Effectively Treat Psoriasis & Eczema with Naturopathic Medicine - Dr. Shannon Sinsheimer, ND
Psoriasis and eczema are both skin conditions. They present very similarly on the body. Psoriasis presents as large, scaly, white patches of skin that itches, and when you scratch it, will produce pin-point bleed marks. Eczema will start out as smaller bumps that are vesicles that when you scratch, they ooze and, over time, will create larger white plaques on the skin. Conventional medicine treatments for eczema and psoriasis are most often topical creams, such as hydrocortisone creams. When these creams are applied to the skin, the plaque diminishes in size over time. However, when you stop using the cream, the plaque can return.
When a patient comes into my office for eczema or psoriasis, I first begin with a medical intake to find out how long they’ve had their symptoms and how severe they’ve been. I take a look at their skin, and then I order a blood test to find out about any food sensitivities, their liver function, and total cholesterol levels. Diet plays a significant role in the development of psoriasis or eczema, therefore, based on lab results. My first step is to eliminate foods the person is sensitive to, and instead, I recommend whole, organic foods that are nutrient-dense and are less likely to aggravate the skin.
Stress or high stress levels are known to increase inflammation in the body. Psoriasis and eczema are both inflammatory conditions of the skin, therefore, unmanaged or high-stress levels will increase the problem of psoriasis or eczema. Stress management is necessary to help deal with psoriasis and eczema, therefore I prescribe stress management techniques, such as exercise, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. I’ll also prescribe a number of supplements. They include fish oil for its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to support the skin; vitamin A for its skin-healing properties; milk thistle for its ability to detoxify and support the liver; and vitamin D to support the immune system. Depending upon the symptoms, I may also prescribe a topical ointment, such as a homeopathic cream to decrease inflammation and increase healing time, or a vitamin and mineral infused cream with vitamin A and zinc to support the skin’s healing process, or a calendula ointment, which can decrease the appearance of plaques and decrease the itchiness. Naturopathic medicine is about treating the root cause of disease, so when I treat the root cause of eczema or psoriasis, I see significant to complete reduction in my patient’s symptoms.
For example, I had a patient come in who had psoriatic plaques covering nearly his entire back, the backs of his legs, and almost all of the backs of his arms. After three months, we saw a significant reduction in the size of the plaques, and after six months, the only symptoms present were some light pink discoloration on the upper part of his back. Another example is a young child I saw who had such bad eczema on his feet and in-between his toes, he was unable to wear shoes at two years old. After three months of treatment, his symptoms had completely resolved, and he was wearing shoes again.
Another patient had scaly, itchy plaques covering the majority of her scalp, and within a few months of treatment, she had eliminated 95 percent of the plaques on her scalp. Naturopathic medicine works. If you're experiencing symptoms of eczema or psoriasis and you want to reduce or eliminate those symptoms, I suggest you see a naturopathic doctor to receive your own individualized treatment plan.
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