Psoriasis Itch Is Unique
Itchy skin is not uncommon with psoriasis. I have certainly found that it is not so much the plaques of psoriasis that cause as much a problem for many as the incessant itch that many experience. In fact, the itching of psoriasis can have an even bigger impact on the quality of life for a person with psoriasis than the visible effects of this chronic skin condition itself. Itching in psoriasis was not taken seriously until only recently, and in the past ten years itching has now become a recognized symptom of psoriasis, found in 70 to 90 percent of psoriasis patients.
Having a psoriasis itch is unlike another kind of skin itch, some of my patients have described it as a burning, tearing and even stinging sensation. Others tell me that it can feel like the aftermath of a mosquito or fire ant bite. Today we know that pain and itch signals travel along different pathways through the spinal cord, because doctors used to be taught that it simply wasn’t possible for psoriasis patients to experience both itch and pain. Dr. Yosipovitch (Professor of Dermatology and Neurobiology at Wake Forest University Health Sciences in Winston-Salem, N.C.) an expert in itching and skin conditions, has said that people who have psoriasis can routinely experience itching in different places in their body well away from their psoriatic skin lesions. Dr. Yosipovitch has said that there is no correlation between the skin itch severity in psoriasis and the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index score.
Several years ago, emphasis was placed on the treatment of skin lesions rather than on the itch, there was little focus on the quality of a psoriasis patient’s life. Psoriasis patients today certainly want relief from itching, and with correct skin treatment you can minimize the effects of skin itch and cope with your psoriasis much more easily on a day-to-day basis.
How Do I Relieve That Itching?
Be sure to read my book on psoriasis and lifestyle as well as psoriasis, stress and immunity. Both these books are very important parts of the Psoriasis Program. Studies show that stress aggravates psoriasis and itch, and effective natural skin treatments can help relieve the itch even before those skin lesions begin to disappear.
Itching is often one of the most irritating aspects of psoriasis, and here are some of the best solutions to overcome itching and to get relief. Once you start to get serious with your dietary and lifestyle changes I’ve recommended in the Psoriasis Program, and especially after you have undertaken a good detoxification program and those internal toxins have been reduced, you will be plagued a lot less with incessant itching.
Avoid scratching, keep your nails short and if you can’t help yourself try cutting your nails and wearing some cotton gloves to bed at night. Sometimes the itch can get worse for some people after they have gone to bed and their skin warms up under the covers.
- A sodium bicarbonate bath. Be sure to add plenty of baking soda, up to a cup per bath with severe itching.
- Apple cider vinegar applied straight to the affected areas.
- Olive oil and peanut oil mixture, read about this in the book Psoriasis And What To Do With Your Skin (The Psoriasis Program).
- Witch hazel lotion.
- Take a cooling shower.
- Try ice cubes as a spot treatment on really itchy spots.