5 Home Remedies To Help Treat Psoriasis
Psoriasis is classified as an autoimmune skin condition that involves the immune system triggering the skin cells to quickly grow. As a result of the condition, people suffer from scaly, red patches of skin. Those dry patches typically occur on the knees, elbows, or scalp, but it is possible for them to appear anywhere on the body.
No cure exists for psoriasis, but some treatments can help control the symptoms. This includes a number of home remedies:
1. Exposure to Sunlight
Some sunlight exposure helps many people to improve the appearance of their skin. Start with a small amount of sun exposure and increase it gradually. A beginning sun exposure of anywhere from 5-10 minutes is recommended by the National Psoriasis Foundation
Exposing the part of your skin that is affected by psoriasis is beneficial, but be cautious that you don't get too much sun exposure to other areas. If you find that your skin is tolerating the sun exposure, increase it gradually in small increments. If sunburn occurs, avoid any further exposure to the sun.
The UVB rays from sunlight exposure are what is beneficial, not the UVA rays. That is why you should avoid tanning beds, because they mostly put off UVA rays. This can increase your risk of developing skin damage or skin cancer. The National Psoriasis Foundation and other experts, such as the American Academy of Dermatology, recommend staying away from commercial tanning beds.
You should discuss sun exposure with your physician before trying it as a home remedy. Certain medications may cause skin sensitivity to the sun. If you have a family history of skin cancer, other natural treatment options may need to be considered.
2. Fish Oil and Omega-3 Fats
Many people use fish oil supplements because they contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s support a healthy inflammation response and may help to reduce inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases. A study in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology found that omega-3 fatty acids were able to improve symptoms from psoriasis when used along with topical treatments.
Many experts agree that adding probiotics to your diet can help to keep your gut bacteria in balance. Your gut bacteria support healthy immune function and a healthy inflammation response. Since psoriasis is an immune dysfunction, a healthy gut may help to manage your symptoms.
More than likely, you have some turmeric in your spice cabinet. You can also take turmeric as a supplement. The active ingredient, curcumin, is known for its benefits for healthy inflammation. The journal Biochimie published a study discussing the positive effects that curcumin had on psoriasis in mice.
5. Aloe Vera
The aloe vera plant has many health benefits, but the gelatinous interior can work wonders on skin wounds. It can also reduce symptoms associated with psoriasis. You should not take aloe vera internally, but apply it to the skin directly. Make sure the aloe cream or gel has at least 0.5% aloe.
Most people who have psoriasis recognize that it can be triggered by other conditions. Watch for these common triggers and notice if they increase your symptoms:
- Skin injury, including cuts, scrapes, and sunburn
- Certain medications, including some drugs for high blood pressure, psychiatric disorders, arthritis, and malaria
- Infections and illnesses such as strep throat, colds, and other common conditions can tax the immune system, causing psoriasis to flare
Many home remedies can help with the symptoms, but you do need to be cautious about medication interactions. If you are considering trying a home remedy, discuss it with your doctor before starting. You should also keep track of your psoriasis symptoms to make sure they are getting better and not worse.
References: psoriasis.org skincancer.org aad.org tandfonline.com ncbi.nlm.nih.gov (12480795 PMC3133503 3760276 20509719 26826458 16148424)