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How Fire Ants Could Help Kim Kardashian Treat This

Kim Kardashian, professional golfer Phil Mickelson, and pop star Cyndi Lauper are just a few of the more than 7 million people affected by psoriasis in the U.S. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), the condition typically develops in patients when they are 15 to 35 years old, although psoriasis can manifest at any age. 

According to the Daily News, help may be on the way. A skin cream derived from solenopsins, the toxin found in fire ant venom, was found to ease the symptoms of psoriasis in mice. The compound can reduce the skin thickening and scaling most commonly associated with this condition. More impressively, it also reduces the painful autoimmune response that occurs when barrier function of the skin is compromised. 

Scientists at the Emory University School of Medicine are optimistic that solenopsins can revolutionize psoriasis treatment. Current treatment options often involve topical medications called corticosteroids that pose a number of health risks. According to the NPF, redness, skin changes (such as skin thinning), easier bruising, stretch marks and dilated surface blood vessels are common side effects of these topical remedies.

While psoriasis treatments based on fire ant venom are still in the preliminary stages and potential adverse effects are not ironed out during mice studies, the good news is that there are natural psoriasis treatments already available. 

Aloe vera can help alleviate inflammation and even the arthritic pain associated with psoriatic arthritis. Aloe vera may also enhance skin health, lessening skin inflammation, blistering and itching. Apple cider vinegar can relieve scalp itchiness. You can also dilute it in water at a 1-to-1 ratio to help prevent a burning sensation, and/or rinse the skin once the solution has dried. If your skin has cracked or is bleeding, don't use apple cider vinegar. Irritation and a burning sensation on your skin can happen if you apply it to open wounds.

Capsaicin is responsible for the fiery flavor of chili peppers. It is typically added to creams and ointments. Capsaicin is known to lessen the body's supply of substance P, a chemical component found in nerve cells that can transmit pain signals to your brain, which desensitizes sensory receptors on your skin. However, as the NPF has pointed out, more research is needed to fully determine capsaicin's long-term benefits and safety.

Since psoriasis is an inflammatory disease, you may want to consider turmeric, which is typically used in Indian cuisine, to help with pain relief. Curcumin, a component in the spice, is responsible for providing immense anti-inflammatory relief by combating the inflammation at the molecular level. Even better, the spice is said to be more effective than potentially risky prescription medications.
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