Are you one of the millions of people who suffer from psoriasis? This unpleasant skin condition is a chronic one with no cure. It tends to be a cyclical disease, flaring for a period of weeks or months, then calming for a time.
Many people look to both topical and oral treatments to help them manage symptoms. Recently, doctors and scientists have been focusing on Vitamin E’s role in reducing symptoms of psoriasis. Read on to find out how psoriasis-sufferers may benefit from incorporating more Vitamin E into their lifestyle.
Psoriasis is a common condition with varying symptoms
While many people suffer from psoriasis, it doesn’t manifest the same way from person to person. In general, psoriasis symptoms include inflammation across the body with dense, scaly patches that can appear anywhere on the skin. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Red skin patches covered with silvery, thick scales
- Small areas of scaling on the skin (most often seen in children)
- Dry, cracked skin that can itch or bleed
- Soreness and burning sensations
- Thickened, ridged or pitted nails
- Swollen, stiff joints
To make matters worse, approximately 30% of psoriasis sufferers also suffer from psoriatic arthritis: a painful inflammatory condition that affects the joints. For many, daily inflammation takes a significant toll on their everyday quality of life.
Fat-soluble vitamins play a role in psoriasis management
Many psoriasis sufferers find that their condition improves with balanced nutrient intake. Fat-soluble vitamins are particularly effective when it comes to improving the condition.
Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins that dissolve in fats and oils, and they’re not only absorbed along with fats in the diet, they’re also stored in fatty tissues throughout the body. Here are the fat-soluble vitamins that may help you manage the symptoms of psoriasis:
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A compounds are also known as retinoids. They play an essential role in producing healthy skin cells. Vitamin A is thought to be an effective nutrient for treating sun damage, and people often apply Vitamin A directly to the skin to reduce sunspots. In terms of psoriasis management, Vitamin A can improve symptoms by reducing the overproduction of skin cells. Retinoids have been shown to be effective at reducing inflammation in plaque psoriasis. While consuming Vitamin A from food is best, supplementing can be effective at reducing psoriasis symptoms.
- Vitamin D: Also known as the sunshine vitamin, people absorb most of their Vitamin D from sun exposure. Recent studies have shown that both oral and topical Vitamin D consumption can improve psoriasis symptoms.
- Vitamin E: Most psoriasis symptoms are linked to oxidative stress caused by an overabundance of free radicals. As a potent antioxidant, Vitamin E combats free radicals and reduces oxidative stress, potentially reducing the severity of psoriasis symptoms.
Vitamin E and its role in skincare management
Vitamin E is a vital nutrient that supports essential bodily processes. As a powerful antioxidant, it fights free radicals that might otherwise damage healthy cells throughout the body, including skin cells. Many of the most common signs of aging are linked to free radical damage, including fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and sagging skin.
By reducing free radical damage and the inflammation that commonly accompanies it, Vitamin E can play a part in managing psoriasis flareups. It also aids in the healing process, helping to repair skin by supporting red blood cells that send oxygen throughout the body. While more research is needed, studies show that antioxidants like Vitamin E can reduce oxidative stress that occurs with psoriasis.
The importance of topicals and oral supplements
Topical Vitamin E creams can help people manage psoriasis symptoms. You’ll find Vitamin E as a starring ingredient in several oils, serums and creams. Oils are one of the most effective Vitamin E topicals. When applied as an overnight treatment, it may improve skin health and minimize psoriasis flareups and similar conditions like atopic dermatitis.
While topical Vitamin E products are the most effective way to treat skin conditions, increasing Vitamin E intake through supplements can help, too. Oral supplements—particularly all-natural, organic options—can boost the body’s antioxidant defenses. If you want to combat inflammation and reduce symptoms of psoriasis, taking a supplement may be effective. Of course, seek a doctor’s approval before beginning any supplement regimen.
Ask your dermatologist about Vitamin E for psoriasis
If you suffer from psoriasis, adjusting your intake of nutrients—particularly Vitamin E—may help. Whether you’re interested in topical Vitamin E products or supplements, talk to your dermatologist before making any changes in your routine. A dermatologist can determine what form of Vitamin E is best for your unique condition.