2 to 3 percent of the world's population suffers from psoriasis: an autoimmune disease that many people are embarrassed over. Fortunately it is being talked about more and more. For example, Cara Delevingne refused to hide her psoriasis on the Met Gala red carpet. Her upper body was covered in gold paint and chains, however one part was not shrouded in gold: the psoriasis on and around her elbows. Kim Kardashian is also very open about her psoriasis, and shares much of her battle with the skin disease. Although there is no cure for psoriasis, there are methods to reduce the symptoms.
What is psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease that causes a rash with itchy, scaly patches, most commonly on the knees, elbows, scalp, and trunk. It is a chronic, incurable disease. Psoriasis can be very painful; the severe itching makes it difficult to concentrate and sleep well. Most of the time the condition tends to manifest itself in cycles, varying from a few weeks to months, and then diminishes for a while. There are some treatments available, such as creams, to help you manage your symptoms. You can also try to adjust your lifestyle habits to cope with psoriasis.
Benefits of cold water to psoriasis
Taking an ice bath or a cold shower is one of the natural remedies for psoriasis. According to multiple studies, exposure to cold triggers the release of endorphins and strengthens your immune system. The endorphin receptors in the skin help to improve psoriasis symptoms and other chronic skin conditions. Besides that, the natural fats and oils from the skin’s surface are retained for a longer period (as opposed to hot water, which stimulates the itch response). Exposure to cold water may also improve the parasympathetic nervous system. This part of the body helps to enhance the general functioning of organs, including the skin. In addition to this, cold water constricts the blood vessels and tightens the pores. This reduces the redness of the skin and the loss of natural oils.
Effects of exposure to cold
Besides the benefits mentioned above, exposure to cold has many more positive effects. Regularly taking a cold shower imposes a small amount of stress on your body. This helps your body to get used to moderate levels of stress and lowers your overall stress level. Stress is said to be one of the leading triggers for psoriasis. Hence, reducing levels of stress also helps to improve your skin’s health. Moreover, a lower overall stress level improves your quality of sleep, which makes you feel more energetic during the day. This in turn allows you to better tolerate the symptoms of psoriasis. However, the effects of cold water on skin conditions can vary per person. It is always important to consult your doctor.
Cold therapy with the Wim Hof Method
The exercises of the Wim Hof Method can help manage your psoriasis. Last year there was an exciting study at the Medical University of Lodz in Poland about the effects of the WHM on psoriasis. What is remarkable about the outcome is that the group that practiced the Wim Hof Method was able to stave off an increase in C-reactive protein (which is an important marker for inflammation). These levels did increase for the control group. Furthermore, the people who practiced the WHM experienced a small improvement in their skin quality and were able to reduce the amount of topical anti-psoriatic treatments. Also, the people in the WHM-trained group feel more energized, improved their quality of sleep, and experienced a reduction in depression symptoms!
Do you suffer from psoriasis? Or do you want to improve your quality of life? Wait no longer and start practicing the Wim Hof Method today by signing up for one of the video courses!