Psoriasis Treatment | Caffeine May Have a Direct Effect on Psoriasis

Psoriasis Treatment | Caffeine May Have a Direct Effect on Psoriasis


Caffeine & Psoriasis Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that
causes reddish-pink bumps to develop on various parts of the skin because of a buildup of
rough, dry skin cells. Doctors are unsure what causes psoriasis,
but they believe it may be inherited and brought on by stress. Treatment options include topical
creams, medications and exercise. Physicians also believe that changes in diet
may help treat the skin disorder. Caffeine, whether applied topically or consumed, may
have a direct effect on psoriasis. Psoriasis Treatment Psoriasis affects more than 6 million people
in the United States alone, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Prescriptions
and over-the-counter topical creams are used to treat the symptoms of psoriasis. In more severe cases, an oral prescription
medication is also used. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, can be taken to help reduce
inflammation. Many nutritional changes are often suggested to help the symptoms of psoriasis. The University of Maryland Medical Center
recommends that people with psoriasis avoid alcohol, simple sugars and foods high in fat.
Food allergies may trigger a psoriasis breakout, so allergy testing might be required. Topical Caffeine to Treat Psoriasis A 2005 study published in the “Journal of
Dermatological Treatment” used topical caffeine cream to treat psoriasis. Thirty-nine patients with psoriasis were divided
into two groups for the research. The patients in the experimental group were treated three
times a day with a cream containing 10 percent caffeine. Patients in the control group were given a
placebo. The Psoriatic Area and Severity Index, or PASI, was assessed at every visit. After
eight weeks, researchers found that treatment with caffeine was more effective than a placebo
at reducing PASI scores. Caffeine Increases Immune Response Researchers are unsure to what extent the
role of caffeine has in affecting the immune system. In a 2004 study published in the “Journal
of Pharmacy and Pharmacology,” researchers found that caffeine intake in mice affected
lysozyme, an enzyme part of the immune system. Chronic caffeine consumption increased lysozyme
activity and played an important role in developing a protective immune system. The studies conducted
are important because it is believed psoriasis may be an autoimmune disorder. Caffeine as an Anti-Inflammatory The role of caffeine in inflammation is not
completely understood. Caffeine is used in some over-the-counter pain medications because
it helps to increase the affects of acetaminophen, but it is unclear if caffeine acts as an anti-inflammatory
on its own. A 2011 study published in the “Journal of
Nutrition” investigated 16 healthy men and the effects of coffee on appetite, energy
intake and inflammation-related markers. Caffeine was found to increase cortisol concentrations
in the body. Cortisol suppresses the immune system, which can lead to a reduced anti-inflammatory
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