Ultraviolet Psoriasis Treatment

Ultraviolet Psoriasis Treatment

Ultraviolet Skin Treatment For Psoriasis

You can read a lot more about sunlight exposure and the benefits of light when it comes to psoriasis in my book Psoriasis, What To Do With Your Skin. Have you read it yet? It is one of the books in The Psoriasis Program. When it comes to medicine, light therapy is split into two different types: UVA and UVB.

UVA represents the tanning rays of the sun, and is only effective with psoriasis when used in conjunction with psoralens (a drug that causes photosensitivity), whereas UVB is that part of the light spectrum that produces the biological effects of actually being in the sun, the skin turns red and burns.

1. – Ultraviolet A, Psoralens plus Ultra Violet A radiation, known as PUVA.

2. – Ultraviolet B, broadband UVB or narrowband UVB phytotherapy.


A long time ago, the Egyptians figured out a cure for chronic skin diseases like dermatitis and psoriasis, they let the sun god Ra do the work. They would eat a certain kind of herb that grew near the river Nile and then lie in the sun. What they had worked out was that the plant made the skin more sensitive to the light, allowing the sun to effectively treat and eradicate the skin lesions.

We used to use PUVA once to achieve similar results to what the Egyptians did many thousands of years ago PUVA is long wave UV radiation and is also known as photochemotherapy. Patients would swallow a tablet of psoralens (furocoumarin, a skin sensitizing agent) and then lie under a specially designed UVA-emitting light. Treatments for severe cases of psoriasis in by-gone days usually included twice-weekly hospital sessions over a four to eight week period. Light doses were carefully monitored to exclude sunburn, and patients wore special glasses to protect their eyes when they were under the UV lights, as well as for the following day.

Today we rarely apply this kind of oral psoralen therapy. Topical PUVA therapy applied nowadays is generally limited to severe psoriatic plaques affecting the palms and soles. The affected areas are soaked in a solution of the photo-sensitizing agent before exposing the patient to ultraviolet light.

Skin specialists like this kind of treatment for the most severe cases of plaque and guttate psoriasis. The problem unfortunately is that there is a fine line between the right amount and too much exposure – leading to an increased risk of skin cancers. Your risk of developing cataracts is also increased. There is no doubt that this treatment works, in fact it is more than 90 percent effective in clearing up the skin in four to six weeks, but some patients end up experiencing side effects including nausea, headaches, insomnia, lethargy and stomach pains. That’s why these types of UV treatments today are not used much anymore for the more severe forms of psoriasis, in favor of drug-based treatments.


This application of what essentially amounts to artificial sunlight, is particularly popular in Europe and Scandinavia. UVB radiation is used around the world by dermatology units. It has been found to be most effective for plaque and guttate forms of psoriasis. Usually a patient will be recommended this kind of treatment if they have large skin surfaces that need treatment, or their psoriasis is resistant to effective treatment with topical agents.

UVB has been proven to be more effective than topical corticosteroids, has similar effects like dithranol and coal tar but is much more pleasant to use, and the side-effects are a lot milder than PUVA or drugs like methotrexate. Most patients tend to become clear of their lesions after about six to eight weeks of treatment, involving 5 treatments per week. The treatments only last anywhere from 90 seconds up to 15 minutes, and most dermatology units are open extended hours, so that patients can even drop in for a quick treatment before, during or after their work, causing minimal disruption to their routine. How long is the treatment effective for you ask? On average, patients remain clear for at least eight weeks (some even longer), and experience only mild recurrence of symptoms for a further two to three months, making UVB treatment a worthwhile time investment.

Most patients I know who use this form of light therapy use it during the winter months, and during the summer they enjoy the outdoors, especially the sun and surf. Spending time at the beach and going swimming in salt water regularly is one of the best things you can do if you have psoriasis. Regardless of whether you use UVA, UVB therapy or enjoy being in the sun, bear in mind that phototherapy ages your skin and may eventually cause skin cancer, so it should not be continued indefinitely.

