The skin condition known as Psoriasis is thought to affect 2% of the population, causing sufferers to develop patches of red, flaky skin covered with silvery scales. These patches can appear anywhere on the body, but normally appear on the elbows, knees, scalp and lower back.
Besides affecting sufferers’ confidence, these patches can also be sore and itchy, causing varying degrees of irritation and discomfort.
One of the triggers that is known to aggravate or worsen Psoriasis is perfume and chemical in cosmetics. These can irritate and even inflame the skin, so for many of those affected, symptom management is dependent on finding a Psoriasis-friendly skincare routine.
For the most part, this involves knowing which ingredients will help relieve itching and loosen plaques.
One important ingredient to look out for is Salicylic acid, which helps to soften and exfoliate the scales. However, care does need to be taken not to use too much salicylic acid, or leave it on the skin for too long, as this has the potential to cause irritation.
AVOID SUPHATES AND SCENTS
One ingredient to avoid if sulfates, which may be listed under ingredients as sodium laureth (or lauryl) sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate. Sulphates can be particularly irritating for Psoriasis, so it’s worth looking for products that are sulphate-free. The same applies to scents and perfume ingredients, so fragrance-free is worth investing in.
Shea butter is a rich moisturiser, making it helpful for Psoriasis where keeping skin quenched is important. Look for products that have this as a key ingredient, such as some of those by Friendly Soap. Their shea butter cleansing bar contains a rich blend of fatty acids and antioxidants and is both gentle and moisturising, containing no fragrances. synthetic ingredients, Palm Oil, Parabens, Sulphates, Triclosan or Phthalates. As an added bonus, they’re boxed in plastic free recycled packaging.
REAL LIFE STORY
‘Living with Psoriasis is not only a physical challenge but a mental and emotional one too. Most people only see the condition as a physical issue but it goes a lot deeper than that. It can consume your entire being at times. It can make you feel isolated and lonely. It is most definitely a condition for which you are going to need plenty of support around you.
You are probably thinking, are there any positives to living with this chronic skin disease? After suffering for nearly two decades I can safely say Psoriasis has moulded me into the person I am today. I am thankful for my condition. It has taught me about myself and what I want and need in life. I have the ability to sympathise with others who are in pain and who are hurting, it has taught me that we do not have the good without the bad and life is not about striving for perfection, it's about being you.
Over the past 18 years I feel as though I have tried a lot of what the market has to offer; from different creams to Chinese medicine to kinesiology, you name it, Iv'e probably tried it. It has always been very apparent to me that what you eat has a large influence on your skin. You are what you eat, right? In the latter part of this year I adapted to a vegan diet, and while it's too early on to say if it's benefiting my Psoriasis, lots of researching has led me to believe that plant-based diets are the way forward for skin health. I also defiantly have more of a spring in my step now than ever before.’