Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease that causes patches of itchy, discolored skin on different body areas. Skin problems like psoriasis are not life-threatening, but they can lead to a social stigma where patients become reclusive, taking a toll on their mental health. Awareness levels of psoriasis skin diseases are low even though their prevalence is increasing in developing countries.
Like many other auto-immune skin problems, there is no definitive cure. Several treatment options are available that may reduce inflammation and scales, slow the growth of skin cells, and remove plaques. However, these standard treatment approaches don’t work for everyone, causing them to look for other complementary and alternative remedies, such as collagen.
There is no concrete evidence to back up the claims of using collagen treatment for psoriasis, though collagen helps to reduce inflammation for some people. Read on to learn about what is collagen and how can collagen be used for the treatment of psoriasis?
Psoriasis is one of the most common skin conditions affecting about 2-3 percent of the world’s population. In Pakistan, psoriasis meaning in Urdu Chambal is one of the highly prevalent skin conditions. There is no exact psoriasis definition, but it is a chronic immune-mediated skin disease, characterized by skin inflammation of raised plaques and scales. The scales may range in color from whitish silver to gray.
Psoriasis results due to the increased skin cell production process. Typically, the life cycle of the skin cell is one month. The new skin cells are formed deep in the skin and replace the old ones at the surface. However, the skin production process shortens to three to four days for people with psoriasis. This leads to increased regeneration of skin cells, resulting in dry, itchy, scaly patches.
The signs and symptoms of the auto-immune skin issue vary from person to person, depending on the type of psoriasis. The 5 most common symptoms of psoriasis are:
- Patches of red skin covered with silver-coloured scales. The size and severity range from person to person. Patches may vary from dandruff-like scaling to eruptions covering large body areas.
- Discolouration and pitting of the fingernails and toenails. The nails may also break or detach from the nail bed.
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed.
- Itching, burning, or soreness of the patches or spots.
- Scaly patches on the scalp.
The exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, but research shows that the immune system and genetics play significant roles in its development. The genetics of psoriasis is complicated. Even without a family history, it is possible to develop this skin issue. Some psoriasis triggers may affect the immune system, resulting in the development of skin disease.
Common triggers that can result in the onset of psoriasis symptoms are:
- Injury to skin, scratches, or bites
- Strep Infections
- Certain medications
- Smoking and excess alcohol
- Cold, dry weather
Collagen is a protein that provides support and density to the bones, skin, muscles, and connective tissue. Skin collagen is responsible for giving skin its structure and elasticity. It plays many important functions, such as keeping skin elastic, aiding bone density, strengthening hair and nails, supporting joints, ligaments and tendons, and helping wound healing. In addition, it also has anti-inflammatory properties.
There are two kinds of collagen; endogenous and exogenous collagen. That made by the body is endogenous, while collagen obtained through supplements is called exogenous collagen.
Even though there is not enough evidence supporting the role of collagen in treating psoriasis, it may be beneficial for skin conditions in alleviating symptoms.
Collagen protein consists of essential amino acids, such as glycine, a powerful antioxidant and glutathione. Experts say glycine in collagen plays a key role in reducing the symptoms of psoriasis. Glycine, like all other antioxidants, protects body cells against damage from free radicals.
People with psoriasis are at high risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, the inflammation of the joints. It is also associated with other diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, heart disease, anxiety, and depression.
Collagen plays a vital role in supporting and promoting good skin health. The collagen fibers and amino acids are responsible for promoting optimal growth of skin cells, resulting in healthy skin. Overall, it helps maintain skin elasticity, reduce skin thinning, and promote skin smoothness.
For people with psoriasis, a collagen supplement may help to improve skin health as a support treatment in addition to the primary treatment. Primary collagen sources include collagen rich food (bone broth, organ meats, eggs) and supplements.
A collagen supplement may not cure psoriasis fully, but it can help relieve some symptoms in conjunction with Vitamin C and a healthy diet. It helps reduce inflammation in the body, prompting the skin to heal and regenerate. Collagen supplement is the richest source of collagen, the intake of which produces visible changes in affected skin areas.
The use of collagen supplements is on the rise these days, owing to their multiple skin and hair health, such as anti-ageing benefits and improved hair, bone, and skin health. Various brands, such as Nutrifactor and Neocell, offer high-quality collagen supplements in Pakistan.
The recommended amount for collagen is 10g per day, with oral supplementation as the most effective method. Its intake is generally considered safe for most people. However, there are some risks associated with supplement intake. These include:
People at risk for kidney stones are advised to avoid collagen supplementation. It contains an amino acid called hydroxyproline, which is converted to oxalates in the body. This may contribute to kidney stone formation.
Collagen supplements may cause an allergic reaction in some people. Therefore, it is important to check the supplement ingredients for possible allergens that might trigger an allergic reaction.
Psoriasis is autoimmune chronic skin inflammation. The immune system and genetics play significant roles in its development, making it less likely to be cured by collagen supplements alone. However, collagen is considered highly beneficial for skin health. Combining collagen with a nutrient-rich and anti-inflammatory diet can help bring relief to patients suffering from psoriasis.
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