Random Notes on Psoriasis

There are a lot of posts expressing confusion, frustration and hopelessness. There are a great many misconceptions about Psoriasis. It may be easier to handle Psoriasis if you understand precisely what it is and why it does what it does.

Psoriasis is one symptom of a systemic inflammatory disorder. It is the result of your body not taking the correct action in healing a rash or an agitated joint.

In a systemic inflammatory disorder, the body is stuck in a state of inflammation. Because of the steady signal of inflammation, a simple rash will not heal properly.

Eventually, the body will detect that there is non-healing rash present. It sends a signal to the bone-marrow. (The bone-marrow produces cells that can become any type) From that point on, the bone-marrow sends skin cells to those rash-prone areas which are of a different cell type.

These cells are tougher and more resistant to infection and scar-formation. They are the same cells found in the roof of your mouth.

The body uses this strategy for overall protection. This phenomenon of changing cell-type is called metaplasia. This is why there are no scars when psoriasis plaques go away.

To find the cause, we have to trace the chain all the way back. As stated, persistent inflammatory disorder is a condition in which the body is continually responding to inflammation. The immune system is overworked, overloaded and, in the case of psoriasis, these conditions allow for rashes to form easily and become plaques.

The goal is to eliminate the source of inflammation. As mentioned in these forums, a number of individuals have found that what they were eating was causing the inflammation.

Others have found it was stagnation (lack of exercise) dehydration or stress. Others have it for reasons which are purely genetic.

Here is a list of some of the tried and true methods of treatment.

1. Aquaphor - This ointment and others like it have succeeded in eliminating plaques, but must be continually applied.

2. Steroidal - These work well too, also in combination with the former.

3. Methotrexate - Cheap immunomodulator which decreases the effectiveness of your immune system. The plaque/arthitis symptoms fade.

4. Humira - Expensive immunomodulator which decreases the amount of one of the tumor-killing cell types in the body.

5. Organic Food - Other evidence suggests that persistent inflammatory disorder is caused by a diet full of additives, chemicals, hormones and industrial fillers. Some have found that switching to a 'whole food' diet has helped.

6. Avoid wheat & milk - Many people with psoriasis have 'anti-gliadins'. These are specialized immune-system antibodies which perceive wheat as an intruder. Certainly, an intolerance to wheat will lead to a persistent-inflammatory disorder, because wheat is present in nearly everything we eat. Milk intolerance or allergy is also prevalent in those with psoriasis, especially those with arthritis.

7. Core strengthening - Many have attested to an improvement in symptoms through exercise of core muscles. Strengthening the abdominal muscles will strengthen intestine walls. In one model of gluten-mediated inflammation, weak intestine walls were found to lead to prolonged inflammation.

8. Anti-inflammatory supplements - There is no shortage of pills and herbs marketed towards those with psoriasis. The results vary from person to person. Vitamin D3, Krill Oil and Turmeric to name a few. There are dozens of herbs too, but it is important to research the side-effects. There is also Naproxen and Ibuprofen. But be wary of snake oil.

9. Water, oil and light - Remaining hydrated, keeping plaques moisturized and not living in a cave will have a beneficial effect.

10. Scratching is bad - Perhaps the most important, but overlooked problem is that scratching leads to profound relief. Depending on how long you've had Psoriasis, your scratching may have become an intensely pleasurable ritual. Those histamines being released are the culprit. Scratching is how the rash spreads. Scratching also reinforces the link your brain has made with the presence of the disease being pleasurable. Soon the boundaries of the plaque are expanded. Your brain begins to make the assumption that the disease is a good thing.

Be assiduous in your quest to control the disease. Apply ointments and creams as often as you have to. And remember that the disease has a mind of its own. You may have become conditioned to support and maintain the symptoms.

Lastly, understand it is not a disease. It is a symptom of a persistent inflammatory disorder. Although there are no statistics, you can bet that a great many people have a persistent inflammatory disorder, but have no symptoms of plaques or swollen joints.

Those with psoriasis/arthritis are different only in that they can see or feel the symptoms of it. Do not feel like a freak. The symptoms are your body's way of telling you there is a problem.

Dermatology 1974, Vol. 148, No. 1 The Natural History of Psoriasis in 5,600 Patients Farber EM, Nall ML Dermatologica 1974;148:1–18 (DOI: 10.1159/000251595)

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology Volume 41, Issue 3, September 1999, Pages 401–407

Kinetics of Hyperplasia in Psoriasis E. J. VAN SCOTT, MD; T. M. EKEL, BS
Arch Dermatol. 1963;88(4):373-381. doi:10.1001/archderm.1963.01590220005001.

Eyerich K, Traidl-Hoffmann C, Albert A, Kerzl R, Rombold S, Darsow U, Eberlein B, Jakob T, Ring J, Hein R:
Lipomatous Metaplasia after Severe and Chronic Cutaneous Inflammation.
Dermatology 2008;217:52-55 (DOI: 10.1159/000123234)

J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2006 Sep;11(1):16-29.
Lessons learned from psoriatic plaques concerning mechanisms of tissue repair, remodeling, and inflammation.
Nickoloff BJ, Bonish BK, Marble DJ, Schriedel KA, DiPietro LA, Gordon KB, Lingen MW.

