Nicotine Cleared Up Psoriasis
Smoking but not necessarily nicotine intake is a well known risk factor for developing psoriasis. I am not saying that the chances of developing psoriasis are a lot higher in smokers but studies proved that in the end there is a higher chance.[2,3]
Sure a lot of people who developed psoriasis don’t smoke and never did since as you will find out in the next lines it is more about the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) dysfunction than about the toxins from cigarettes.
If we put aside the toxic effects of chemicals found in the cigarettes and smoke and their detrimental effects on liver and antioxidant depletion we got nicotine. The alkaloid that is the major cause of tobacco dependence.
Nicotine as psoriasis cure
In one paper the authors described the case of over 60 years old ex-smoker with 14 years history of psoriasis what developed for the first time in 1993 after the patient stopped his 30 pack-years smoking habit. The patient at admission requested the nicotine replacement therapy since his psoriasis cleared up when taking the nicotine regularly.
Patient discovered this himself since in 1993 after psoriasis developed for the first time he started smoking again and the plaques on his knees and elbows cleared up completely in 3 months. In 2003 he quit smoking again and psoriasis came back in 2004. The next year (2005) he started smoking again and psoriasis subsequently disappeared in a few months. Soon quit smoking again and by 2007 he had been non-smoker for two years but chew the nicotine gum. The psoriasis had not returned by that time.
Nicotine – the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist
There are two main types of acetylcholine receptors: nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. Their names are derived from the names of their selective agonists – nicotine and muscarine.
As I always say – health and psoriasis cure is about the balance. You need to balance out the ANS so the bodily functions could work properly.
Just as the PTSD happens usually in just a few seconds and may persist for decades (Adrenal fatigue scam or how to cure stress) the same ANS dysregulation may develop from nicotine abuse due to its effects on cholinergic system.
Nicotine has strong parasympathomimetic effects (it activates the parasympathetic nervous system) and that’s why smokers want to smoke a cigarette especially when stressed – to calm down. The opposite of parasympathetic nervous system is sympathetic nervous system which takes care of fight-or-flight response. Actually the body is always in one of those two states. The very most of the time the parasympathetic nervous system should be active in order to rest, digest and repair the tissues.
However constant stressful situations in our lives switch the body to fight-or-flight many times during the day. If we are constantly exposed to stressful situations our ANS gets so dysregulated (some receptors get hyporesponsive or hyperresponsive) that we develop various diseases.
If we are in sympathetic state our digestion shuts down and after a few weeks the deficiencies occur, the SIBO and fungal overgrowth develop, the latent viruses reactivate and the health is in one vicious circle and slowly getting worse.
Nicotine is not the real answer
This article should not make you want start smoke the cigarettes, take nicotine pills or chew gums. The purpose is to show you that ANS system dysfunction may be modulated by nicotine and as the side effect psoriasis goes away.
The real cure is to restore acetylcholine production by the body since acetylcholine is the natural agonist of both – nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors.
Actually nicotine will worsen the psoriasis in most people as well as smoking.
Some people may say that nicotine makes you less stressed and that is the way it cleared up the man’s psoriasis.
Yes that is true about the nicotine effects on stress and I wrote about it above but what is it actually to be stressed? Well, at the biochemical level being stressed means that some cell receptors are activated and the others are deactivated – and after some time a dysregulation develops. It is just a biochemistry and the biochemistry does not care about you being well or feel bad. It is you what “feels” the biochemistry impacts.
Therefore you need to correct and regulate the biochemical processes in order to feel good and heal psoriasis.
Nicotine won’t correct them but the acetylcholine will.
1.) John Staples, Douglas Klein. Can nicotine use alleviate symptoms of psoriasis? Can Fam Physician. Apr 2012; 58(4): 404–408.
2.) Setty AR, Curhan G, Choi HK. Smoking and the risk of psoriasis in women: Nurses’ Health Study II. Am J Med. 2007 Nov;120(11):953-9.
3.) Behnam SM, Behnam SE, Koo JY. Smoking and psoriasis. Skinmed. 2005 May-Jun;4(3):174-6.