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Psoriasis affects around 3% of the population. The main symptoms are raised areas of skin with red borders covered with large white or silver scales that can crack and become painful. These occur as a result of an abnormality in the skin that causes new skin cells to be produced 10 times faster than normal. The cells are stickier than ordinary cells so instead of being shed as part of the skin's cycle of renewal, they build up on the skin's surface. Affected areas include the palms, soles, scalp, elbows, knees, back, chest, toenails and fingernails. In rare cases the body is affected from head to toe.

There are a number of effective alternative therapies for the treatment of psoriasis.

Hydrotherapy
- Salt has an antiseptic effect on the skin and helps stimulate circulation and eliminate toxins. Soak in a hot bath containing 1lb of Epsom salts for 15 minutes before bed.
- Oatmeal helps to soothe irritated skin. Put 2lb of oatmeal in a muslin bag and hang it under a hot tap. Soak in the oatmeal-infused bath for 15 minutes.
- You can also add lavender and bergamot to your bath water to help keep the condition at bay.

Naturopathy
- Eat less meat, animal fats and sugar and drink less alcohol.
- Eat more fibre, fruit, vegetables, cooked dried beans and peas and more oily fish.
- Cut down on dairy products and citrus fruits.
- Take supplements such as zinc, vitamin B complex and vitamin A. Be sure to check this with your doctor.

Herbalism Only if approved by your primary care provider.
- Simmer a teaspoon of burdock in a cupful of water and drink three times a day.
- To make an ointment take 220g of vasline and two tablespoons of burdock root, simmer for 10 minutes, then strain through muslin.

Homeopathy
- Take Sulphur 6C three or four times daily for two weeks if you have dry, red, itchy patches.
- Use Petroleum 6C for dry, rough, cracked skin.
- Use Graphites 6C when there is a sticky discharge.