Have you ever thought if creatine and psoriasis are connected somehow? Can creatine harm or help your psoriasis symptoms?
Stay with me as I explore the impact of creatine on psoriasis condition.
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes inflammation due to an abnormal immune system response. As a result, the skin cells grow too fast and pile up on the surface. The symptoms are red, scaly patches on the knees, elbows, trunk, and scalp.
There are different types of psoriasis, such as –
- Plaque psoriasis: the most common form causing thick, silvery scales
- Guttate psoriasis: causes small, drop-shaped lesions
- Pustular psoriasis: causes pus-filled blisters
- Inverse psoriasis: affects the folds of the skin.
Psoriasis is a challenging condition to manage; unfortunately, it has no cure. However, several treatment options, including topical creams, oral medications, injections, light therapy, or lifestyle changes, can help reduce the symptoms and prevent flare-ups.
If you suspect scalp psoriasis, seek a dermatologist’s evaluation to diagnose and discuss treatment options accurately.
Causes And Triggers
Various factors can trigger the condition, including-
- Skin injuries include cuts, bruises, burns, bumps, vaccinations, tattoos, etc.
- Certain medications, such as lithium, drugs for malaria, and some beta-blockers, etc.
- Infections include strep throat, thrush, upper respiratory infections, HIV, etc.
- Cold and dry weather
- Alcohol and smoking
- Low estrogen levels in women
Scalp psoriasis can vary in severity, and symptoms may differ from person to person. Some common symptoms of psoriasis on the scalp include-
- Reddish raised patches, sometimes thick and inflamed
- Scaling and flaking
- Burning sensation or soreness
- Temporary hair loss
Creatine And Psoriasis: A Review of Scientific Evidence
There is no conclusive scientific evidence that creatine supplementation has any effect on psoriasis, either positive or negative.
A study showed that taking creatine supplements did not improve psoriasis symptoms. However, another study suggests that applying creatine topically has a photoprotective effect on cell energy metabolism and DNA. However, the study did not delve into the specific effects of creatine on psoriasis.
To fully comprehend the impact of creatine on psoriasis, we thoroughly examine how it affects related conditions.
There are mixed anecdotal reports about the effects of creatine supplementation on skin lesions in individuals with psoriasis. Some suggest it may help reduce lesions, while others suggest it may worsen them.
However, these reports are unreliable due to insufficient objective measurements or controls.
Psoriasis causes chronic inflammation in the skin and other organs due to an excessive and persistent immune system response.
Several studies suggest that creatine supplementation may reduce inflammation markers such as TNF-alpha and IL-6 in rats with arthritis, mice with colitis, healthy humans after exercise-induced muscle damage, and elderly humans with sarcopenia.
Adding creatine to your diet may help reduce inflammation connected with psoriasis.
However, based on these anecdotal reports alone, we cannot draw any definitive conclusions about the effects of creatine supplementation on psoriasis. We need more rigorous and controlled studies to confirm these assertions.
Can creatine help psoriatic arthritis?
Creatine may have anti-inflammatory effects that benefit people with psoriatic arthritis. One study found that creatine supplementation can reduce the inflammatory response to exercise and inhibit inflammation in endothelial cells in vitro.
However, there is limited research on its effects on psoriatic arthritis.
Besides, creatine supplementation may improve muscle mass, strength, and function in patients with muscle-wasting conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
However, further studies are required to establish the possible advantages of creatine for individuals with psoriatic arthritis.
Does Creatine Make Psoriasis Worse Or Better?
Creatine may have mixed effects on your psoriasis.
- Creatine can improve skin and muscle hydration by drawing water into cells, which may help reduce dryness and scaling of psoriasis lesions.
- It can help with inflammation by regulating cytokine production and oxidative stress.
- Creatine can improve metabolic health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, and metabolic syndrome, which are more common in people with psoriasis and can worsen their symptoms.
- Creatine may also cause dehydration by increasing urine output and sweating, worsening psoriasis symptoms, or triggering flares.
- Creatine can cause inflammation and allergic reactions that may worsen psoriasis or trigger flare-ups.
- Creatine can interact with certain medications for psoriasis, malaria, kidney problems, and more, which may affect their efficacy or lead to side effects.
How to Use Creatine for Optimal Performance and Psoriasis Management?
Creatine is a helpful supplement that can boost physical and mental performance and may improve psoriasis symptoms. And knowing the proper dosage and timing is key to maximizing its benefits.
Creatine Dosage and Timing
The recommended creatine monohydrate dosage is 3-5 grams daily, which is enough for most people. However, some may need higher doses due to physical activity, body size, or low dietary intake.
To quickly saturate muscles with creatine, you can start with a loading phase of 20 grams per day for 5-7 days, followed by a maintenance phase of 3-5 grams daily. However, this method may cause side effects such as bloating, cramps, or diarrhea.
Regarding timing, you can take creatine anytime, even at night. But for maximum effectiveness, take creatine either before or after exercising. At these times, the muscle cells are highly receptive to creatine uptake, ensuring optimal results.
Taking creatine may cause water to build up in your muscles. It can make you weigh more and raise your blood pressure. It may also cause dehydration if you don’t drink enough water.
So, to stay hydrated, drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily while using creatine. Also, avoid alcohol and caffeine since they can make you more dehydrated.
Cycle Creatine Intake
Long-term use of creatine is generally safe, but some may see decreased effectiveness due to creatine transporter downregulation in muscle cells over time.
To prevent this, cycle your creatine intake by taking a break every few weeks or months. It could aid in restoring muscle cells’ sensitivity to creatine while preventing adverse effects.
Dietary Restrictions For Psoriasis
Here are some general guidelines for your diet to manage psoriasis while taking creatine.
- Limit saturated and animal fats. Instead, opt for lean meats and low-fat dairy options.
- Reduce simple sugars, sugary drinks, and processed foods that may contribute to inflammation and worsen psoriasis symptoms.
- Increase intake of fruits and vegetables that support overall health and may help manage psoriasis symptoms.
- Choose whole grains and legumes – excellent sources of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and plant-based proteins.
- Consider a gluten-free diet.
- Eat omega-3-rich foods like fatty fish, flaxseeds, and chia seeds for healthy skin and reduced inflammation.
Can Creatine Affect Skin?
When used appropriately, creatine can have a positive impact on the health of your skin. It can enhance collagen synthesis and protect against UV damage. Besides, applying topical creatine benefits you by improving skin texture and radiance by increasing cell turnover and rejuvenation.
However, creatine may also cause side effects on your skin by causing inflammation, dehydration, acne breakouts, or rashes. So, always consult your doctor before starting any supplement regimen or skin care products containing creatine.
Is Creatine An Inflammatory?
Creatine is not an inflammatory but rather a natural substance that can help reduce inflammation in some cases. It can help reduce inflammation by providing energy to the cells, buffering lactic acid, and modulating immune system responses.
In fact, there is evidence that creatine is an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce muscle damage and inflammation post-workout, aiding recovery time and injury prevention. It may also positively impact certain inflammatory conditions, although further research is necessary to confirm these findings.
The connection between creatine and psoriasis is still inconclusive and needs more research. With mixed results and reports, the wisest thing to do is consult a doctor if you have psoriasis and want to start creatine. It will help you reach your goal without facing any unwanted issues.
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I am a health and wellness enthusiast working in a Pittsburgh-based wellness clinic. My primary role as a consultant is to tailor a balanced lifestyle for my patients, where positive steps and potent supplements play a synergistic role.