Everything was going on well for Srivatsan Ganesh, a software industry employee from Chennai, until he moved to work in Bengaluru in 2013.
A few days after relocating, his scalp started itching and shedding dry flakes. He suspected dandruff and tried different anti-dandruff shampoos. When none of them helped, he presumed it was due to the change in water. The condition only got worse. Rashes started to spread from the back of the head to the top.
Ganesh then approached a dermatologist, who told him to undergo a few tests. The result confirmed that he had psoriasis. The dermatologist prescribed a few medicines and told him that the condition would be under control as long as he took the medicines.
But Ganesh wanted a long-term solution. He persisted with his inquiries with friends. Meanwhile, he went back to Chennai and the condition abated. However, sweating during summer aggravated his condition.
That is when he turned to homeopathy and consulted Dr Pradyuth Prakash of Bhavat homeopathy, Bengaluru.
Journalling food and lifestyle
Dr Prakash went over Ganesh’s detailed history and work environment and pinned his condition down to work-related stress. Ganesh was prescribed medicines and advised on the diet and lifestyle he should follow.
Ganesh recalls, “Dr Prakash asked me to maintain a food journal which helped me to track food that [might have] triggered my condition. I stopped eating paneer and brinjal, which were making the itching worse.” Within a month of following Dr Prakash’s regimen, Ganesh started to see a significant improvement in his condition. “It has been a year now. The rashes are gone,” he says.
What causes psoriasis?
Dr Rajendra Sonawane, consultant at Psoriatreat Psoriasis Research and Homeopathic Clinic, Pune, explains, “Psoriasis is a condition in which the skin cells multiply faster than usual. This causes a pile-up of skin cells that leads to a dry, red, bumpy rash covered with silver scales.” He says it can occur in any part of the body but is common in the scalp, knees, and elbows. The rash in the condition causes intense itching and can also lead to bleeding when the itchy area is scratched.
Researchers are still trying to completely understand what causes psoriasis, but they say that genetics and environmental factors play a role.
Dr Sonawane says that the condition can be triggered by processed foods, red meat, dairy products, and vegetables such as tomatoes and brinjal. Additionally, stress, infections, injuries, and certain medications can also trigger the condition.
How Homeopathy can help
Dr Prakash says homeopaths delve it in an elaborate way, from the person’s family history, work environment, up to any drastic events or changes in life that could have triggered the condition. It is also important to know if the person was exposed to any chemicals. Strong emotions such as jealousy or grief can also cause many health conditions.
All this information not only helps homeopaths to arrive at the appropriate medicine and give personalised advice on diet and lifestyle changes.
Homeopathy medicines and their dosages depend on the severity of the condition and differ from person to person. They can improve the person’s quality of life by stopping the condition for a long period.
Dr Prakash emphasises that it is important to build both mental and physical resilience to overcome or prevent psoriasis or any health condition.
A study indicates that some people with psoriasis may be prone to depressive symptoms as they fear social stigma. It also suggests that it is important to address these symptoms and improve the mental health of the person.
As the condition causes dryness, it is essential to give special care to the skin.
Caring for psoriasis skin
Dr Sonawane gives us a few tips to take care of skin.
- The skin should be moisturised regularly with a suitable moisturiser that can reduce dryness and itching.
- Bathing should be in comfortably warm water as hot water strips the skin of natural oils and can worsen dryness and itching.
- Constantly scratching an itchy skin can lead to bleeding. This can be avoided by applying soothing natural products like aloe vera gel.
Oatmeal has been known to have a soothing effect on the skin, including management of psoriasis. Many people find that a little oatmeal added to bath water relieves itching.
- Skin products that have chemicals and fragrances should be avoided as they can worsen the condition.
- At least 10 to 12 glasses of water should be consumed to keep the skin hydrated.
- Clothes should be loose as tight clothes can irritate the skin.
Lifestyle and psoriasis
Dr Prakash advises how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and mitigate the symptoms of psoriasis:
- Certain foods can trigger the condition. List the suspects and avoid eating them in the future.
- Manage stress by spending time with children and pets who act as stress busters.
- Surround yourself with people who make you feel positive.
- Wake up early and go to bed early. Get sound sleep for eight hours.
- Have all your meals and on time.
- Find peace and validation from within and limit social media usage.
- Keep a diary to express emotions that cannot be shared with family and friends.
- Include physical exercise in the daily routine.