Psoriasis is a process of the adaptive immune system, there is no cure.
- Adaptive Immune System
- Is the part of the immune system that creates specialized cells and signaling proteins for fighting newly recognized pathogens.
- Innate Immune System
- Is the part of the immune system that does generic dietary and pathogen responses.
The current theory—psoriasis is a specialized inflammatory signaling pathway developed by the adaptive immune system, that leads to inflammatory symptoms. It requires genetics that allow for this adaptation, and a serious infection by a pathogen that is fought off using this immune system pathway (likely: strep throat, or an upper repository infection). After which, innate inflammatory responses down the TNF dietary/immune pathway are multiplied down the adaptive IL-17 psoriasis pathway, resulting in the psoriasis symptoms.
Interleukin 17a (IL-17a or commonly just IL-17) Seems to be the key inflammatory signaling protein on the psoriasis pathway in the adaptive immune system. IL-17 is synthesized by T helper 17 cells (Th17). IL-17 communicates mainly with the skin and upper repository system for fighting pathogens. With psoriasis, IL-17 has wildly elevated levels often 30 times the normal amount. Th17 is triggered by IL-6 and IL-23, and produces IL-17, IL-17f, IL-21, and IL-22.
Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF) is a key top-level signaling protein involved in normal dietary/immune inflammatory responses. TNF connects to the IL-17 psoriasis adaptive pathway.
Levels of everything on the IL-17 pathway are elevated, but it seems like the main miscommunication that leads to the disease happens when Th17 cells are triggered by IL-23 proteins, resulting in the multiplied amounts of IL-17. This seems to be an agreed upon theory at the moment, since there are three drug companies racing each other to get Th17- & IL-17-binding drugs to market.
The treatments are varied as to how they reduce the symptoms. But none are cures.
- Diet, exercise, weight loss, sleep, and low stress - reverse metabolic syndrome, and reduce innate immune system inflammation.
- Sunlight and UV - create vitamin D3, plus suppress IL-17 and IL-22 on the adaptive psoriasis pathway.
- Oils, moisturizers and skin care - limit the damage from skin inflammation, help skin heal itself, and prevent secondary infections.
- Deficiencies supplements - can correct immune miscommunications caused be nutrient deficiencies, and high levels of certain ones can down-regulate some immune functions.
- Topical psoriasis drugs - down-regulate inflammation locally in various ways.
- Internal psoriasis drugs - down-regulate inflammatory pathways in the immune system. Earlier drugs targeted innate immune inflammatory signaling, like TNF or folate. Newer ones target adaptive immune system proteins, like IL-6 & IL-23. Starting in 2015 drugs targeting IL-17 proteins and T-17 cells are scheduled to come out.
I have had my psoriasis 95% clear without any drugs or supplements. Now that it has flared back up after my ACL knee surgery, I am starting to test out those options as well.