Psoriasis is a Symptom of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, Sept 2008; Vol. 22, No. 9, 1055-61.

Edited January 31, 2013 at 9:45 am

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38 replies. Join the discussion

Ok now I'm educated but if it is so black and white and not a disease then why is it so hard to get rid of why does it cause PsA. If you clear up P why do u still have PsA. Why does it not bother tattoos.

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I don't know where you got this information, but these two paragraphs completely contradict each other:

<<< Be assiduous in your quest to control the disease. Apply ointments and creams as often as you have to. And remember that the disease has a mind of its own. You may have become conditioned to support and maintain the symptoms.

Lastly, understand it is not a disease. It is a symptom of a persistent inflammatory disorder.>>>

First, you're calling it a disease, then telling us to understand that its NOT a disease.

Also, I never had a "rash" that wouldn't heal that then turned into p.

Furthermore, inflammation is one of the symptoms of autoimmune disorder, which causes disease. P is a symptom from the body attacking the skin thinking its a foreign substance. Likewise, PsA is a symptom of the body attacking the joints thinking they are foreign to the body. The immune system sends inflammation to parts of the body that it sees as injured to repair it. Because there's nothing to repair, the inflammation becomes chronic and damages the joints and surrounding areas. You can reduce inflammation, but the body is still going to create more because of a mutated gene.

Eating anti-inflammatory diet helps by not creating additional inflammation, and eliminating SOME of the inflammation from the body, but it doesn't inhibit the tnf from continuing to create more. Mutated genes cause autoimmune dysfunction, not lack of exercise, dehydration, or a rash, or some of the other things you mentioned.

Confusion comes from misinformation. It is my hope that I have not added to the confusion. On the other hand, this original post is full of confusion.

Not trying to be negative or rude...but this post has a lot of inaccurate statements.

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Right on Kay!

To keep it simple in my mind..I conclude that I have a T Cell run amok trying to fix something that isn't broken.

Anything I do, or eat, does not affect my deranged T Cell.

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Rash? What rash? My husband has never had a rash in any location that he now has P. In fact, most of the things you mentioned has not applied to him or helped him. I must agree completely with Kay. Misinformation abounds. I'm not trying to be rude or mean either, but you have to use common sense when reading about any disease or problem, & find the diet/treatments that work for you, which may or may not work for somebody else. You cannot believe everything that was written in a book, including scientific/medical studies. They are learning new stuff almost on a daily basis about P/PSA. And some of this new information changes past views & treatments of the disease. There is no magic cure for everybody with P/PSA, or any other particular medical complaint.

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Thanzx willymon That's the bestest, most succinct definition yet; and, extremely accurate ! :)

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Ummmmm....if it has a genetic component and it runs in families...such as my dad has it too...how is that not a disease? I feel bad enough and frustrated enough dealing with this, without feeling like it is because of some negligence on my part.

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And that's it khall. Misinformation like this post is what we don't need. ITS NOT YOUR FAULT YOU HAVE P/PSA!!! This post will do exactly what it claims is already a problem...create more confusion.

People, all of you, don't buy this!!! Like Willymon said, we " have a T Cell run amok trying to fix something that isn't broken." No one got this problem from "living in a cave," eating the wrong food, not drinking enough water or lack of exercise. I'm surprised we weren't also told we have p from not bathing enough!

We have NO CONTROL over our T cells!

I hope the moderators delete this thread before new members take this to heart and blame themselves for their condition.

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I have to admit. What a bunch of hogwash.

For instance:

"It is the result of your body not taking the correct action in healing a rash or an agitated joint."

What I see there is the body had a rash..pfft..and THEN the body can't fix it. It's the other way around, YO!

The BODY caused the psoriasis..it's not a friggin rash. T Cells, Man...grasp that concept.

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UGH! I have a headache or I would take this piece by piece. As mentioned in the above posts this is just more confusion and misinformation to fuel the confusion and frustration people are experiencing.

I took a look at your previous threads and it looks like you put out a long wordy post every few months with just enough copy and paste from a legitimate source to make it sound like it is a true source, but add a lot of your own opinion without a lot of research into the truth of the matter.

If these things are working for you, that is great, but do your research about this disease before you blanket it on everyone here. Also the idea that this DISEASE is caused by personal action is just not a real statement. Yes many people do have dietary and environmental factors, but it is a DISEASE. It can be improved for many by eliminating those triggers, but it will still be there, it will still be reactive to triggers such as stress, and it does NOT have a CURE.

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LOL, PsA has my joints in a state of agitation!

One thing a lot of people don't understand is that the inflammation caused by the amok-running T cells is not the same as inflammation caused by pro-inflammatory foods. That's why an anti-inflammatory diet will not "cure" us, it only stops us from adding more, and helps reduce some of the existing inflammation.