Apple Cider Vinegar For Psoriasis

Apple Cider Vinegar For Psoriasis

Why Apple Cider Vinegar Is Good To Use With Psoriasis

Apple cider vinegar for psoriasis is a very clever idea, and an ideal home remedy for psoriasis. Use an apple cider vinegar (ACV), which is unfiltered and not pasteurized and made from whole organically grown apples, is the best type to use for psoriasis and will give you superior results.

Apple cider vinegar can be found in most local health food stores and you will even find a good apple cider vinegar in some general grocery stores.

Avoid white vinegar from the supermarket, and avoid commercial apple cider vinegars that have been pasteurized, filtered, refined, sterilized or distilled in order to make the product look good and more appealing to the general public. Unfortunately this extra processing destroys much of the lactic acid content, most of the benefits that were in the product in the first place. A quality ACV will look cloudy.

In the United States and Canada I recommend that you purchase a certified organic apple cider vinegar made by Bragg, I can highly recommend this brand. We have an ACV in New Zealand called Coral Tree, the product is certified biodynamic and like Bragg’s, one of the best to use. Please avoid the commercial white vinegar; this simply won’t give you the same results that a naturally fermented ACV will. Once opened, a good quality apple cider vinegar does not need to be refrigerated and has a minimum shelf life of 5 years. It is best to store it with the cap tightly closed and not in direct sunlight. Would you believe it, I have some Coral Tree vinegar which is more than twelve years old, and it is still highly useable ACV.

Apple cider vinegar is a food that can be used both topically, on the skin, as well as internally. It improves many aspects of your digestion, and will get your stomach and pancreas working better, and this in turn will allow to digest and absorb foods better. There are several ways you can use apple cider vinegar (ACV) when it comes to psoriasis, and I’d like to outline the three most popular ways. Spot treatments, internal treatments and using it in the bath.

Spot Psoriasis Treatment Using Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV can be successfully used as a local treatment; I recommend you make a compress. Use a washcloth and keep it for this purpose. Make up a solution of Bragg’s ACV, 1 part vinegar to 3 or 4 parts of tepid water. Soak the washcloth, and apply it as a compress directly to the areas affected. Hold the compress for up to a minute or even longer. Apply as often as is required.

For the worst affected areas you may like to use a cotton bud soaked in pure ACV and apply directly. Cider vinegar will make your skin’s pH a little more acidic and thereby reduce the irritation and itching you experience. Spot treatment is good to use at night to decrease irritation and itching, allowing a more comfortable night’s sleep. Leave the ACV dry without washing it off.

You can also soak your fingernails and toenails directly in pure ACV; this is a very powerful treatment and has helped many of my patients significantly. Leave your nails in the ACV for at least five minutes or more, and don’t wash your hands after, leave the ACV dry on your hands and feet. You can use a hair dryer on low to speed up the drying process.

Rubbing emu oil into your hands and feet after the ACV soak, you can read a lot more about the amazing emu oil in my book called Psoriasis – What To Do With Your Skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar In The Bath For Psoriasis

You can also use ACV in the bath, and this is a great way to treat your entire body or very large affected areas.Just add one to two cups of Bragg’s ACV to a bath of tepid water andsoak in the bath from 30 to 45 minutes. After you have had your bath, towel dry and moisturize your skin. You can read a lot more about what to do with your skin in Psoriasis – What To Do With Your Skin.

Internal Apple Cider Vinegar Treatment For Psoriasis

Apple cider vinegar has been widely used for over two centuries for many different kinds of ailments. I have seen many patients with psoriasis improve their digestion after they started to take ACV, and the dosage is generally one tablespoon in water before meals. Some folks sip ACV in water during meals to improve their digestion. You will notice over a period of time that your skin, hair and nails improve when you consume ACV regularly. Bragg’s ACV is safe to take, even if you have a yeast infection.

