Beyond Conventional Treatment: A Comprehensive Guide to Healing Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic and complex skin condition that affects up to 8 million people in the U.S. Characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin, psoriasis can have a profound impact on a person's physical and emotional well-being. While conventional treatments often focus on managing symptoms, the functional medicine approach takes a deeper dive into the root causes, offering hope for long-lasting remission and improved quality of life.

This comprehensive guide takes you beyond conventional treatment methods and introduces you to the fascinating world of integrative medicine—one that focuses on identifying root causes and effectively combating them with nutrition, lifestyle modifications, stress reduction techniques, and more.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition that can have a major impact on your life, causing both physical and emotional distress. For those suffering from psoriasis, the conventional treatment often falls short of giving results.

For more individualized skin treatments designed to provide clinical relief, visit our Integrative Spa.

Understanding Psoriasis: Symptoms and Challenges

Psoriasis manifests as red, raised, and often silvery scales on the skin. Common areas affected include the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. Considered an autoimmune disorder, psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system attacking healthy skin cells.

The physical symptoms of psoriasis can significantly reduce quality of life, and for those suffering from moderate to severe cases, there is a 1.5 fold risk of depression, anxiety, and social isolation (1). Psoriasis is often commonly accompanied by systemic diseases such as IBDs, psoriatic arthritis, obesity, and insulin resistance, which severely influence patients’ quality of life. Symptoms may range from mild to severe, and the condition's unpredictable nature adds to the challenges faced by those living with psoriasis.

While traditional treatments like topical steroids offer some relief, functional medicine provides a new hope for those suffering from psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic condition and there will be times when symptoms may worsen or flare up; however, with the right support and tools, individuals can better manage their disease and live a more comfortable life.

Related: All About Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS): What It Is & How to Treat It

Psoriasis vs. Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis and Psoriasis are likely to be the same disease. Psoriatic arthritis develops in nearly 70% of patients with psoriasis, with the hallmark of this disease being bone erosion (2)

Psoriatic arthritis is a psoriasis psoriasis-associated inflammatory joint disease that affects joints, the spine, and eyes.

Uncovering the Root Causes of Psoriasis

Functional medicine recognizes that psoriasis is not merely a skin issue—it reflects an imbalance within the body, often worsened by inflammation. Several underlying factors contribute to the development and exacerbation of psoriasis, including:

Digestive Function: An imbalanced gut microbiome and impaired digestive function can trigger immune system responses, leading to inflammation and skin flare-ups (3).

Dietary Factors: Certain foods, such as gluten, dairy, and processed sugars, can provoke immune reactions and exacerbate psoriasis symptoms in susceptible individuals.

Stress and Emotional well-being: Chronic stress releases inflammatory compounds that can worsen psoriasis and trigger flare-ups.

Genetics: While genetics play a role, they are not the sole determinant of psoriasis. Environmental factors and lifestyle choices significantly influence its expression.

Read more: Reduce Chronic Inflammation to Alleviate Joint Pain

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Conventional vs. Integrative Medicine: A Paradigm Shift

The conventional approach to psoriasis often relies on topical creams, light therapy, and systemic medications to manage symptoms (4). While these methods may provide temporary relief, they rarely address the underlying causes and may come with side effects.

The integrative medicine approach, on the other hand, seeks to understand the unique factors contributing to each individual’s psoriasis and focuses on a holistic treatment plan.

By addressing the root causes, integrative medicine aims to put psoriasis into remission and improve overall well-being.

The Power of Integrative Treatment Methods

A functional medicine approach to psoriasis usually involves a combination of dietary changes, supplements, lifestyle modifications, and stress management techniques.


A nutrient-rich diet is essential for optimal health. Eating whole foods rich in antioxidants can help protect against oxidative damage and reduce inflammation. Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids can significantly reduce psoriasis symptoms by suppressing inflammatory pathways (5).

Eliminating processed foods and allergens like gluten and dairy may also improve symptoms for people who are sensitive to these foods.

Gut Health Restoration

Evidence suggests that a leaky gut or an unhealthy microbiome plays a role in the development of psoriasis (5). Supporting gut health through probiotics, prebiotics, and targeted supplements can rebalance the gut microbiome, positively impacting skin health.

Testing Gut Function>>

Stress Management

The physiological effects of stress are known culprits for autoimmune flare-ups. Mind-body practices like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises help reduce stress and its impact on psoriasis.

Nutritional Supplements

Specific nutrients like vitamin D, zinc, and fish oil can aid in reducing inflammation and promoting skin healing (5).

Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Acupuncture, as one of complementary and alternative nonpharmacological therapies, has been commonly used in the management of psoriasis in China (6). It’s associated with a lower recurrence rate of psoriasis (7).

Compared with conventional medications, one meta-analysis reported that acupuncture may show a potential advantage in the management of the psychosocial side effects of psoriasis including anxiety, depression, and so on (6)

Herbal Remedies

Certain herbs, like turmeric and aloe vera, have anti-inflammatory properties and may support skin health (8). Curcumin, which is the biologically active component of turmeric, has a wide range of uses, including as a potential treatment for chronic inflammatory conditions (9).

A Personalized Path to Psoriasis Remission

Integrative medicine recognizes that each individual’s journey to psoriasis remission is unique. Through thorough assessments and personalized treatment plans, functional medicine practitioners address the root causes specific to each patient. As a result, patients often experience long-lasting relief, improved skin health, and enhanced overall well-being.

Additional testing may include:

  • Food sensitivity testing
  • Nutritional deficiency analysis
  • Comprehensive lab panels including hormone, thyroid
  • Gut function analysis

With the proper care and support, those living with psoriasis can take back control of their lives and find freedom from flare-ups. By uncovering the root causes of psoriasis and addressing them through personalized integrative treatment methods, individuals can experience lasting remission and improved quality of life.

Get started on the path to remission today.

Embrace the Functional Medicine Approach

If you or a loved one are seeking lasting relief from psoriasis, the functional medicine approach may hold the key to transformative healing. By understanding the root causes and embracing a personalized treatment plan, you can embark on a journey towards psoriasis remission and improved quality of life.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Reach out to a qualified functional medicine practitioner who can guide and support you on the path to vibrant skin health and well-being.




gut health, Psoriasis

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