PsA disabled me from exercising. I did not get PsA from lack of exercise. I was a runner, hiker, walker, mountain bike rider & aerobics chick. Also played racquet ball & swam.

Ppp just appeared one morning on the soles of my feet. No rash, no bug bites, clean feet. Ugly, but clean.

I drank lots of water & herbal teas. Ate vegetarian. Just your all around health freak. Now I'm a lazy blob! From ppp & PsA! NOT MY FAULT!

Now I'm getting agitated! I'm done with this hog wash.

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Take a deep breath, Kay...it's cool.

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LOL, I did...I'm over it.

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I think the others pretty much said it all. But just to close the issue. I have celiac disease which I didnt know about until finally diagnosed after twelve years of the blithering s---s. Do you really think a grown person intentionally inflames their gut so he or she can run around in a diaper ? You should revisit your copy and paste tactics..

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Graham after having psoriasis for thirty years I understand what it is and what it does. I educated myself and I take the advice of trained medical proffesionals and have a treatment plan that works for me.I do agree with you that there is a lot of misinformation out there but we are wise enough to know when we are being scammed and if it is all bull.Thanks for your attempt at trying to educate us by reading something and giving us your interpretation but I think you may have added to the misinformation and I will stick with medical proffesionals who have trained for years in their field of expertise.

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Ok thx guys graham had me ready to run a mile get a sunburn and quit eating all from my wheel chair. Thx for taking my guilt back away I was believing this guy. As far as I'm concerned MY DAD HAS IT I got it from him it's a genetic disease. After looking back at my life the death of my mom made me stress and the P went ramped. I'm just gonna move to a state with legal maryjane and just stay stoned LOL. No really but well maybe not really well maybe.

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1. At no point in this article is it suggested that psoriasis is not a genetic disease. It's a genetic predisposition to systemic inflammation.

2. Medical professionals are wonderful but they: (1) see you for fifteen minutes (2) don't have the disease (3) are greatly limited in treatment options.

3. I can't fathom what you mean by 'intentionally inflaming one's gut'. In fact, I have no idea what your response means.

4. Kay, your remarks are the antithesis of everything in this post. You advocate doing nothing, 'why try?', no control, and then you call yourself a 'lazy blob' and ask that this post be deleted.

5. Willy, I've stated a skin rash is transformed into a plaque by an inflamed system/body. I'm not certain, but it appears you argue the opposite, but you mean exactly the same thing. The body does cause the psoriasis. Rash, trauma, infection set the stage for it.

7. I called Psoriasis a disease until the very end of the post, otherwise no one would have read the post.

8. There is no additional negligence or guilt suggested in this post. It is simply suggested that if you follow any number of the recommendations, you will see an improvement of symptoms. This applies to the vast majority of sufferers. There are plenty of other reasons people end up with psoriasis, but I do believe that persistent inflammatory disorder (auto-immune disease) is by far, the most common.

9. I have stated Psoriasis is not a disease because I do not believe it is. I think, in the vast majority of cases, it is a longstanding chronic inflammation/persistent inflammatory/auto-immune whatever you want to call it. it's the same thing.

10. T Cell run amok trying to fix something that isn't broken = persistent inflammatory disorder = autoimmune disease. All the same.

11. I'm aware that many have stated food has no bearing on the problem. I can only conclude, by observation, that this is the minority. I will also mention that I was vehemently opposed to this idea for twelve years.

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You began your first post with:

" There are a great many misconceptions about Psoriasis. It may be easier to handle Psoriasis if you understand precisely what it is and why it does what it does."

I urge you to educate yourself at www.psoriasis.org. You are only adding to the misconceptions and poor information.

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Is that really what you got out of my replies? Do nothing? Hardly. Nowhere in my comments did I say or indicate that. It doesn't really matter what you do is what I'm saying...if you're predisposed to get it, you're going to get it. You can't make it go away but you can have remissions. I feel lazy because I am disabled from working out. Not easy to adjust to that either.

But I don't advocate for doing nothing. I'm usually advocating for diet.

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some of your info is interesting - they do say people with p. have more inflammation in their body then a non p. person.
putting your own personal spin on all of this has ruffled some feathers - dozens of people were probably offended.
this is no coincidence.

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grahamj, im not offended on the contrary I thought it was a good read even if it was based on opinion and some fact but what I find more interesting is how it effected my fellow P sufferers all I can say is WOW! with the responses to ur opinion, this disease really changes us doesn't it, I mean most of us are really believing that there is nothing we can do even if it was true that there is nothing we can do In my opinion why not try to have visualization of our condition being manageable whats the harm in believing that we can minimize inflamation by being out in the sun a little bit more drinking adequate amounts of water quitting smoking and alcohol I don't see the harm in being positive eventhough its hard to be positive most of the time personally I've had P for almost ten years right now its at its worst but to be honest my diet is as well! maybe there is a link with diet I dont know but after reading all the responses to what you stated made me realize thats exactly how I have been feeling like there is no hope it just is what it is attitude but im tired of being controlled by this disease mentally and physically so im getting back on my feet and give it another shot at the diet and exercise peace to all good luck God bless.

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