Psoriasis is a common skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. It causes cells to build up rapidly on the surface of the skin. The extra skin cells form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disease that often comes and goes. The main goal of treatment is to stop the skin cells from growing so quickly. There is no cure for psoriasis, but you can manage symptoms.
Oils from cold-water fish show the most promise for improving symptoms in psoriasis according to a study review in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The results make sense since we know the omega-3s in fish oil reduce inflammation.
Scientists reviewed 15 studies of fish oil use in psoriasis; 12 found some benefit, typically a moderate improvement in skin redness, plaque thickness and scale amount. Several studies found omega-3s seemed to boost benefits of traditional psoriasis therapies, including UVB therapy and oral retinoids.
Patients in the studies took different amounts of fish oil — with some taking very high amounts — for periods varying from six weeks to six months. Fish oil was found to be most effective in people taking it for three months or more. A less fishy alternative with more omega-3s is Krill Oil.
People with psoriatic disease often have low levels of vitamin D, which helps regulate immune system function. A study in the British Journal of Dermatologyfound that 57 percent of people with psoriasis had vitamin D deficiency, a figure that rose to 80 percent in winter months.
Multiple studies have shown how powerful vitamin D can be in fighting the symptoms of psoriasis. One such study showed that using both oral and topical vitamin D preparations improved psoriasis symptoms. Another more recent study has shown that taking or applying supplemental vitamin D with a steroid cream produces even more favorable results than just vitamin D alone. And yet another study found that vitamin D could have important immunomodulatory effects in psoriasis.
Vitamin C is found in high levels in the epidermis (outer layer of skin) as well as the dermis (inner layer of skin). Its antioxidant properties, and its role in collagen production help keep your skin healthy. This is why vitamin C is one of the key ingredients found in many antiaging skin care products.
Antioxidants can help support the treatment of psoriasis by preventing damage linked to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when levels of disease-triggering free radical molecules and protective antioxidant substances are imbalanced.
Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin that also serves as a powerful antioxidant, may be helpful for psoriasis in reducing the action of free radicals. You can easily get vitamin C from diet, supplements, or both.