Aloe Vera For Psoriasis

Aloe Vera For Psoriasis

Consider Aloe Vera For Psoriasis

Aloe vera for psoriasis makes sense, aloe vera is a succulent plant that grows in many countries, and has been grown and used by many cultures for thousands of years. Modern research supports it use in many ailments, including different kinds of burns, wounds, many different kinds of digestive problems and just about every kind of skin ailment known to man, including psoriasis.

Aloe’s soothing and cooling properties make it an ideal addition to any psoriasis treatment program, and I highly recommend it as part of the Psoriasis Program. It is perfect to use on a daily basis to settle irritated skin and to help prevent flare-ups, and unlike steroidal creams that are harmful to use internally and externally (long-term especially), aloe vera causes no side effects.

When applied topically, aloe vera provides a very soothing as well as cooling action and reduces itching, irritation, burning and redness of the skin. It moisturizes and strengthens the skin and aids in healing the skin. Here is some useful information for using aloe vera for those with psoriasis, you will get the maximum benefit from following the following tips:

Buy several plants, grow them outside in full sun, but be sure to cover them in winter if you live in an area prone to frost. I learned the hard way and lost most of my aloe one cold winter, I now place a hessian sack on the plants on nights when I’m certain a frost is imminent. Grow in large pots and move to a sheltered frost-free position is another option. You will always get the very best results by using the fresh aloe leaf gel, as opposed to any processed leaf extracts, like gels, creams or lotions. Aloe is especially good for dry, itching, red, cracked and irritated skin. Apply the gel straight from the leaf once or twice per day. Apply the fresh aloe gel to any skin that has been exposed to the sun, especially good for sunburned skin. Dry skin is particularly benefitted from aloe gel, apply it on thick and leave on affected area as long as possible. You will be amazed how well this natural skin healer works, better than any of those expensive chemical concoction creams, lotions or potions you will even get from a skin “specialist”. If you can’t grow the plant or obtain it, be sure to look out for a high-concentration aloe vera in your skin formula. Amazing as it may seem, but there are several clinical studies that have shown that aloe vera is considerably more effective than topical steroids, when the aloe product contains a concentration of 70 percent or more.

Anti-Aging Effects Of Aloe Vera

Aloe is so mild, it can even be used on a baby’s skin, but has also shown to have many anti-aging benefits for those with much older skin. Not only are wrinkles reduced and scarring healed more quickly, aloe contains many different natural compounds that aid in healing and regenerating just about any affliction of the skin. Aloe vera gel or juice with an organic rating (like the aloe you grow at home) are often used in expensive anti-aging cosmetic products like those fancy anti-wrinkle creams, skin conditioners, make-up, lipsticks and facial masks. Aloe vera products for natural skin care are heavily promoted, but should be promoted much more widely for every kind of skin condition, including acne, dermatitis, and psoriasis.

Organic aloe gel and juice are used in cosmetic products like anti wrinkle creams, skin conditioners, facial masks, make up and lipsticks. It also improves the effectiveness of sun screen products and relieves heat on the skin that is caused due to sunburn.

Anti-Inflammatory Psoriasis Diet

Anti-Inflammatory Psoriasis Diet

The Anti-Inflammatory Psoriasis Diet

An anti-inflammatory psoriasis diet makes sense, because chronic inflammation is not only the root cause of diseases like psoriasis, but also of heart disease, many cancers, and conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. When you have psoriasis, you will be familiar with the symptoms of psoriasis that include redness of the skin, heat, swelling, cracked and dry skin and pain when the skin’s surface has been breached.

Article of interest:

Not all inflammation is bad, because inflammation is a normal response of the body and is a cornerstone of the body’s healing mechanism. It brings an increasing immune activity and nourishment to a site of infection or injury, and your body is unable to heal itself without a level of healthy inflammation.

When inflammation is inappropriate, or persists for prolonged periods of time or serves no therapeutic purpose it can actually damage your body and cause an illness by itself. Chronic inflammation can be the result of lack of exercise, toxins such as tobacco smoke or alcohol, a genetic predisposition, stress and especially poor dietary choices. The purpose of this article is to show you how specific foods can have an anti-inflammatory action, and that by incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet when you have psoriasis is one of the best strategies for managing any chronic inappropriate inflammation affecting your body, thereby reducing your chances of inflammatory skin flare-ups.


