Psoriasis is a chronic condition of the skin that currently affects around 2-3% of the world population – or, around 125 million people.
Psoriasis can develop at any point in a person’s life, and the specific causes of this condition are not defined. However, what has been confirmed is that changes in the skin’s microbiome – also known as dysbiosis – are directly related to the worsening of lesional and nonlesional psoriasis.
If you have been living with this condition, you know that factors such as lifestyle, diet, and stress levels can impact the health of your skin.
While there is no definitive cure for psoriasis, looking after your skin microbiome can relieve your condition, strengthen the immune system, and improve your skin health. Learn about the unique relationship between the skin microbiome and psoriasis below – and what to do to improve your skin health.
What is Psoriasis? Causes and symptoms
Psoriasis is one of the most common chronic conditions of the skin and affects millions of adults around the world each year. While psoriasis can develop at any stage of life, it often begins to appear around the age of 35 and it is more common among women.
Psoriasis causes skin areas to become covered in scales, reddened, and flaky – these patches are also often sore and itchy. While these crusty patches can appear anywhere in the body, they are common around the elbows, knees, and lower back.
For many, this condition is no more than an inconvenient irritation of the skin, while for others who deal with more severe symptoms, psoriasis can be life-changing.
Scientists have struggled to identify a single reason behind psoriasis, but today we know that this condition arises from genetic and immune system-related factors. Nonetheless, triggers such as high levels of stress, wounds, infections, an unhealthy lifestyle, and extreme weather can worsen the symptoms of psoriasis. While you might not be able to influence the genetic triggers behind psoriasis, there is a lot you can do to improve this condition’s symptoms – and it all starts from the skin microbiome.
Psoriasis and Skin Microbiome: What’s the connection?
The skin microbiome represents a unique bacteria footprint that varies from a person to another. The colonies of bacteria and microorganisms on the skin play a vital and distinguished role in maintaining healthy skin, fighting off infection, and protecting the immune system.
While the skin microbial composition is established during the first years of our lives and it becomes stable by the time we are 30, changes in the lifestyle, diet, environment and health can cause drastic and permanent changes to the skin microbiome which, in turn, will affect our health.
Recent studies have confirmed that the changes that happen in the skin microbiome can trigger, worsen, or improve chronic skin inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis, acne, eczema, and rosacea. And, depending on the microbial imbalances, one of these skin diseases is more likely to develop.
Additional international studies published in 2018 and in 2020 confirm the link between psoriasis and the skin microbiome and place this relationship at the core of new and revolutionary therapies to improve this skin condition.
Improving Psoriasis by rethinking your lifestyle
As we have seen, psoriasis derives from imbalances in the immune system, which can be worsened by factors such as an unbalanced diet, a lack of exercise, excessive smoking or drinking, certain medications, and an unhealthy lifestyle.
The improper immunological response that causes psoriasis derives from how the skin reacts to inflammation, infection, and harmful bacteria. When the microbial composition of the skin is brought back to balance, you can count on a stronger, more balanced response to negative agents – and, in turn, on a stronger, healthier skin.
When it comes down to keeping the symptoms of psoriasis at bay, there are a few strategies to keep in mind:
- Keep hydrated to prevent skin fractures and cracks, which can foster infection.
- Strengthen the gut flora, skin microbiome, and immune system through a balanced, nutritious diet that revolves around plant-based protein, fruit, vegetables, and unprocessed foods.
- Avoid environmental and emotional stress by keeping your cortisol levels low and preventing exposure to extreme weather (heat or cold), pollutants, and UV rays.
- Be mindful about your skincare routine as chemicals, detergents, and fragrances can throw your skin microbiome off balance – especially if these are not the right products to look after your skin microbiome!
As we have seen, the skin microbial composition plays an important role in psoriasis flare-ups and inflammation episodes. In turn, the skin microbiome is constantly under the influence of the products that we apply to our skin.
If you wish to take the best care of your skin, you need to start by understanding what your skin microbial composition is like and what products are most beneficial to it.
Start by understanding the skin you’re in
Psoriasis is an inflammatory, long-term condition that can rarely be cured. However, it can be treated, and the symptoms can be kept at bay so that you will only have to deal with minimal discomfort and disruptions to your daily life. Yet, since each skin microbial composition is unique, no two treatment types can be exactly the same.
At Skin Trust Club, we know that the best way to ensure that you are using the most beneficial products for your skin is to learn more about the skin you’re in. Begin to understand your skin’s unique composition and receive personalised, cruelty-free skincare suggestions based on your unique skin microbiome to restore the health and beauty of your skin.