- With Mayo Clinic dermatologist
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.read biographyclose window
Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Dr. Lawrence Gibson likens bad health information on the Internet to food poisoning.
Consumers, he says, need to be aware and will find reliable information at MayoClinic.com.
Dr. Gibson, a Covington, Ky., native, has been with Mayo Clinic since 1986 and is board certified in dermatology, dermatopathology and immunodermatology. He is a professor of dermatology at Mayo Medical School and a consultant in the Department of Dermatology.
Dr. Gibson has served as the fellowship director for dermatopathology and as chair of the Laboratory Division in the Department of Dermatology. He is especially interested in inflammatory disorders of the skin, including vasculitis, and in lymphoma affecting the skin.
"Electronic information has become a staple in the diet of a health conscious society," he says. "It's important to avoid misinformation and provide a credible source for health information. Using this analogy, it's critical to avoid 'indigestion' or, worse yet, 'food poisoning' by the ingestion of tainted information."
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Psoriasis diet: Can changing your diet treat psoriasis?
Can changing my diet treat psoriasis?
from Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D.
Although there’s no special psoriasis diet, some people find that certain foods worsen their symptoms, or that others improve skin inflammation. However, any link between nutrition and psoriasis is still unclear.
Psoriasis is cyclic, meaning that you experience periods when your psoriasis symptoms improve or go into remission alternating with times when your psoriasis becomes worse. Besides the food you eat, many factors might trigger a flare-up, including stress, an infection, climate changes or medications you're taking.
Though certain foods may neither improve nor aggravate your symptoms, eating a healthy diet overall is still beneficial. If you have psoriasis, you're encouraged to eat a diet that focuses on:
- Whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
- Lean meats and fish
A number of studies also have shown that supplementing your diet with fish oil — which provides polyunsaturated fatty acids needed to maintain healthy skin — may improve symptoms.
A healthy diet, especially when combined with exercise, can help you lose weight and maintain a healthy weight — factors that may improve psoriasis symptoms. If you're overweight, losing weight may also improve the effectiveness of your psoriasis medication.
As long as you meet your daily nutritional requirements, there's no harm in exploring which foods might improve your symptoms. Start a food diary and record what you eat along with the symptoms you experience. Over time, you may see patterns that are helpful in controlling your psoriasis symptoms.Next question
Psoriasis treatment: Can fish oil supplements reduce symptoms?
- Living well: Healthy eating. National Psoriasis Foundation. http://www.psoriasis.org/netcommunity/learn_eating. Accessed Nov. 4, 2010.
- Kaimal S, et al. Diet in dermatology: Revisited. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology. 2010;76:103.
- McCusker MM, et al. Healing fats of the skin: The structural and immunologic roles of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Clinics in Dermatology. 2010;28:440.
- Questions and answers about psoriasis. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Psoriasis/default.asp. Accessed Dec. 18, 2010.
- Gibson LE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 15, 2010.