What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that often results in areas of scaly, red skin and irritated skin appearing. For some, it’s a minor irritation, for others, it’s a life defining condition.
Psoriasis is caused by an immune-mediated response which triggers the rapid production of new skin cells. Cells are produced more quickly than required to replace natural skin cells turnover, leading to plaque psoriasis. This is the most common form of psoriasis, causing areas of thickened red skin and dry, silvery scales. Typically, psoriasis patches are found on the knees, elbows and scalp, but some sufferer psoriasis breaking out on much wider areas of the body. Patches of psoriasis can be itchy or may be painful and are often unsightly, potentially leading to self-image mental health issues too.
Anyone can get psoriasis, irrespective of ethnicity, sex, age or environment. Most often, it appears between 15-35 years old. In 2016, the World Health Organization reported prevalence of psoriasis worldwide ranged between 0.09 percent and 11.43 percent; psoriasis is a major global problem. And it’s not just a cosmetic issue; around 1/3rd of psoriasis sufferers will go on to develop Psoriatic Arthritis.
Psoriasis cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be treated and eased. Treatments include topical creams, light therapy and immunosuppressive medications that suppress the body’s immune system and drugs which target specific parts of the immune system. For a more detailed explanation, read this article from healthline.
Can Camel Milk Help?
Camel milk and camel milk creams have long been used to treat chronic skin conditions including psoriasis in countries where camel milk is a staple. CameLife’s inspiration, the late Professor Reuven Yagil dedicated much of his life to helping psoriasis sufferers by both drinking camel milk and using creams made from the milk. His final published work, Cosmeceuticals: Camel and Other Milk – Natural Skin Maintenance, describes a number of examples of treating psoriasis patients. We based The Original Camel Balm on his cream hand made prototypes.
Here in Australia, we cannot make any claims that it can have a therapeutic benefit for psoriasis sufferers because camel milk is not listed as a therapeutic ingredient.
Is there any proof?
Research on the use of camel milk to treat psoriasis is limited and much of it has been done in universities in less developed nations. Some researchers suggest that the alpha- hydroxyl acids in camel milk help to shed the scaly excess skin cells by breaking down the sugars which hold skin cells together. The ingredient’s vitamin B, C carotin and iron content are crucial for skin health. Reuven Yagil's theory was that the unique protective proteins found in camel milk are the reason why camel milk can be so successful for managing psoriasis.
What to Use?
On small patches of psoriasis, a starting point would be The Original Camel Balm. Of all our products, this one contains the most camel milk. It is highly soothing and calming, designed specifically to treat skin inflammation, but not yet listed here in Australia as a complimentary medicine.
An alternative approach would be to try our Nourishing Body Mousse. This all natural product uses raw Australian camel milk; it is more suited to larger areas of the skin. Although we package it in 100ml tubs, we can supply it in larger quantities to order.
The Happy Camel Balm takes Professor Reuven’s concept further, by adding a CBD extract to the camel milk. Again, we cannot make any therapeutic claims, but there are studies which show that cannabis extracts may slow the rapid growth of keratinocytes, the immature skin cells found in people with psoriasis.
Finally, what about our Facial Cleansing Bar? Many psoriasis sufferers find that their scalp is irritated and itchy and that they cannot use conventional shampoos. There are a number of overseas companies making camel milk shampoos sold specifically for the treatment of psoriasis, but they tend to be expensive because they use a lot of camel milk. We have a number of customers using our solid cleansing bar to successfully manage psoriasis above the hairline.
We talk to a lot of psoriasis sufferers who are spending good money on specialist dermatology expertise but seeing little improvement. Some are being prescribed medicines that have unwanted side effects. So what have they got to lose by trying camel milk? The investment in a couple of litres of camel milk and some creams is small.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog. If you know someone who suffers from psoriasis, please share it.