How Can I Boost My Immune System to Fight Psoriasis?
The relationship between psoriasis and your immune system is complicated. If you have psoriasis, you do not have a sluggish immune system. In fact, the opposite is true. Your immune system is too robust for its own good.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease. This means you have an overactive immune system that regularly launches an inflammatory response attacking your own body. You wind up with redness, itching, a build-up of dead skin cells, and sometimes even pain.
Your immune response is supposed to protect your body. If the system designed to fight suffering is actually the force behind the problem, how are you supposed to combat psoriasis?
When it comes to psoriasis, think less about boosting immunity and more about fine-tuning your immune system. You don’t want it to work harder. You just want it to work properly.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for enhancing your body’s immune function to fight psoriasis. If you want to improve your immune system to manage flare-ups, we recommend discussing your options with your doctor.
Here’s a quick look at some of the top options your doctor may suggest.
Get More Vitamin D
Studies indicate that many psoriasis sufferers struggle with a vitamin D deficiency.
What does this mean for your skin?
Well, vitamin D contributes to the promotion of skin health. For those who have psoriasis, the body produces new skin cells at an accelerated rate. This causes that pile-up of dead cells you know as “plaque.”
Vitamin D can help slow cell growth. In fact, research has shown that the immune cells of individuals with autoimmune disease do respond to the effects of vitamin D.
So how do you get more vitamin D?
A few excellent options include:
- Fatty fish
- Fortified juices and cereal
You can also talk to your doctor about starting a vitamin D supplement.
The sun’s rays can deliver a dose of vitamin D, but you should skip that option. As a psoriasis patient, your risk of melanoma is higher than average. Always protect yourself from UV rays and focus on getting vitamin D through nutritional sources.
Boost Your Immune System with Antioxidants
Individuals who have psoriasis are often low on antioxidants, particularly the antioxidant called selenium. Selenium is essential for a strong and effective immune system. Increasing the antioxidants in your diet could help improve your skin’s function and overall health.
Both vitamin C and vitamin E serve as antioxidants. You can talk to your doctor about taking oral supplements, or you can add more of these essential vitamins into your diet.
Great sources of vitamin C include:
- Leafy greens
- Citrus fruits
You can get more vitamin E through:
- Leafy greens
- Sunflower seeds
- Vegetable oils
Nourish Your Skin CellsThis doctor-developed formula actually works with your skin’s physiology to promote better skin health all around. It penetrates to the deeper layers of skin, delivering both hydration and nutrition.
This particular oil has been called “a miracle cure” by countless psoriasis sufferers. While there is no such thing as a cure for psoriasis, the results speak for themselves.
Talk to Your Doctor About Biologics
Biologics are medications that use biological materials to influence your immune system. Simply put, biologics block proteins your immune system needs to function. This makes it harder for the immune system to overact, reducing the symptoms of psoriasis.
Many doctors prescribe biologics for psoriasis patients, but it is important to note that this medication suppresses your immune system.
In other words, taking biologics makes you more susceptible to infection.
That brings us to our next point:
Boost Your Immune System Under the Influence of Methotrexate
If you take biologics or Methotrexate (an immunosuppressant), you need to think about boosting your immune system in other ways.
While these treatments can be effective in minimizing the effect of psoriasis, they also reduce your immunity. This leaves you more vulnerable to illness and infection.
A few ways to boost your weakened immune system without cancelling the effects of your medication include:
Regular movement is great for your immune system. Exercise also helps prevent high cholesterol, diabetes, heart problems, and high blood pressure. These are all conditions that plague psoriasis patients at a higher rate than the average person.
The only downside to exercise is that sweat may cause a flare-up. If this the case for you, consider less sweat-inducing workouts, such as:
- Water aerobics
- Evening walks
- Weight lifting
Wash Your Hands
Hand hygiene is crucial for immunity. Wash your hands frequently or apply an alcohol-based sanitizer when you can’t access soap and water.
If you’re worried about drying out your skin, we have some great tips for protecting skin health through frequent hand washing.
Get Your Vitamins and Nutrients
The dietary suggestions we made for boosting psoriasis immunity apply to overall immune system function as well. Load up on vitamins D, C, and E. Get plenty of omega-3. And stay away from foods that cause inflammation, like refined sugars and fatty red meats.
Living with psoriasis certainly has its challenges. But many people are able to find a sustainable balance with healthy lifestyle choices, natural skin treatments, and immune system care.
If you’d like to learn more about how Delfina Skin can help you discover healthier skin, we invite you to visit our product page or reach out to us. Helping people love their skin is our greatest passion.