Treating Psoriasis Naturally: Which Vitamins and Supplements Work?
Psoriasis can be a troubling condition for those who have it. The resulting itchy, scaly skin may make you feel self-conscious and embarrassed during the worst flare-ups. Luckily, the clinicians at the California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute are skilled at researching and treating this chronic, inflammatory skin condition.
If you are hoping to manage the symptoms of psoriasis naturally, a number of vitamins and dietary supplements can help. Below are some natural vitamins and supplements that you may use for the treatment of psoriasis. These may improve symptoms on their own or may be used in conjunction with other recognized treatments.
Vitamin A, or retinol, is beneficial for the growth of healthy skin cells. However, researchers have found that large doses of this essential vitamin are linked to side effects. That’s why many suggest taking beta-carotene (commonly found in orange and yellow vegetables) instead, which is a safer alternative that converts to Vitamin A once ingested in the body.
Often combined with glucosamine to ease joint pain in knee osteoarthritis, chondroitin is a substance that inhibits inflammation and promotes cartilage elasticity. However, one study showed that patients taking 800 mg of chondroitin sulfate for two months saw a marked reduction in psoriasis symptoms, including less swelling, redness, flaking and itching.
Methylsulfonylmethane is an organic sulfur compound that is found in vegetables, meat and dairy products. However, this helpful compound may be lost during food-processing. Sulfur is essential for the formation of healthy connective tissue, so taking MSM in supplement form may benefit skin health.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fish oil supplements, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to improve the symptoms of psoriasis by reducing inflammation. These supplements should include the omega-3s found in fatty fish: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Because the skin is a major target for oxidative damage due to ultraviolet radiation and environmental irritants, many studies have linked oxidative stress to the development of psoriasis. Vitamin C, usually associated with citrus fruits, is an antioxidant-rich vitamin that may help defend the body against oxidative stress.
Vitamin D is typically in the ingredients list of many psoriasis medications. Known as the “sunshine vitamin,” Vitamin D may help balance the growth of new skin cells caused by psoriasis, helping to reduce the thickness and scaliness of psoriasis plaque. In addition, researchers believe supplementing with Vitamin D may benefit immune functioning that may be compromised in psoriatic patients.
Heightened levels of free radicals often prolong the disease process and lower the body’s defenses. Vitamin E and selenium are antioxidants that help improve immune functioning and fight oxidative damage, which may ultimately reduce psoriasis symptoms. Supplementing with both Vitamin E and selenium together improve the effectiveness of selenium, which has been shown to be deficient in many psoriasis patients. By all means, stick to ORAL vitamin E if you are going to supplement yourself. Stay away from vitamin E applied to your skin - it is common to be allergic to it - it can cause far more problems than it can help.
Remember that the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the production of supplements, so you should always talk to a dermatologist before adding any of these vitamins and nutrients to your skin care regimen. Your dermatologist can ensure that you are taking the appropriate dosages and that you are using high-quality dietary supplements.
Contact California Dermatology & Clinical Research Institute for Psoriasis Treatment
You can count on us at the California Dermatology and Clinical Research Institute to provide you with well-researched and practical treatment options for a variety of skin conditions. If you want to learn more about natural treatments for psoriasis, contact us at (760) 203-3839 to speak with a dermatologist.