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Psoriasis is More than Skin Deep: Fighting Inflammation

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A recent study conducted by Dr. Nehal N. Mehta, a preventive and nuclear cardiologist with the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and backed by the National Psoriasis Foundation, took a closer look at the connection between psoriasis and the inflammation of internal organs and structures.  Using a highly sensitive, groundbreaking imaging technique, researchers “detected inflammation in the liver, joints, tendons, and aorta in [psoriasis sufferers] that had no [other] symptoms or risk factors for diseases that affect those organs,” indicating that psoriasis is a disease that affects the entire body, not just the skin.  The results of the study are published in the Archives of Dermatology.  This study sheds new light on the pain and medical struggles of millions of psoriasis sufferers worldwide.

So what can we do to prevent and reduce inflammation in our bodies?

Nature provides numerous ways to combat inflammation through diet and skincare.

What we eat

One simple way to prevent and reduce inflammation is to add to our daily diet foods, drinks, oils and herbs that contain bioflavonoids and polyphenols that limit the effects of free radicals.  Herbs such as turmeric, garlic, oregano, and ginger have been recognized for their anti-inflammatory effects.  Foods such as wild salmon, avocados, blueberries, green tea, cold or room temperature extra virgin olive oil, cherry juice and kelp also have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties.

What we put on our skin

To topically soothe inflammation caused by psoriasis, eczema, or other skin irritations, our favorite ingredient, brown bladderwrack seaweed, is often recommended by health experts because it contains so many valuable nutrients that can be absorbed by the skin and positively affect your entire body.  Notably, bladderwrack seaweed contains fucoidan, a complex-carbohydrate and potent natural anti-inflammatory.  You can bathe in the seaweed for maximum impact, or apply a seaweed lotion or paste to the affected areas.

It is also extremely important to keep the skin properly hydrated when combating inflammation.  We use kukui oil and argan oil in our products.  Kukui oil, rich in oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids, absorbs rapidly and soothes and nourishes irritated skin.  Argan oil, rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, is also very popular for its moisturizing properties. These oils are great to apply throughout the day and add to a seaweed soak to lock in the moisture.

We recommend taking warm or luke warm baths or showers, and patting the skin dry, as opposed to rubbing, which can further irritate the skin.  Avoid soaps and lotions that contain alcohols and sulphates that can dry out and aggravate inflamed skin.  Neem oil, tea tree oil, and totarol are all great natural alternatives because of their anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties.

Tell us: Have you experienced inflammation in your body? What do you do to fight it?

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