium supplements. There's no truth to it. American women are among the biggest consumers of calcium in the world, and they still have one of the highest levels of osteoporosis in the world. And eating even more dairy products and calcium supplements is not going to change that fact.” - Dr. John McDougall

Discussion:

The ingestion of milk causes the blood to become acid ie -pH less than the normal 7.43. The body corrects this via the calcium phosphate balance which requires mobilization of additional calcium into the bloodstream to correct the acidosis. This calcium is obtained by removing it from the bones. Thus, it is no surprise that milk causes a total body calcium loss. This is not new information and is well discussed with reference to the original studies in John Robbins's book "Diet for a New America."

Amazing as it sounds, the ash (residue) from any animal protein that finds its way to the bloodstream is so acid that the homeostatic mechanisms of the body that maintain the pH of the blood at 7.43 are immediately invoked. The prime mechanism to accomplish this (as noted above) is the calcium / phosphate balance in the bloodstream. Since calcium acts as a base (can correct an acid condition of the blood) the body pulls calcium from the bone to offset or correct the acidosis caused by the acid residue from the animal protein (this includes dairy/milk).

Over time the continuing ingestion of animal protein leads to significant loss of bone mineralization and eventually clinical osteoporosis. Ingesting more calcium is a very simplistic approach that more often than not does not help. The problem is that supplemental calcium seldom finds its way to the bloodstream and the body will continue to remove calcium from the bone since this is the pathway that mother nature has established.

As a diagnostic radiologist I had many an occasion to see calcium tablets of all varieties totally undissolved on abdominal radiographs. Treating osteoporosis with additional calcium is like replacing the wood in a termite infested house without eradicating the termites. The only effective (and extremely simple) answer is to just not consume animal protein. One of the other complications of the increased mobilization of calcium is kidney stones. The incidence of kidney stones is considerably increased in those who consume animal protein.

The Bantu women, who are exclusively vegan and live off of a completely plant based diet in central Africa, get less than 350 mg of calcium in their daily diet. Yet, there is no osteoporosis in these women since they do not ingest any animal protein. This is also true for many women in the more remote portions of mainland China.

All the new imaging devices for measuring bone density are really a large technological waste of time and money. If you consume animal protein you are at risk for osteoporosis -period. Just take some of the money you would spend to have your bone density measured and go out and buy some good organic veggies. You and your bones will love you for it.

Osteoporosis is not gender specific. Although more women than men are affected, men also have osteoporosis. I once knew an Ultrasound technician in his thirties who had osteoporosis.

Recipes:

The following recipes are good sources of calcium from totally natural sources as well as recipes that avoid the foods that cause osteoporosis. For those of you outside of the US the need for organic foods is not as critical since the destructive commercial farming practices here have not reached the rest of the world -yet. This is especially true in Europe where a tomato, I am told, still tastes like a tomato.

Black bean burritos, tostadas and tacos.

Prepare some organic black beans refried style as in the MericleDiet or however you like to prepare your beans. Obtain some organic tortillas, taco or tostada shells. Drop some refried beans into or onto one of the above and add some chopped lettuce, cabbage or onions. Black beans and onions really make a good burrito. Wrap the tortilla around your filling and garnish with salsa and maybe some more cabbage or lettuce. If you like, you can fry the burrito to make what we used to call a "Cindy Special" from an old Mexican restaurant here in Tucson. The frying is however not without its caloric burden, although it makes for a real taste treat.

Other good sources of calcium are organic kale, collards, broccoli, bok choy and tofu.

A fresh spinach salad makes a nice addition to this meal and a lot of organic greens really are excellent sources of calcium that the body can utilize. I have been told that, although spinach is high in calcium, it is also high in oxalic acid which is alleged to bind the calcium thus limiting its absorption. However spinach is still a good bet since it has been shown to retard the development of macular degeneration.

Summary:

Osteoporosis is not a disease of calcium absorption but is a proactive disease caused by ingesting foods that upset the acid/base balance of the body thus requiring calcium to be slowly but constantly leached from your bones in order to keep the blood (pH) normal (7.43). No amount of ingested calcium will correct the problem as long as one continues to destroy their bones by eating the wrong foods. The answer is to simply stop the destruction of your bones by significantly reducing or completely stopping the ingestion of animal protein.

We hope you find this informative. Please stay tuned for the next newsletter that will cover sugar, vitamin C, insulin, your white blood cells, your immune system and the very interesting subject of competitive inhibition or -how much vitamin C should I take? To sign up for the MericleDiet Newsletter / Dr. Mericle Health Tips please follow the link below:

http://www.DrMericle.com

One last quote:

"In the next 10 to 15 years, one of the things you're bound to hear is that animal protein ... is one of the most toxic nutrients of all that can be considered . Risk for disease goes up dramatically when even a little animal protein is added to the diet." T. Colin Campbell Ph.D. (Author of The China Study).

Remember the Bantu women.

The MericleDiet.

The MericleDiet is a completely vegan, 100% Sugar Free and 100% Organic easy to follow diet. It is actually more of a lifestyle than a diet as you never feel deprived or restricted. It also will keep your bone density at the best it can be. Your bones will love you for it. To visit just follow the link below:

http://www.DrMericle.com

Copyright 2005 J. Mericle M.D. All Rights Reserved

http://www.DrMericle.com is devoted to achieving optimal health and peak performance through diet and lifestyle change. Dr. Mericle brings together a unique blend of formal medical education, 29 marathons, 3 Hawaii Ironman competitions and a lot of practical real life experience.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/











.