Psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea are chronic skin conditions caused by an autoimmune response in the human body. Strategic nutrition in the form of an anti-inflammatory diet can often prove helpful to reverse symptoms. Though each of these skin conditions presents in slightly different ways, they are all symptoms of inflammation:
- Psoriasis is a build-up of red patches.
- Rosacea is scaly face patches, usually on the nose and cheeks that presents as flushing.
- Excema is itchy patches found usually inside the elbows, behind the knees, or the front of the neck.
An autoimmune response is when your immune system is so fatigued that it loses its ability to clearly distinguish healthy tissue from compromised tissue, and so becomes overactive. When skin cells begin to grow too quickly, new cells will pile up – forming itchy, inflamed, scaly plaques.
Beyond genetics, what triggers an autoimmune response in the skin differs from person to person. The best way to determine what the trigger is is to eliminate particular foods, habits, or environmental stressors one by one until culprits can be identified.
Ideas for Improving Your Skin Health and Reversing Symptoms
In addition to consulting with a dermatologist, a DNA test can be helpful. It will tell you which genes you possess that might be activating your condition.
For example, a DNA test might tell you that you not only have a 95% greater chance of having psoriasis than the average person but, more specifically, which specific gene variant you have and what its best solution is (for example, doing sunlight therapy, or eliminating beer, or quitting cigarettes, or using coal tar ointment, etc.).
An affordable way to reduce symptoms from chronic skin conditions is to stop the problem at its source – your cells. By adopting an anti-inflammatory diet you can gradually improve your cellular health and therefore lessen the frequency and severity of autoimmune responses that impact skin negatively.
Eating an Anti-Inflammatory Diet to Help Your Skin Look and Feel Better
An anti-inflammatory diet is a method of eating inspired by our Upper Paleolithic ancestors, except that it strongly emphasizes vegetables while simultaneously deemphasizing nightshades and other foods that are higher in lectins and molds.
I’m Dane Findley, and my passion is sharing inspiring information about fitness and dieting that is longevity-focused, purpose-driven, and physique-enhancing.
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The foundation of the coursebook is taking action steps toward adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, particularly in regards to diet. (It’s not just about fitness.)
Basically, it involves tracking calories, macros, and inflammation (in a strategic sequence) as well as removing particular inflammatory foods (again, in a specific sequence).
Once you achieve your target weight, you can experiment with implementing a once-a-week Cheat Day, during which you can have your favorite “offending” foods.
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Reversing Symptoms of Psoriasis, Eczema, and Rosacea
A benefit to following an anti-inflammatory diet is that one tends to lose excess weight.
Since obesity can increase the odds – and worsen the symptoms – of inflammatory skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and rosacea, weight loss can therefore be helpful:
- Sugar can trigger flare-ups. Excess consumption of simple sugars (glucose, fructose, and sucrose) can contribute to autoimmune skin symptom severity.
- Omega-3s and antioxidants can be helpful to skin tissue. Polyunsaturated fatty acids from the omega−3 family have an anti-inflammatory effect, while excess consumption of omega−6s can trigger flare-ups.
- Eating gluten-free can prove helpful to many people with psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea.
- Taking a astaxanthin pill three times a week might be beneficial (ask your doctor first). Astaxanthin is an aquatic carotenoid with red pigment – and the most stable of all carotenoids. According to researchers at Examine.com, it’s touted to aid in eye health. It also seems to reduce markers of oxidative stress and might reduce oxidation of LDL and DNA damage, making it potentially good for cardiovascular health, anti-aging, and photoprotection. Studies on astaxanthin have indicated a reduction in wrinkles and improvement in elasticity, reduction in roughness, and improvement in texture (skin elasticity in the cheek and crows feet were significantly improved and age spots reduced).
Interestingly, dry or cold weather might exacerbate autoimmune skin conditions.
Psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea could be experienced in conjunction with joint stiffness, and people with autoimmune skin conditions might also tend to have problems with their kidneys, heart, and joints.
Typical ages for autoimmune skin condition onset are:
- Psoriasis can appear at any age – but many cases develop between the ages of 15-20 or 55-60.
- Eczema generally appears in children before age 5. Kids usually grow out of it, so if you experience eczema as an adult, consult your medical doctor.
- Rosacea most often appears after middle age.
This site, Over Fifty and Fit, is independent. Within this site, I provide resources about nutrition, exercise, and self-care to help you attain new fitness goals. Over Fifty and Fit does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you believe you might have any of the skin conditions listed in this article, seek out the advice of your own medical doctor. If there’s a difference between what this site discusses and what your doctor says, then listen to your doctor. Your doctor knows you better.
Many experienced health professionals believe that skin is the last to receive nutrients in the body, yet the first to show signs of imbalance. In that sense, skin can make an effective barometer for a body’s current strengths and weaknesses.
Additional Sources and Recommended Reading:
Examine.com – Examine is highly regarded for providing objective recommendations based on scientific research that has been accurately interpreted.
SelfDecode.com – SelfDecode offers DNA results that take the guesswork out of health interventions. Highly recommended.
Skin and Gut Microbiome in Psoriasis – https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/8/3998
Using Good Bacteria to Fight Eczema – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/02/210222164204.htm
Recent Conclusions during Rosacea Research – https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40257-021-00595-7