Causation

Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease characterised by the appearance of isolated red patches of considerable size, covered by shining white scales. The aetiology of this eruption is not understood. It may be hereditary or follow nerve shock, but in many cases it is directly attributable to imperfect assimilation of nourishment, and accumulation of waste products in the system, such as 42 occur in gout and rheumatism. The excessive consumption of oatmeal has been observed to cause it (Hardaway).

Dietetic Treatment

This disease is less amenable to dietetic treatment than are some other skin affections; nevertheless, this must not be neglected, as it may prove a valuable aid to local measures. The diet should always be restricted both in quantity and variety. Obese and plethoric patients improve upon a purely vegetable regimen. In bad cases it will be best to put them upon a bread-and-milk diet for a week. Vegetable food may then be added, but sweets and meats should be withheld. Feeble, anaemic patients usually improve upon an animal diet, consisting largely of milk, with eggs, beef, and mutton. Bread may be allowed. Elaborately cooked and highly seasoned food must be forbidden, as well as all forms of malt liquors. If any alcohol is required it should be prescribed in the form of well-diluted whisky and taken only with meals, but as a rule patients are better without it.

Pruritus

Patients suffering from pruritus should partake only of non-stimulating food. They must particularly avoid tea, coffee, alcoholic drinks of every variety, condiments, fish, pastry, cheese, sauces, pickles, made dishes, and fried food. Tobacco should be temporarily withheld.