Psoriasis is a skin condition which causes patches of dry, red skin, that are covered in silver scales, according to the NHS.
It’s caused by skin cells being replaced too quickly. Patients’ cells can generate up to 10 times faster than expected.
But, leading London nutritionist Lily Soutter, 29, put her psoriasis into remission by making some diet and lifestyle changes.
Her skin condition covered her face and most of her body, she said.
“My condition would worsen during the winter and tended to go into remission in the summer due to the healing effects of sunlight,” Soutter told Express.co.uk.
“When my skin condition was at its worst, I often declined to attend social events and felt like the psoriasis would control my social life.
“I feel that the impact of skin conditions on mental health is greatly underestimated.
Psoriasis treatment: Skin condition could be cured by making diet changes
“I feel that the impact of skin conditions on mental health is greatly underestimated”
“It took me several years to get symptoms under control with diet and lifestyle factors.”
Soutter’s psoriasis began when she was 14 years old, and tried a number of treatments to get rid of the skin condition.
She tried coal tar, steroids, emollients, acupuncture and reflexology, but none of them seemed to provide lasting relief from symptoms, she said.
She spoke to a nutritionist, who explained the role of the liver, immune system and stress in developing skin conditions.
Psoriasis treatments: Soutter suffered (Lily Soutter)
Psoriasis treatments: Some creams could help to relieve symptoms (GETTY Images)
Soutter cut out excess sugar from her diet, which she said had the biggest impact on her skin. She’d usually get flare-ups after over-indulging in sweet treats, she said.
The amount of water she drank increased from two to three glasses a day to two litres.
“I have kept up with this habit every since and have seen huge improvements in my skin,” she said.
The nutritionist also boosted the amount of omega-3-rich oily fish in her diet. The omega-3 fats helped to lubricate the cells of the body, which reduces inflammation.
“I started to consumer oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel, on a regular basis,” Soutter said.
Psoriasis treatments: Soutter increased her water consumption to two litres a day (GETTY Images)
Psoriasis treatments: Eating more oily fish helped to reduce Soutter’s symptoms (GETTY Images)
Food additives and colourings were cut out of her meal plan, and she put an end to sugar-laden teas.
She swapped her afternoon tea for hot water with lemon and mint.
Stress had a major impact on Soutter’s psoriasis, too, she said.
By getting more active, she found a passion a running, which dramatically alleviated stress.
But, what may work for one person may not work for another, warned the nutritionist.
“Skin conditions can be complex and visiting a nutritionist can help to tailor an appropriate diet to you,” she added.