Homeopathy is a safe and reliable method of treatment for Psoriasis. It uses natural medicine, which is free from side-effects, and a majority of cases can be treated with these remedies. They can be used by people of all age groups. They work by moderating the over-active immune system. The initial aim is to manage the itching and burning sensation in the eruptions. In addition, healing of the current eruptions takes place along with the prevention of further spread of eruptions. Homeopathic medicines also are very beneficial for treating joint pains that are linked with Psoriasis (psoriatic arthritis).
Homeopathic Medicines for Psoriasis
The main remedies for Psoriasis are Arsenic Album, Graphites Naturalis, and Arsenic Iodatum. The main indicating features for these homeopathic medicines are as follows:
1. Arsenic Album –For Silver Scales
The chief indicator for using Arsenic Album is the presence of dry, rough, red papular eruptions with scales on it. The scales are silver colored. The eruptions cover most parts of the body, except face and hands.
The eruptions spread rapidly and are accompanied by itching. Cold worsens the itching in most cases, while warmth seems to relieve it. Pain on the affected skin arises after scratching the eruptions. Bleeding spots also appear on the skin following scratching.
Restlessness is another symptom that may be present. Yet another symptom is marked anxiety that accompanies itchy eruptions.
Arsenic Album also works well in cases of guttate Psoriasis. In guttate Psoriasis, small rose coloured spots with scales appear.
2. Graphites Naturalis – For Cracked Skin
Cases where Graphites Naturalis works well tend to have patches of sore, dry, rough skin with scales. An inclination to develop cracks on the surface may also be there. Following scratching, stickiness on the skin may appear.
Graphites Naturalis is also useful for cases of scalp Psoriasis. In such cases, eruptions with scales appear on the scalp. The scalp may be sore to touch, with distressing itching. One may also feel a burning sensation on the top of the head. Eruptions on the scalp can also spread behind the ears. In cases of nail Psoriasis, the characteristic features are rough, thick and deformed nails.
3. Arsenic Iodatum – For Shedding of Large Scales
Arsenic Iodatum is used when there is shedding of large scales from the skin eruptions. The skin is covered with inflamed patches with scales on them. There is persistent itching in the patches and the shedding of the scales leaves raw skin behind.
4. Sulphur – For Intense Itching and Burning
Sulphur helps in cases with severe itching and burning in the psoriatic skin lesions. A violent itching attends, and the person goes on scratching the skin until it bleeds. A burning sensation follows scratching. The itching is wandering, and changes place frequently. The skin is rough, scaly and gets painful after rubbing as if denuded. The symptoms tend to get worse in the evening and at night, when in bed. Sleep is disturbed because of the itching and burning sensation. Other accompanying symptoms are pricking, biting and sticking sensation in the eruptions. Sulphur is also a remedy for skin ailments with a history of excessive use of ointments in the past.
5. Petroleum Oleum – For Deep Cracks
Petroleum Oleum is a very suitable remedy for Psoriasis where deep cracks appear on the skin. There is a burning sensation and intolerable itching on the affected skin. Bleeding may also be present in the cracks. The skin is intensely sore, painful, hard, fissured and slow to heal. A crawling sensation on the skin may also attend over and above the given symptoms.
6. Sepia Succus – For Large Oval Lesions
Sepia Succus is a beneficial medicine for Psoriasis characterised by the presence of big oval lesions on the skin. The lesions are reddish papules and are isolated. There are shiny, whitish and adhesive scales present on the papules. Itching arises in the eruptions. On scratching, a burning sensation on the skin follows. The eruptions are present over the face, chest, back, arms and legs. In the case of limbs, the extensor surfaces are mostly involved.
7. Merc Sol – For Scalp Psoriasis
Merc Sol is a medicine for Psoriasis of the scalp. In typical cases, the scalp is covered with abundant white scales. The base underneath the scales is raw. The scales, which shed rapidly, re-form again and again. An intense itching, which is worse at night, accompanies. The skin of the scalp is also sensitive to touch. An excessive sweat (which may be sour smelling) may also be present on the scalp. Hairfall may also appear in few cases along with above symptoms.
Other Significant Remedies for Psoriasis
Apart from the above three medicines, some of the other prominent homeopathic remedies that are helpful for treating Psoriasis are as below:
1. Psorinum – For Condition that Worsens in Cold Weather
For Psoriasis that worsens in winters, Psorinum proves very helpful. The indicators for using Psorinum are fine, red eruptions covered with white scales, which worsen in cold weather. Itching appears, and scratching brings temporary relief. At the same time, a stinging sensation appears. The skin looks dirty and greasy due to the above symptoms.
2. Kali Ars – For Discoloration on the Skin
Kali Ars is indicated where eruptions leave a discoloration on the skin. In individuals needing Kali Ars abundant scales fall off from the skin and leave behind a discolored red skin. The psoriatic patches are numerous and mainly located on the back, arms, and legs. Intolerable itching is also present. Itching tends to get worse on undressing. The person scratches the skin until an ichorous fluid oozes out.
