10 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. You should also discuss it with your doctor because it may cause your symptoms to become worse.
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 omega-3 fatty acids. It can help to reduce inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases. That is why it can help with psoriasis because it is both an autoimmune condition and an inflammatory problem.
A study found in Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, noticed that omega-3 fatty acids were able to improve symptoms from psoriasis when they are used along with topical treatments.
You can eat more yogurt and fermented foods to get probiotics or you can take them as a supplement. Many experts agree that adding probiotics to your diet can help to keep the bacteria within your gut in balance. This improves the function of the immune system and since psoriasis is directly involved with the immune system, it can help to manage your symptoms.
More than likely, you have some turmeric in your kitchen cupboard and the active ingredient, curcumin may help to reduce inflammation. The journal, Biochimie, published a study discussing the positive effects that curcumin had on psoriasis in studies with mice. You can also take curcumin daily in a supplement form.
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 the symptoms associated with psoriasis. You should not take aloe vera internally, but apply it to the skin directly. Before using aloe vera cream, make sure that it has at least 0.5% aloe.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
You can ease the burning and itching of scalp psoriasis with apple cider vinegar. The anti-germ properties of ACV can be very soothing. Do not apply it if the skin is cracked or otherwise open. You can also dilute the vinegar with water but if you experience burning, stop using it.
The itching and flaking associated with psoriasis make it feel worse, so keeping the skin moisturized is important. In order to do so, you can use a thick cream or heavy ointment that will help to control the symptoms. The majority of those moisturizers are labeled for "sensitive skin." Check the label to ensure that no additional dyes or fragrances are added.
8. Warm Salt or Oat Baths
There is nothing quite like a relaxing bath, but if you take one that is too hot or for too long, the skin can be stripped of its oils. This will make your psoriasis symptoms worse.
You might want to try taking a lukewarm bath with Epsom salts or colloidal oatmeal. Use moisturizer after bathing while your skin is damp to prevent your skin from drying out.
The Importance of Avoiding Triggers
Most people who have psoriasis recognize that it can be triggered, but determining which triggers are a part of your condition is sometimes difficult.
You can watch for the most common triggers, which include the following:
- 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
If you feel that you have a trigger, try to avoid it. It will help to reduce your symptoms.
Many of the home remedies will 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 the psoriasis symptoms to make sure they are getting better and not worse.