Dietary Approaches to Preventing and Treating Psoriasis in Children
A healthy diet is an important part of a prevention and treatment plan for psoriasis. Use the suggestions listed below for children.
If you have an infant who has psoriasis, check with your health care provider regarding dietary guidelines. If your child is still nursing, use the suggestions provided below for yourself.
- Drink plenty of water. Hydrated skin is less likely to be itchy and inflamed. Keeping your child well hydrated will help to flush out toxins that lead to inflammation.
- Identify food allergies. Many children who have psoriasis also have allergies. Notice if your child’s skin reacts positively or negatively to specific foods. Common offenders are foods that contain artificial preservatives, additives, sugars, and dyes. Dairy and gluten containing foods are often irritating. If you suspect that your child has a food allergy, provide him or her with an elimination or rotation diet. I recommend that you document the effects of the diet so that you can clearly identify offenders, yet not deprive your child of food choices needlessly.
- Provide simple foods for your child. Use organic products and minimally-processed, grass-fed animal products whenever possible. Provide a variety of whole grains in your child’s diet. Most protein should come from vegetable sources, such as dried beans, lentils, and chick peas. If your child likes salmon, serve wild caught fish once or twice each week. Ocean caught salmon contains healthy oils which reduce inflammation.
- Include plenty of seeds in your child’s diet. Seeds are a “hot" item in recipes right now. This is for good reason. They are packed with healthy oils, protein, and a wide array of nutrients. Make up snack bars that contain seeds and add them to cereal and casseroles. Grind flax seeds prior to using them. Other healthy seeds include pumpkin, sesame, and hemp.
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- Try herbal teas to reduce itch. If your child has itchy lesions, make up some herbal tea, which is an excellent means of reducing flare-ups.
When your child scratches the lesions, his or her body releases chemical compounds, which are known as histamines. Histamines make inflammation and itchiness worse, and as you probably know, itchy children are irritable children.
Gentle soothing herbs can be made into teas which soothe inside and out. You can chill the tea and apply it directly to the lesions as a cold compress or have your child drink the tea. Chamomile, oat straw, and calendula are excellent choices. Burdock root supports detoxification and soothes the skin. Burdock must be used consistently for at least a month for maximum effectiveness.
If your child does not care for the taste of these herbs, add peppermint, orange peel, or lemon balm for flavor. You can even make the teas into ice pops. If you are breast feeding, enjoy the teas yourself.