I have talked to so many people who have no idea that there is a difference between eczema and psoriasis. And, since both run in my family (and they’re both autoimmune issues), I figured it was time to set the record straight.
Eczema or Psoriasis?
While both are skin conditions that can cause flaky, itchy skin, there are some important differences. As I’ve shared before, people with eczema suffer from dry, sensitive skin. Eczema is also known for its intense itch. The itch may be so bad that you scratch your skin until it bleeds, which can make your rash even worse, leading to even more inflammation and itching. This is called the itch-scratch cycle. source
While psoriasis actually changes the cycle of your skin’s cell production. In fact, your cells replicate too quickly, which causes swollen areas under the skin. These areas become covered with white plaques, causing inflammation. The cycle just keeps going because your skin continues to produce new skin far faster than your body can shed it.
Some people who suffer from more severe cases of psoriasis also experience joint paint and inflammation, known as psoriatic arthritis.
Similar to eczema, psoriasis is caused by:
- Poor diet
- Liver malfunction
- Poor digestion
- Vitamin deficiency
- Hormonal imbalance
Now, regardless of whether you’re dealing with eczema or psoriasis, likely you want it to go away. It’s itchy, embarrassing, and uncomfortable.
The Diet-Autoimmune Connection
The first thing you need to do is examine your diet. Whether it’s eczema or psoriasis, you’ll want to examine your diet. Most who suffer from autoimmune issues find that they have some type of food sensitivity, usually to dairy and gluten.
You Probably Need To Supplement
The most common thing I hear being recommended to treat psoriasis or eczema are creams and lotions…but what if you don’t want to put more chemicals in your body? What if they aren’t helping? Adding a few naturally occurring supplements may allow your body to better heal and fend off flare-ups, especially in the case of psoriasis.
Fish oil is naturally anti-inflammatory and may help heal plaques.
Milk Thistle helps to detoxify and cleanse the liver, which may help prevent flare-ups and clear any plaques.
Protecting the gut biome is super important for your health, and having imbalanced gut flora could be a cause of psoriasis flares.
My favorite probiotic is Young Living’s Life 5. It is seriously amazing.
Digestive enzymes help your gut balance and deal with the foods you eat. If you experience bloating, gas, or other discomforts after meals, you probably need to be taking them.
DIY Soothing Skin Salve
When treating psoriasis, I have found that it’s best to have a salve on hand to apply when the first plaque appears so that you can stave off a large area developing. More than anything, make sure that you have consistent application until the flare is completely gone.
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 15 drops Vitamin E oil
- 30 drops Lavender essential oil
- 15 drops Cedarwood essential oil
- 10 drops Frankincense essential oil
- 5 drops Tea Tree essential oil
Gently heat the coconut oil in a double boiler until just melted. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut and vitamin e oils. Allow to cool slightly, then add the essential oils, stirring gently. Store in an air-tight glass container in a cool, dark place. Apply as often as needed during a flare, and daily for prevention.
If you aren’t a fan of the scents I chose, don’t worry, there are lots more out there.
Choosing Your Oils
I love that you can really customize your skin salve based on your personal preferences. If you don’t like the scent of the oils I used, feel free to substitute your own.
- Lavender is known for its restorative and soothing properties.
- Tea Tree promotes healthy skin.
- Geranium promotes healing and clarity of the skin.
- Frankincense supports clear skin and has a wonderfully soothing smell. s
- Cedarwood is wonderful for balancing.
- Myrrh promotes healthy regeneration.
There are also lots of oils that I haven’t even mentioned. Play with the recipe until you figure out the combination that works best for you.
If you haven’t used oils before, I highly recommend that you start with the best. By the best, I mean Young Living Essential Oils with their seed to seal guarantee. I’ve been using their products for years and seriously cannot live without them:
The Premium Starter Kit is awesome if you’re just starting out and want a variety of oils to try. Get yours here. Don’t forget to add Life 5 when you order!