What is psoriasis?
A chronic inflammatory autoimmune condition that causes the excess production of skin cells.
What does it look like?
Psoriasis appears as itchy, raised, reddened or darkened patches of skin, often covered in silvery scales.
It usually appears on elbows, knees, scalp and lower back, but can be anywhere on the body.
What’s happening to skin with psoriasis?
Normally, skin regenerates itself in a cycle that lasts 3-4 weeks. In psoriasis, due to an overactive immune system response, this cycle happens much more rapidly, and the cycle instead takes less than a week. This creates a build up of skin cells and causes itchy, inflamed patches.
We don’t know why some people are born predisposed to psoriasis - it appears to be genetic - but we do know a bit about how bouts of psoriasis (or flare ups) can be triggered.
Possible triggers include: stress; anxiety; injury; cold, dry weather; some medications; infections; smoking; alcohol.
Why do moisturisers help?
Moisturisers can’t change the underlying cause of psoriasis, but they can make skin softer, smoother and stronger, which is important if you’re trying to calm down its immune system response and lessen inflammation.
(For advice on psoriasis treatments, consult your GP or dermatologist)
What sort of moisturiser is best?
The best moisturiser for psoriasis is one that you’re happy to use regularly, which protects any damaged or itched skin, and which doesn’t irritate your skin further.
Look for one that:
- Is free from perfumes, preservatives or triggering/irritant ingredients
- Nourishes your skin with essential fatty acids, vitamins and other nutrients to regulate the production of skin cells and support the integrity of the skin barrier function
- Protects your skin from external irritants or microbes Is rich and thick enough to soften rough, flaky, scaly or cracked skin
Both our Skin Salvation ointment and our Daily Moisturising Cream fulfil all these requirements, being full of nutritious organic oils (hemp, safflower and olive) and natural anti-inflammatory herbal tinctures, but free from the synthetic ingredients that can often cause flare-ups.