An auto-immune disorder is the result of the body’s own immune or defence system turning against itself. Psoriasis is the external manifestation of this internal tumult. Homeopathy has, by far, the best clinical record in the treatment of this disease, including the therapeutic ability to drive the disorder from the body - not just from its surface.
A scaly, chronic, recurring inflammatory skin disorder affecting some 2-3 per cent of the population, men and women equally, Psoriasis is an age old ailment. In fact, its name originates from a Greek term meaning ‘the state of having the itch’. For a majority of psoriatic individuals, the itch is the most unpleasant aspect. Other equally aggravating symptoms include burning, hurting and stinging. There is also its appearance: unremitting itchy, scaly and inflamed plaques that occur on any part of the body and scalp. A plaque is a scaly, red, raised psoriatic patch of skin that can extend from 1 to 20 cm or more in diameter.
The precise cause of psoriasis is not known, although there are a host of factors like genetics that may contribute to its development and progress. Research suggests that about one-third of individuals who develop psoriasis may have one or more relatives with the disorder. Children of parents affected by psoriasis have an almost 60 per cent chance of being affected by the disorder. But even those genes which are suspected of causing psoriasis may not actually be the culprit. According to clinicians, the worst genes can be accused of, is predisposing one to the condition in the wake of certain triggers. Two key genes (PSORS1 and PSORS2) have been identified along with several others, which seem to play such a role. Some medical researchers blame psoriasis on immune system as a result of an increased number of white blood cells between abnormal layers of skin.
Psoriasis affects the growth cycle of skin cells, leading to a build-up of thick layers of cells which multiply without waiting for the earlier cells to shed. The outcome is the characteristic psoriatic appearance - ugly skin patches with scaling.
Typical features include:
• Red, thickened patches or lesions (plaques) on the skin. These may vary from small, rain- drop-sized lesions to large lesions covering an extensive area
• The lesions are covered with silvery scales
• Itching is a common feature. There may be burning after scratching
• Discomfort or pain at the site of lesions
• The lesions are dry; or, excessive dryness may cause cracked skin and bleeding
• When the disease is active, scratching or cutting the skin may give rise to new lesions. This is called Koebner phenomenon, named after Dr Heinrich Koebner, a German dermatologist
• Nails may be thickened, pitted or ridged. There may be discolouration of the nails; nails may crumble or detach from the nail-bed
• Swelling and stiffness of joints, when there is joint involvement.
Allopathy commonly prescribes topical creams to treat skin conditions. Applying a topical cream on a skin blemish or disorder may resolve the immediate surface problem, but risks driving the ‘root’ problem deeper into the body, suppressing its expression and causing other unrelated health problems. Instead the best way to cure skin conditions such as psoriasis is to treat them the homeopathic way, from the inside out. This requires selecting a specific homeopathic remedy that addresses the whole person and restores the body to harmonious balance. Apart from treating the fundamental health issue, homeopathy also treats the expressive outer symptom, such as psoriasis.
Homeopathy understands that a skin eruption such as psoriasis is essentially an external manifestation of a situation where the body’s immune system is waging a battle, and doing a pretty good job of pushing the threat away from major organs such as the joints, lungs, heart, brain, and eventually out of the body.
This skirmish is, of course, not pretty to look at - an embattled skin surface looks anything but aesthetic or healthy. The important thing is that the body has protected itself, although it has not yet resolved the problem completely. It needs time.
The trouble is that typically we hardly allow our body the time it needs to handle things on its own. We meddle with its natural attempt to drive out the problem from within. Worse still, we push the problem inwards to a deeper, more dangerous level with the routine use of conventional (allopathic) over-the-counter (OTC) steroidal creams and ointments, which suppress the disorder instead of treating it.
By contrast, what homeopathy does is stimulate and strengthen the body’s own inner workings and immune system towards driving the aberration right out of the body - not just from the surface.
Clinical research studies conducted in the UK and Germany evidence that 81-97 per cent of psoriatic cases treated with homeopathy showed distinct improvement, with no side-effects.
A study published in The Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, a conventional medical journal, reported that psoriasis patients experienced significant improvement in their quality of life (QoL) and reduction in their psoriasis symptoms with homeopathic treatment.
In studies conducted on a large group of 20,400 psoriasis patients in India by a large homeopathic chain of clinics, 90 per cent felt ‘better,’ on all clinical parameters after homeopathic treatment, along with improved quality of life (QoL).