Body

This kitchen pantry item might just be the cure for your psoriasis

It's a baking staple, but now it seems this common pantry item could have a very different use.

By Bettina Tyrrell
With summer approaching, psoriasis sufferers may be dreading baring their skin. Unfortunately for the 125 million people worldwide who battle with the skin condition, there is currently no cure, just treatments to manage and control the inflamed, itchy, flare ups.
However, many find little success in medicated treatments, opting to make their way through a long list of alternative remedies such as drinking alkaline water and bathing in Epsom salt baths.
But there could be good news around the corner for those battling to control their psoriasis. A new study suggests vanillin, artificial vanilla extract, could be used to prevent or diminish psoriasis.
The pantry favourite, often added to cake batters, cookies and sweet icing, seems to have a new use after researchers in Taiwan were curious to see if treatment with vanillin could prevent psoriatic symptoms.
Kim Kardashian West has always been vocal about her battles with psoriasis.
Science Daily reported, researchers Chien-Yun Hsiang and Tin-Yun Ho, induced psoriatic skin inflammation on groups of mice. The mice were then given daily doses of vanillin for seven days. The mice that receive the largest doses of vanillin - 50 or 100 milligrams per kilogram of body weight – experienced the largest reductions in skin inflammation compared to those receiving smaller or no doses of vanillin.
The researchers concluded in their study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, that vanillin was an effective compound against psoriatic skin inflammation in this animal model.
Before you raid your pantry for vanilla extract, studies are still yet to be tested on humans.

What is psoriasis?

Government website Health Direct explains psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disorder that affects about 125 million people worldwide. Psoriasis can also affect joints. Although the cause of psoriasis is unknown, it is thought that psoriasis occurs in people who have a genetic tendency for their immune system in their skin to react to certain triggers.

What does psoriasis look like?

Dry, raised, red patches of skin (called plaques) covered with silvery scales. The patches usually appear on the knees, elbow and scalp, but they can appear anywhere on the body.
Psoriasis can also cause dents and discolouration of the nails.