Having recently been told that I have a form a Psoriasis to go along with other things I have, I recently began exploring how I might use natural healing to correct or cope or lessen the outbreaks. I tend to be someone who hangs out in the psychological and neurological areas of health malfunction, so it’s taken some research to learn about this new area. As I am not a doctor and this is natural wellness blog based on my personal experience I will discuss this from my point of view and encourage you, too, to research. I’ll post my sources at the bottom as a place you might want to start.
What is Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a common chronic skin condition that speeds up the life cycle of skin cells. Psoriasis causes cells to build up quickly on the skin’s, forming scales and red patches. It’s itchy, red and sometimes painful.
There are several types of Psoriasis and mine has been called an autoimmune disease, but the specialist you see is based on the type you have. For example mine largely manifests itself through the skin, so I am seeing a dermatologist.
What Causes Psoriasis
My doctor simply stated that my body is attacking my skin. My research tells me that she isn’t far from accurate. While the cause isn’t fully understood it’s related to an immune system problem. According to the Mayo Clinic, “T cells normally travel through the body to defend against foreign substances, such as viruses or bacteria, but if you have psoriasis, the T cells attack healthy skin cells by mistake, as if to heal a wound or to fight an infection.”
Overactive T cells also trigger increased production of healthy skin cells, more T cells and other white blood cells, especially neutrophils. These travel into the skin causing redness and sometimes pus in pustular lesions. Dilated blood vessels in psoriasis-affected areas create warmth and redness in the skin lesions.”
Why? What Triggers This?
Well, there’s a boatload of possible triggers, mainly because doctors aren’t completely sure of the triggers. One thing they can say is that genetics plays a role. Although, the community does feel that there are triggers that that start a flare up or make one worse:
- Stress: This is huge for me, as the outbreak occurred after the death of my husband in January 2017
- Injury to the skin
- Smoking and Heavy Alcohol Consumption
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Certain Medications
While my doctor was able to answer my question about what was going on with me and prescribe topical cream medication and an antihistamine-type drug, I’m not ready to go with these medications just yet.
I decided to try some wellness strategies and essential oils. I started by seeing what I could do to effectively moisturize and (hopefully) not need the topical cream medication. Plus I had also read that it’s important to keep my skin super moisturized and be sure to bathe daily to remove the excess skin cells. Thinking along this line I pulled out my books and recipes and created a moisturizing lotion for the most affected areas. Keep in mind the following: I like to take small steps, I am not suffering from a form of psoriasis that covers large portions of my body, and as far as I know, I do not have any complications as a result.
Here’s my Small Steps Natural Healing Lotion:
2 tablespoons Emulsifying wax (You can add more if you want it thicker next time)
1/2 teaspoon Stearic Acid (this is a stabilizer derived from plant oils)
1/3 cup sweet almond oil
1/2 cup distilled Water
10 drops lemon essential oil (preservative)
2 tablespoons Vegetable Glycerin
15 to 25 drops Essential Oils (I used 10 drops Lavender, 8 drops Geranium, 3 Rosemary, 3 Helichrysum) All of these oils are healing, anti-inflammatory and soothing, as well as super good and nourishing for the skin.
Stir together the oil, emulsifying wax, stearic acid and glycerin in the top part of a double boiler. Warm this slowly over a low heat until the wax is melted. This may take some time. That’s ok. Take the time.
While you’re waiting, warm the water just until lukewarm.
After the contents of the double boiler have melted, slowly pour the water into the oil, stirring briskly with a whisk until the mixture is a uniform color. As you can see, mine was both the color and consistency of milk.
Stir in your choices of essential oils. Pour into a 4oz glass pumpable bottle (note here: you should replace the straw of the pump if you can not clean it between batches to avoid bacterial build up.) Allow it to cool before putting the lid on.
And here’s a trick I learned: The oil and water components of the lotion will separate as it cools. Shake the bottle every 10 to 20 minutes to re-mix them. Once the lotion has cooled completely, they’ll stay mixed.
Store in a cool, dark place.
**As a side note: I now use this lotion on my tattoos straight from day one. I have to say, it’s highly moisturizing and the essential oils I selected are also wonderfully soothing and healing for tattoo aftercare.
Aside from this first small step, I also want to evaluate my diet and slowly transition to anti-inflammatory foods. Also, I plan to be more mindful about the emotional wellness that essential oils can offer me, with goal of relieving stress and becoming more grounded.
If you’ve tried my lotion or want to share your story, please definitely comment.
If you’re interested in exploring essential oils to support your wellness, fill out this form and I’ll personally get in touch with you.