To Consume: Very sparingly
Choices: Unsweetened dark chocolate
Reason: Dark chocolate contains polyphenols with good levels of antioxidant activity. Choose 70 percent pure cocoa dark chocolate and have an ounce (about 30 grams) twice per week.

Green Tea

To Consume: 2-3 cups per day
Healthy choices: White, green, oolong tea. Matcha green tea is one of the best green teas to consume.
Reason: Tea is rich in catechins, antioxidant compounds that reduce inflammation. Purchase high-quality tea and learn how to correctly brew it for maximum taste and health benefits.

Herbs and Spices

To Consume: Unlimited amount
Healthy choices: Garlic, turmeric, ginger, (dried and fresh), basil, cinnamon, rosemary, and thyme. Avoid chili, it belongs to the nightshade family and is pro-inflammatory when it comes to psoriasis.
Reason: Use these herbs and spices generously to season foods. Garlic is anti-fungal, and turmeric and ginger are powerful and natural anti-inflammatory agents.

Animal Protein

To Consume: From 2-6 servings a week (one portion is equal to 1 ounce of cheese, 1 eight-ounce serving of dairy, 1 egg, 3 ounces cooked organic free-range chicken, free-range turkey or grass-fed lamb)
Healthy choices: High quality natural cheese (especially goat’s cheese) and yogurt (naturally soured, containing no artificial sugars or fruits, etc.), free-range eggs, poultry, free-range turkey, and grass-fed lean lamb meat. Avoid all beef, bison and deer meat if you have psoriasis.
Reason: Reduce consumption of beef, it is more pro-inflammatory than white meats or lamb. If you eat chicken, choose organic, cage-free chicken because the meat will be free of antibiotic residues. Use organic dairy products moderately, especially yogurt and natural cheeses such as Emmental, Edam, Jarlsberg and Parmesan. If you eat eggs, choose organic eggs from free-range chickens.

Seaweeds and Mushrooms

To Consume: Unlimited amounts
Healthy choices: The best seaweeds are kombu, nori, hijiki, wakame, dulse, and kelp, and the mushrooms are shiitake, maitake, enokidake, and oyster mushrooms.
Reason: Seaweeds contain an incredible amount of natural minerals, including iodine, which has a profound effect of keeping your thyroid and immune system powered up. Mushrooms contain many different compounds that enhance your immune function. Don’t eat mushrooms raw though, and reduce your consumption of common commercial button mushrooms, including Portobello mushrooms.

Whole Soy Foods

To Consume: 1-2 servings per day (one serving is equal to ½ cup tofu or tempeh, 1 cup soymilk)
Healthy choices: soy milk, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and soy nuts.
Reason: Soy foods contain isoflavones that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity and are protective against cancer. Several studies have suggested that isoflavones (estrogen-like compounds found in soy products) may help lower CRP (C Reactive Protein) and inflammation levels. Best to choose whole soy foods over isolated soy protein powders and imitation meats made with soy isolate (TVP – Textured Vegetable Protein).


To Consume: 2-6 servings per week (one serving is equal to 4 ounces of fish or seafood)
Healthy choices: Wild Alaskan salmon (especially sockeye), mackerel, herring, and sardines. Why: Oily fish are rich in omega-3 fats, which has strong anti-inflammatory activity. If you don’t like eating fish, then take an omega-3 fish oil supplement that provides both EPA and DHA. Take one capsule three times daily with meals.