3. Thuja Occidentalis – For Psoriasis Universalis
Thuja Occidentalis is highly recommended in cases where psoriatic lesions cover almost the entire skin surface. The key indicator for using Thuja Occidentalis is dry patches on the skin, covered with white scales. The skin surface gives a dirty look. Itching and burning arise in the patches. Cold water application tends to worsen the burning sensation in the lesions. Some patients may have a needle-pricking sensation and/or a biting sensation in the eruptions.
4. Antimonium Crudum – For Psoriasis of the Nails
Antimonium Crudum is an important remedy where the characteristic features are distorted and out of shape nails with discoloration, pitting or ridges on the nails. The nails are brittle and tend to break often. The skin underneath the nails is also painful and very sensitive.
5. Phosphorus – For Knees and Elbows
Phosphorus works wonders in cases of Psoriasis that affects knees and elbows. The skin of elbows and knees is covered with dry, scaly eruptions. Itching appears in the eruptions. In the majority of cases, the itching is worse in heat. Other accompanying features are a burning and stinging sensation in the eruptions. In a few cases a formication on the area affected is present.
6. Lycopodium Clavatum – For the Hands
Lycopodium Clavatum works well for Psoriasis that affects the hands (including fingers). The eruptions are reddish with furfuraceous looks. Bleeding often arises in eruptions, usually accompanied by a sensation of heat in the hands. Palms are excessively dry and fissures may appear on the hands. Burning in the lesions is well marked.
7. Rhus Tox – For Joint Pain
Rhus Tox works well where joints are involved. Any of the joints may be affected. The affected joints are very painful and stiff. The pain is worse when at rest and after periods of inactivity, and better after movement. The pain and stiffness are, therefore, worse in the morning. Exposure to cold air also makes the pain worse. Some patients get relief from warm fomentation. Massaging the affected joint also soothes the pain in some cases.
Psoriasis and its Causes
Psoriasis is among the common skin ailments seen in clinical practice. Red, inflamed patches on the skin, covered by silvery white scales, are the characteristic features of Psoriasis. The reason behind Psoriasis is yet not clear. However, it is thought to be an autoimmune disease.
Autoimmune disease refers to a group of diseases where the immune system of a person starts to destroy its healthy body tissues out of a misdirected immune response.
In Psoriasis, the body’s immune cells target the skin leading to scaly eruptions. A positive family history of Psoriasis puts a person at high risk of developing the same condition. A few of the well-known triggers for Psoriasis are stress, obesity, smoking and infection including strep throat. These triggering factors also worsen the symptoms of existing Psoriasis.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
The major symptom of Psoriasis is patches of red, inflamed papular eruptions on the skin surface with adhesive silvery white scales covering them. The spots have well-defined borders. In some cases cracks that bleed often, appear on the skin. An itching and burning sensation accompanies the eruptions, the intensity of which varies from case to case. Psoriasis often runs a relapsing and remitting course. A few of the complications of Psoriasis are Psoriatic Arthritis, Uveitis, Conjunctivitis, Type-II Diabetes and kidney problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which medicine for psoriasis would you rate as the best?
Among the majorly indicated medicines for psoriasis, Arsenic Album and Graphites are an excellent choice. Graphites works wonders for treating skin as well as nail psoriasis.
2. I have psoriasis with excessive itching, which medicine should I take?
Sulphur remains highly successful in treating psoriasis attended with intense itching. Extreme
burning may also arise in such cases. Do consult a Homeopath before you take any medicine.
3. Please advise a remedy for psoriasis with abundant scale exfoliation.
Homeopathy offers a vast range of medicines for treating psoriasis with excessive scale exfoliation. However, in my clinical practice, Arsenic Iodatum has shown the most wonderful recoveries in such cases. The exfoliation leaves behind a raw, red surface on the skin.
4. For psoriasis of the scalp, which medicine should I take?
The list is long, but I have found Graphites Naturalis to be extremely useful in treating psoriasis of the scalp. A scalp covered in excessive scales, with itching and in some cases burning, will respond well to Graphites Naturalis.
5. What is the remedy for psoriasis of Nails ?
Graphites Naturalis and Antimonium Crudum are well recognised medicines for nail psoriasis. A person with this condition has discoloured, crumbling, brittle, painful nails.
6. In psoriasis that worsens in winters, which medicine would help?
Topmost on the list of most effective remedies for treating psoriasis cases that worsen during the winter is Petroleum. It has amazing properties and will calm a flare-up and provide relief to the patient.
7. I have had psoriasis for a long time and now, my joints are inflamed and in pain. Please suggest a medicine.
Inflamed and painful joints in a person suffering from psoriasis refer to a condition called psoriatic arthritis. Homeopathy can definitely treat this condition. In my clinical practice, Rhus Tox has shown great results in cases of psoriatic arthritis. Highly inflamed, painful, swollen and stiff joints in psoriasis are all guiding symptoms for use of this medicine.
