In addition to being helped by dietary modification, guttate psoriasis home remedies include basic psoriasis tips to prevent itching and keep the skin moist. Applying moisturiser immediately after showering or bathing is particularly helpful and care should be taken to avoid cleansers or wipes that contain alcohol as these dry out the skin.
Topical steroid creams may also be bought over the counter to relieve inflammation and itching, although long-term use of such creams may not be recommended. Where symptoms persist it is important to seek medical guidance. Many patients find that applying steroid creams is impractical as guttate psoriasis often covers large areas of skin.
Light Therapy for Guttate Psoriasis
In severe and resistant cases of guttate psoriasis, patients may be prescribed PUVA therapy, where an oral drug, psoralen, is administered prior to exposure to artificial ultraviolet A or ultraviolet B light. Sunlight itself can help in milder cases as the light can slow down the excess production of skin cells and reduce the concentration of skin mast cells that prompt the psoriatic inflammation.
Where psoralen is used in combination with UV light the patient needs to take care to avoid further sun exposure in the next day or so after treatment. This includes wearing sunglasses as the drug causes hypersensitivity to light and may cause blistering, as well as nausea and vomiting as potential side-effects. Taking the drug after food can help reduce the likelihood of gastrointestinal symptoms.
Diet for Guttate Psoriasis
There are some who claim that a gluten-free diet is helpful for guttate psoriasis, and, although no research has been carried out to investigate this theory, those who do have a gluten intolerance may find that symptoms are reduced when they cut out gluten (found in wheat, rye, and barley). Removing an irritant will help lower inflammation but care must be taken to eat a healthy and balanced diet whenever any major foods are cut out.
Those with a longstanding problem with gluten may already have vitamin and mineral insufficiencies due to gastrointestinal distress and malabsorption. It is often sensible to work with a qualified nutritionist to devise a healthy, restorative gluten-free diet for guttate psoriasis.
Nutrients for Guttate Psoriasis
Specific foods to eat when suffering from guttate psoriasis will usually be those that lower inflammatory responses in the body and that do not put pressure on the immune system. Foods rich in anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids, antioxidants and important nutrients for the skin, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and vitamin A will also likely be of benefit for sufferers. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and seeds are good places to start, but a multivitamin supplement can act as a safeguard if there is a suspicion of dietary insufficiencies or absorption issues. Removing foods that are linked to inflammation, such as red meats, trans fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates can also be of benefit and many psoriasis sufferers have found it helpful to incorporate advice from Win the War Within, a key book about inflammation and diet, written by a physiology and pharmacology professor, Floyd H. Chilton, PhD.
Those suffering from inflammation-related skin conditions may also find it helpful to read Eat to Beat Acne: how a plant-based diet can help heal your skin.
Probiotics for Psoriasis
Trying to maintain good gastrointestinal health is also helpful in lowering the burden on the immune system and those who have had a course of antibiotics (possibly for strep throat) may wish to restore beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract in order to support proper immune function. This can be done through the use of probiotic and prebiotic supplements and aided with prebiotic foods such as garlic, asparagus, bananas and tomatoes.
Probiotic foods include miso, tempeh and sauerkraut, and many people espouse a vegan diet for psoriasis as it is often anti-inflammatory and supportive to the immune system.
Managing Guttate Psoriasis
There are many options for treating guttate psoriasis naturally, but it is important to address any underlying infection that may have triggered the symptoms. The earlier an infection is caught and treated the less likely it appears to be that this, usually short-lived, type of psoriasis will develop into chronic plaque psoriasis.
Flare-ups of guttate psoriasis are usually seen in the winter months but many chronic sufferers make use of UV lamps to manage symptoms. This relatively rare skin condition has had more attention than usual recently due to one celebrity guttate psoriasis sufferer, Kim Kardashian.
Even without the resources of fame and influence, those with this skin issue are usually symptom-free weeks or months after onset, with no lasting problems of scars from guttate psoriasis.