Healthy Fats

To Consume: 3-6 servings per day (one serving is equal to 1 teaspoon of oil, 2 walnuts, 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil, 1 ounce of avocado)
Healthy choices: For cooking, I always recommend that you use extra virgin olive oil and expeller-pressed organic oils like sesame seed oil. Other sources of healthy fats include walnuts, macadamia nuts, avocados, and flaxseeds (freshly ground), sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and even hemp seeds. Omega-3 fats are found especially in cold-water oily fish, walnuts, whole soy foods, and omega-3 enriched eggs. Organic, expeller pressed, high-oleic safflower or sunflower oils may also be used, as well as walnut, avocado, macadamia and hazelnut oils in salads and dark roasted sesame oil as a flavouring for soups and Asian stir-fries
Reason: Healthy fats are rich in either monounsaturated or omega-3 fats. Extra-virgin olive oil is rich in polyphenols with a high antioxidant activity and other nut and seed oils like contain small fractions of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Whole Grains

To Consume: 2-6 servings a day (one serving is about ½ cup cooked grains)
Healthy choices: Quinoa, amaranth, barley, brown rice, basmati rice, wild rice, buckwheat, groats, and steel-cut oats
Why: Whole grains digest more slowly than their refined products, reducing any frequency of spiking in blood sugar that may promote inappropriate inflammation. Whole grains are intact or in large pieces. Try to avoid whole wheat bread or other products made from refined flours. If you do have flour, use whole grain, stone-ground flour, mix with water and salt and make your own flat breads.

Pasta – al-dente

To Consume: 2-3 servings per week (one serving is about ½ cup cooked pasta)
Healthy choices: Rice noodles, bean thread noodles, buckwheat pasta or part whole wheat and buckwheat noodles (like Japanese Udon and Soba pasta).
Reason: Don’t overcook pasta, because it has a higher GI index (breaks down more rapidly) than pasta cooked al-dente. Pasta cooked when it has “tooth” to it (al-dente) has a lower glycemic index than over-cooked pasta. It is important to remember that low GI carbs should make up the bulk of your carb intake when you have psoriasis to assist in reducing any potential spiking in your blood glucose levels.

Legumes and Beans

To Consume: 1-2 servings per day (1 serving is ½ cup cooked beans or legumes)
Healthy choices: Your best bean choices are adzuki, black beans, anasazi, adzuki, chickpeas (Garbanzo), lentils and black-eyed peas.
Reason: Beans are a low-inflammatory source of high quality protein as well as magnesium, potassium, folic acid, as well as soluble fiber. They are a superb low-GI food. It is best to eat them very well cooked, and you can consume them either whole or pureed into spreads like hummus (chickpeas).


To Consume: 3-7 servings per day minimum (one serving is about 2 cups of salad greens or ½ cup of steamed, raw or juiced vegetables)
Healthy Choices: Lightly cooked dark leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard), cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, kale, bok choy and cauliflower), carrots, beets, onions, peas, squash, and salad greens. Remember to trial avoiding the nightshade family of vegetables (potato, tomato, eggplant, and chilli) because they can be pro-inflammatory for some with psoriasis.
Reason: Vegetables are rich in many different phytonutrients, including flavonoids and carotenoids that have both antioxidant as well as profound anti-inflammatory properties. Choose vegetables that have a wide range of colours, and try to eat them both in their raw or partially cooked form, always buy organic when possible or grow most of your own like me.


To Consume: 2-4 servings per day (one serving is equal to 1 medium size piece of fruit, ½ cup chopped fruit, avoid dried fruits due to their high sugar content)
Healthy choices: Avocado, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, grapefruit, pomegranates, green apples, and kiwi fruit. These fruits are lower in glycaemic load than most fruits and won’t affect your blood sugar too much. They also won’t encourage any candida yeast infection from proliferating.
Reason: Fresh fruits are very good sources of both flavonoids and carotenoids which have an excellent antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory activity. Always choose fruit that is brightly coloured and fresh in season or frozen. Buy organic fruit when you can, commercial fruits are often sprayed with insecticides.


To Consume: Regularly throughout the day
Healthy choices: Drink pure, fresh or filtered water, or beverages that are mostly made from water throughout the day. (Like green tea or sparkling water with lemon or lime juice)
Reason: Water is vital for overall functioning of the body, it reduces inflammatory responses in your digestive system, aids digestion and helps keep the bloodstream thin as well.


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