8. What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin disease characterised by well defined red patches covered in silvery white scales. Skin cells normally grow and are shed every 28 to 30 days. In psoriasis, the skin cells start to grow more rapidly, every 3 to 5 days. The skin cannot shed the excessive cells as quickly as they appear on its surface. The result is a build-up of cells on the skin referred to as plaque. The skin lesions in psoriasis may be attended with itching and burning, the intensity varying from case to case. Pain may be present along with itching and burning in psoriatic eruptions. Psoriasis is a disease that runs a remitting and relapsing course, that is to say that there is a phase when the psoriasis gets better, termed as the remitting phase, followed by an active phase, when the psoriasis flares up,
termed as the relapsing phase.
9. How do I know I have psoriasis?
Psoriatic lesions have characteristic in appearance and are easily diagnosed. The presence of dry, red skin lesions with sharply defined borders covered in silvery white scales are well indicative of psoriasis. In case of nail psoriasis, the nails get discolored, deformed, brittle, crippled and may fall out. In a few cases of psoriasis, the joints may get inflamed and become painful. A few skin conditions like ringworm and eczema may look like psoriasis. However, the site of skin lesions, the presence of possible triggers and positive family history of psoriasis support diagnosis. In rare cases, a skin biopsy is required.
10. Why does psoriasis occur?
The clear cause of psoriasis is not yet known. However, psoriasis is thought to be a disorder of autoimmune origin. Persons with psoriasis suffer an overactive immune system. The overactive immune cells, majorly T cells, cause skin inflammation and trigger the rapid skin cell growth. Psoriasis has a strong hereditary component. A person having a positive family history of psoriasis is at a high risk of suffering the condition.
11. How is psoriasis diagnosed?
Psoriasis can be easily diagnosed based on the presentation of the skin lesions. In rare cases, a skin biopsy is needed to rule out the type of psoriasis.
12. Is there only one kind of psoriasis?
No, psoriasis has various types. These are – plaque psoriasis, guttate psoriasis, inverse psoriasis, scalp psoriasis, nail psoriasis and pustular psoriasis. In plaque psoriasis, the skin gets covered in dry spots with a large number of silvery white scales. The major sites for plaque psoriasis are scalp, back, knees and elbows. Guttate psoriasis is characterised by the appearance of small, water droplet-like skin lesions covered in fine scales. Guttate psoriasis is often triggered after a bacterial infection, mainly strep throat infection. The lesions are mainly found on the legs, arms and trunk. Psoriasis lesions that appear in folds of skin – under the breasts, in groin area, armpits for example – are referred to as inverse psoriasis. The skin lesions in inverse psoriasis are in the form of smooth, red inflamed patches. In scalp psoriasis, red, inflamed, itchy lesions covered in thick white scales appear on the scalp. In nail psoriasis, psoriatic lesions arise in the nails, of the fingers or toes. The nail may get discolored, thickening of skin under the nail may arise, pitting on nails may be present and in extreme cases, the nail may crumble and fall out. In pustular psoriasis, pus-filled eruptions arise on the skin that is surrounded by redness and tenderness.
13. What are the factors that trigger psoriasis?
The various factors that can trigger psoriasis are stress, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, skin trauma and cold weather.
14. Apart from skin, what are the other sites for psoriasis lesions?
In addition to skin lesions, psoriasis may affect the nails and can lead to inflamed joints. Cases where joints get inflamed are referred to as psoriatic arthritis.
15. Is psoriasis contagious, can it spread from by touch or other means?
No, psoriasis is not a contagious disease and hence, does not spread from person-to-person contact.
16. Can stress cause psoriasis?
Stress and psoriasis are interlinked, but stress does not cause psoriasis. Stress plays an important role in triggering a flare-up of psoriasis.
17. I have had psoriasis for a long time. Now, my joints have started to hurt, why?
If you have had psoriasis for a long time and now your joints are in pain, then there is a good chance you have developed psoriatic arthritis. In approximately 30% of the psoriasis patients, joints may get inflamed and become painful. In psoriatic arthritis, the immune cells start to destroy and inflame the joints due to a misdirected immune response besides the usual rapid cell growth symptoms of the disease. Genetic and environmental factors play an important role in causing psoriatic arthritis.
18. Can ointments alone treat psoriasis?
Applying ointments may control symptoms like itching and burning in psoriatic lesions, but ointments merely suppress the skin complaint. They will not treat the condition. A curative approach in psoriasis will need to follow proper treatment that aims at moderating the immune system.
19. Is there a link between psoriasis and vitamin D?
Yes, there is a link between psoriasis and vitamin D. Improving vitamin D levels in psoriasis seems to decrease the severity of psoriasis condition. Vitamin D plays a role in decreasing excessive cell production, and therefore helps treat psoriasis.
20. Will exposure to sunlight be of help to psoriasis patients?
Yes, evidence suggests that sun exposure helps to heal psoriasis, though to a mild degree.
Lifestyle Changes to help Manage Psoriasis
Small changes in lifestyle can help manage psoriasis to a large extent. These measures include:
- Use mild soap while bathing
- Avoid bathing with warm water
- For excessively dry skin, apply coconut oil
- Quit smoking and alcohol
- Some sun exposure may help psoriasis while excessive exposure will worsen symptoms
- Stress management will reduce psoriasis flare-ups