Psoriasis is one of the most difficult skin conditions to treat. However, it is easier to manage when it appears on the scalp than when it begins on the knee and elbow area then spreads to the rest of the body. The condition you describe circling your head around the hairline is known as corona psoriatica (corona is crown). Another variety spreads right across the scalp and is crusty and red, often seeping or bleeding when the scabs come off during combing.
Although no one is certain what causes psoriasis, stress and/or erratic diet have triggered almost every case I have seen. In your case, the starting point seems to be the loss of your father.
One of the best evidenced cures for psoriasis is “sun and sea”. Many clinics around the Dead Sea offer just that you float in the very salty water, which buoys you up in a peaceful way, and take in as much sun as you can. Some countries offer this therapy on the national health service, though not, as far as I am aware, UK. Here, conventional medicine seems to have gone crazy, using anti-cancer drugs for psoriasis. These suppress the immune system and are thus believed to help the condition. In the process, however, these drugs may also damage the liver and the kidneys. Some patients are so desperate that they accept these risks.
My advice is different:
- Decide that you can get better: often sufferers of conditions such as this effectively give up. The power of intention is very strong: tell yourself that there is a possibility chat the condition can improve.
- Try to calm down and stop disliking yourself and your body. The condition is unsightly and often embarrassing, but if you can keep your mind tranquil it will help greatly. You could see this as an internal disruption manifesting on the skin. This is why no outside treatment alone – such as steroid creams, tar therapy, UV exposure, even the sun – will give long-term benefits.
- To calm your mind, meditate for l5 to 20 minutes daily. The morning is good, so that you start your day in a positive and peaceful frame of mind. Breathe in for three seconds, hold your breath for three seconds, then breathe out for six seconds. Some people find it helpful to visualize a wave coming towards the seashore as they inhale, pausing on the sand as they hold their breath, then ebbing away as they slowly breathe out. Keep your mind’s eye on the point between your eyebrows (the third eye) and imagine the gentle rays of the rising sun beaming in to that point and warming you whole body. Concentrate on this, but don’t work too hard. Just let yourself drift away into a state of relaxation, where you feel your body is weightless and you can float into a place where you don’t experience anxiety.
- Homoeopathic remedies, which work on the underlying state of the individual, have produced much the best results in the treatment of psoriasis: Dr David Curtin at the Integrated Medical Centre has had some amazing results. Unfortunately I cannot advise you which remedy will suit you, although Sulphur 30 sometimes helps. Finding the right one for each individual is like finding the ‘magic’ key to open the lock. An intuitive homoeopath will be able to find the right remedy, though this may take some time. Less gifted practitioners may never find the right one, Find a qualified homoeopath who you feel can help you; if you do not feel an empathy with one’ move on to another (to find a qualified homoeopath, contact the Society of Homeopaths: www.homeopathy-soh.org ).
- Avoid any foods containing sugar or yeast, the two worst enemies of psoriasis.
- Avoid all fungal food products: mushrooms, cheese, vinegar, dried fruits and any food or drink that has been fermented, including alcohol (cutting out alcohol also allows the liver to detoxify the body).
- Avoid canned, frozen, ready-prepared or processed foods that contain preservatives because they destroy useful gut flora.
- Kadu twigs help to suppress yeast and fungal growth in the gut. Soak two twigs in a cup of hot water at night then strain and drink the water in the morning.
- Ayurvedic hair oil – apply 2 tablespoonful at night to the affected area to remove the flakiness and make the scalp soft. Leave overnight, then wash out in the morning with Ayurvedic shampoo – apply 2 tablespoonful every other day for two weeks if the crust us very hard. The scalp may sting a little, but the oil will soften the skin.
- Do not wear caps or hats or put very hot water on the scalp, and avoid dyeing your hair if possible.