Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes flaky, red patches to develop on the skin. This buildup of skin can result in a scaling effect on the skin’s surface. Millions of people in America suffer from psoriasis, both men and women equally. It typically appears between the ages of 15 and 35, but can occur even earlier.
People who suffer from psoriasis are sometimes embarrassed of their condition or uncomfortable with it. This is mainly due to obvious inflammation and redness which often appears on visible areas of their body like the outside of the elbows, knees, or their scalp. It can cause itchiness, stinging, or even burning. While this condition isn’t curable, it can be managed with some natural remedies that have been known to provide relief.
As with many other health conditions, the symptoms of psoriasis can be improved with diet. Consuming foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation which is one of the major symptoms of psoriasis. The best way to get more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is by doing so naturally, eating foods like flaxseed, olive oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna, or sardines. Another easy, yet effective way to get more omega-3 fatty acids is to consume fish oil supplements. Reader’s Digest suggests taking high doses of between 3 to 10-grams a day, but it’s important to talk to your doctor before doing this, especially if you are taking blood thinners.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is more than just a cooking ingredient. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used to help relieve the symptoms of several different health conditions, including psoriasis. WebMD advises mixing this vinegar with some water then applying it any psoriasis on the scalp a few times a week. This will help relieve any itchiness. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse it off afterwards so that it doesn’t cause more irritation.
For psoriasis that appears anywhere else on the body, dip a cotton ball into some vinegar, then apply it to the skin directly. If it’s on your nails, dip the nail directly into some apple cider vinegar.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a native plant of Australia, but don’t worry, you don’t have to travel across the world to find some relief. The oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant and has been used to treat skin conditions for centuries. It oil contains antimicrobial properties that fight against bacteria, fungi, and protozoans. While it’s most commonly found as an oil, it does come in different forms. One of the most popular treatments is for psoriasis on the scalp. It can be purchased in shampoos, but the oil can also be diluted with some olive oil and applied directly to the skin where it will get to work removing dry, dead skin cells and relieve any itchiness in the process.
This cooling agent is commonly used to treat sunburns, but can also help improve the symptoms of psoriasis. The gel found inside an aloe vera plant is able to reduce any scaling, redness and inflammation caused by psoriasis. It can be bought as a gel or cream (look for creams that contain 0.5-percent aloe) and applied it directly to your skin. To get the best results, apply it three times a day for at least 5 days consecutively.
Remember, while aloe vera is able to work a little bit of magic in terms of improving symptoms, it’s not a cure. Before applying it to your skin, test it on a small area and wait to see if you have any kind of reaction before continuing.
Homemade Therapeutic Bath
One of the best ways to treat psoriasis at home is by drawing a nice warm bath. There are so many things you can add to the tub to create your own homemade therapeutic bath. You can try adding a cup of vegetable or mineral oil in order to moisturize or soothe any dry skin. Reader’s Digest also suggests mixing 2-teaspoons of olive oil into a glass of milk and then adding to some bath water. Another popular trick to sooth itching skin is to soak in an oatmeal bath. Just be sure to use plain oatmeal (do not use flavored or instant). Blend it up in a food processor or blender until it resembles a fine powder, then sprinkle it in the water.
You can also also try some Epsom salts. Magnesium-rich Epsom salts can help reduce itching and shrink those scaly patches that develop. Add 1 to 3-cups into your bath water, then soak. On top of that, throw in a teaspoon of lavender essential oil to maximize the soothing and healing properties.
You’re probably wondering what oregon grape is because it’s not necessarily the most widely recognized remedy. According to Healthline, it’s also referred to as Mahonia aquifolium and it’s an antimicrobial herb from the barberry family. It works to improve the body’s immune response, says the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Oregon grape can be found in the form of a cream and is fairly effective at treating any mild or moderate psoriasis flare-ups. However, because it is a part of the alkaloid family, mahonia creams should only be used as a topical ointment under the supervision of a physician.
This vibrant spice is part of the ginger family and has been a popular cooking ingredient and remedy in Asia for centuries. In addition to being the main spice in curry, turmeric is often used to treat conditions that cause pain and inflammation, like psoriasis. It has been widely studied and praised for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. WebMD writes that studies show this spice may reduce psoriasis flare-ups. This is due it’s unique ability to alter TNF cytokine expression. The best way to use turmeric as a remedy for psoriasis is to take it in a concentrated pill or supplement form, or add it to meals while cooking, says the National Psoriasis Foundation.
It might seem counter productive to use sunlight, something we often told is a great danger to our skin, in order to treat a skin condition like psoriasis. According to WebMD, the ultraviolet B rays can help treat the symptoms of psoriasis. It’s important to note that we don’t recommend going out and bathing in the sunlight. You should always use sunscreen to avoid getting sunburnt and only expose the affected areas to sunlight for 5 to 10 minutes a day. This is extremely important because too much sun exposure can actually lead to a sunburn which will only aggravate the symptoms of psoriasis and make them much worse. It can also raise your risk of skin cancer.
One of the biggest triggers for psoriasis is stress. We all have stress in our life, some more than others. It’s hard to avoid in today’s world. Since there are many causes of stress that we cannot eliminate, the best thing to do is to learn how to manage stress and things that we can do in our everyday life to reduce it. Treating yourself to a massage is one of the ways you can reduce stress and minimize the symptoms of psoriasis.
In addition to relieving the symptoms of psoriasis, massages can also reduce pain. This is especially important for people who suffer from psoriatic arthritis, a condition that combines both psoriasis and arthritis. It occurs in the joints, resulting in a great deal of pain and swelling. If left untreated, it can become quite serious.
Capsaicin is the ingredient in chili peppers that makes them hot, but it can also be used to treat psoriasis. According to research, when added to creams, capsaicin is able to block the nerve endings responsible for transmitting pain. As a result, capsaicin cream can help relieve all of the painful and uncomfortable symptoms associated with psoriasis, such as pain, inflammation, scaling, and redness.
You can purchase these creams over-the-counter, but be sure to look for ones that contain between .025 and .075 capsaicin. Don’t get too anxious about the results because it can take up to a week for you to see any results or relief. Another important note is to keep this cream away from your eyes or any mucous membranes. If it makes contact, it will cause a burning sensation.