Psoriasis usually appears on the knees, elbows and scalp, and is characterized by silvery, white scales that peel off of a red, inflamed base of skin.  Itching is usually present, and can be mild to severe.  Psoriasis is also associated with psoriatic arthritis.

In Conventional medicine, psoriasis is an inflammatory condition with a genetic predisposition.

In Naturopathic medicine, psoriasis is also understood to be an inflammatory condition that is often affected by food sensitivities and an inflamed digestive tract.  Being that the skin is a secondary elimination organ of the body, it makes sense that by supporting the liver (a primary elimination organ) you can take stress off of the skin and clear the rash.  Also, we see that nervous tension, stress, illness, injury, infection as well as drugs and alcohol can cause and make psoriasis worse.

Conventional medicine uses topical steroids to control psoriasis outbreaks.  However, usually stronger applications are needed as your body becomes adjusted to the treatment.  Sunlight can be an effective treatment for psoriasis.  Retinoids are a class of medications that are chemically related to Vitamin A.  They are known to irritate the skin, thin the skin and make it sensitive to the sun.

Naturopathic Doctors analyze each patient individually to identify and treat the underlying causes of psoriasis.  Often looking for dysfunctions in the digestive tract, the liver, and the gall bladder.  I also like to address poor fat metabolism and nutrient deficiencies, especially essential fatty acid deficiency as it directly contributes to inflammation.