Wellbeing

How to Treat Psoriasis Naturally - A Letter From One Psoriasis Sufferer to Another

By Robyn Hamilton
03.04.19

Robyn Hamilton shares her experience of treating psoriasis without steroids and using a variety of natural remedies, in a heartfelt letter to fellow beautiful humans. 

 

Dear Beautiful Human, 

Why we have psoriasis is still relatively unknown, but every body is different. Diet can be a cause, genetics another, and - of course - stress. Whatever your triggers are, it’s important to understand them. I have suffered from psoriasis for as long as I can remember, but there is no doubt it got significantly worse when I hit puberty - my emotions were all over the place and I was introduced to that sad but common teenage rite of passage: anxiety.

All I could see in any mirror was my ugly, disgusting skin. No matter what anyone told me, no matter how beautiful my partner tried to convince me I was, it was all I saw. My goodness, the time I have lost from staring longingly - jealously even - at a colleague's bare forearm, so beautifully soft and smooth, while I subconsciously tugged my long sleeve further down in the midst of sweltering summers heat. Sound familiar?

Then there's the pain. All day, every day, want-to-tear-your-own-skin-will-this-ever-end pain. Some days it’s excruciating; other days it’s a constant unfriendly lurker - one that wont let up.  Not unbearable pain by any means, but so persistent in its discomfort that concentration is a mammoth challenge; often lost.

The more I saw it, the more I obsessed about it; the more it hurt, the worse it got. And thus continues the vicious cycle.

Don’t get me wrong, I know very well that life can be much crueler than giving you psoriasis, but you should never feel guilty about how much your psoriasis upsets and affects you just because someone else is worse off than you - it’s all relative.

In spite of the rather depressing above, I have found light at the end of my tunnel. Whilst a cure is yet to reveal itself to scientists, I promise relief can still be found. For the first time in my life, I feel like I have my skin relatively under control. I am not naive enough to think I’ve cured myself of psoriasis, or that I will forever have it under control. Life will always throw you curveballs. But I do know that certain lifestyle changes and treatments have helped me take control of what was once an overwhelming, and at times all consuming, part of my life; I can at last recognise the beauty in myself, and see past the red, angry flakes - most of the time - and not because they’re no longer there, but because I have learned to concentrate on the beauty of my mind, rather than the beauty of my skin. Which had the blessed knock on effect of, the less I worried and obsessed over my skin, the less it was there; and most importantly, the less it hurt. And thus the cycle was broken. 

I really had no idea how much the pain of psoriasis affected my day to day life, until it was gone - I always just thought that that was normal life. Thanks goodness it isn't. 

Below are the various tips and lifestyle changes that I have collected throughout my years in the luxury publishing industry, that have helped me immeasurably; hopefully some of them will work for you too. And if they don’t, don’t give up. Monitor your diet, keep testing different products, prioritise your health and your time - you will find a routine that gives you back your life. I promise. 

Yours, 

A Psoriasis Sufferer Beautiful Human

 

Acupuncture

  • Acupuncture, Cupping and Chinese Herbal Medicine - I won't start lying to you now - yes, they are revolting.
    • Warning - don’t start a herbal medicine course whilst renovating your kitchen, in the winter, as it may result in partners standing outside in all elements, boiling smelly herbs for you.
      • Disclaimer - murder was narrowly avoided during the course of this treatment, but sulking was a definite and unpleasant side effect.

Skincare 

  • Avoid products with lots of chemicals - natural is always best for sensitive skin.
  • Hero products:
    • Pai Skincare
      • Head-to-Toe Buriti balm for flare ups  
      • Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil  - works wonders as a night oil for me
      • Rosehip BioRegenerate Rapid Radiance Mask
    • Find a mascara that doesn't run so that it won't irritate under your eyes. See our top 10 organic and natural mascaras.
    • Jurlique - Calendula Redness Rescue Calming Mist
    • Tisserand - De-stress aromatherapy roller ball

(MORE: NATURAL BEAUTY HEROES)

Household products  

  • Most household products have a lot of nasties in them, which is a psoriasis nightmare - especially on bed sheets and clothing. Try and eco alternative that doesn’t compromise on clean:
    • Method
    • Ecover

(MORE: THE BEST ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS)

Better sleep 

  • More sleep or better sleep is vital - the moment you are run down is the moment your psoriasis will strike without mercy. Read our tips on how to sleep better to make sure you’re giving yourself the best chance at a good night's rest.

(MORE: HOW TO SLEEP BETTER - TIPS FROM A SLEEP EXPERT)

  • Equally what you sleep in is hugely important - sweating through the night will instantly irritate. Try organic cotton or wool bedding

(MORE: ETHICAL BEDDING GUIDE)

Floating

  • Speaking of better sleep, the best sleeps of my life are after i’ve been floating. I’m talking sleeping like an actual baby. Floatation therapy allows you to achieve a deep meditative state, and is used for all sorts of ailments, including pain relief and mood elevation. In essence, it calms our overly stimulated systems - something people are prioritising in life more and more.
  • If floating isn’t your thing, or isn’t accessible, salt baths can be your friend. But make sure you swap long, hot epsom ones; for short, lukewarm baths with dead sea-salt. But keep to a minimum.   
    • Also, keep showers to once a day, and skip whenever possible. They should never be scalding either (sob).

Yoga & Meditation - don't stress your body with HIIT

  • If you’re looking for more of a workout than that which traditional yoga brings to mind, try Power Yoga for a full body workout, with all benefits of meditation
  • If meditation doesn't come easy to you, check out our wellness apps article, alternatively the below breathing exercise is one I live by.
    • Find a quiet space for 10 minutes, or however long you have. Breath in for 4, hold, out for 8. Repeat.
      • Tip: Count your breaths, so your mind doesn't travel

Balanced diet 

  • Give your body a chance to heal and detox by cutting down or out; red meats, fish, spicy food, and alcohol. And make sure your diet is filled with lots of fruit and vegetables. Not forever - don't panic - but it’s a good habit to work into your lifestyle, make suppers like steak and a delicious glass of red wine more of a treat than regular meal.
  • Supplements - the below were recommended to me years ago, and I have taken them religiously every morning since; and as well as feeling very smug and wholesome for being such an adult, I get poorly significantly less often - impressive for someone with an autoimmune, right?

Sun

  • Natural sunlight is another of Mother Nature’s psoriasis combatants, as it slows the rapid rate of skin growth that people with it experience. So I seek out regular, relaxed time in the sun, but must stress the importance of being safe and using plenty of sunscreen - burnt skin is bad for us for many reasons, but if that’s not enough for you, try sleeping, walking, being, with burnt psoriasis - believe me, it is next level.

(MORE: BEST NATURAL SUNSCREENS - WHERE TO START)

 

For more home remedies, see how to treat eczema naturally and 6 garden herbs to help fight flu.

How to Treat Psoriasis Naturally - A Letter From One Psoriasis Sufferer to Another