A lack of nutrients, such as essential fatty acids, can lead to skin disorders such as psoriasis, explains Jennifer Pinkerton and naturopath Monique Goliger.
Psoriasis, a non-contagious inflammatory skin disease characterised by recurring reddish patches covered with silvery scales, can be irritating and unsightly.
However, like a lot of skin conditions (skin being the largest organ of elimination in the body), psoriasis may indicate that something is awry with your nutrition levels at large.
Lifestyle issues such as excessive alcohol intake
If there are any foods you're sensitive to, or you feel that may make the psoriasis worse, it's best avoid to them.
It is important to keep your digestive system healthy. You will benefit from a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables. But try to limit your intake of red meat and dairy products, and substitute with plenty of fish, raw nuts and seeds.
Always stay hydrated, by drinking six to eight glasses of purified water daily. A high-fibre intake is particularly beneficial.
Poor bowel function, obesity, impaired liver function, and incomplete protein digestion are also risk factors for psoriasis and should be addressed. A deficiency of essential fatty acids and the mineral sulphur has also been implicated.
Some natural therapies treatments to consider
Fish provides essential fatty acids, a deficiency of which has been associated with psoriasis; the recommended dose is 1000mg taken three times daily, although in severe cases your healthcare professional may recommend a higher dose.
Low zinc levels can increase susceptibility to infection and can lead to poor wound healing and skin disorders.
Improving liver and bowel function helps to treat and prevent psoriasis; consider using the herb milk thistle to support your liver, and a probiotic supplement containing acidophilus and bifidus to improve bowel regularity.
Digestive enzymes may help to resolve problems with protein digestion, which have been associated with psoriasis.
Creams containing chickweed or pawpaw may also help reduce symptoms.
Want more tailored psoriasis advice?
Contact our free Naturopathic Advisory Service on 1800 803 760 to speak to a qualified Blackmores' naturopath.