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Psoriasis is a lifelong autoimmune skin condition in which the immune system triggers the overproduction of skin cells. Some home remedies may help relieve symptoms.

Psoriasis causes a person to develop scaly patches of skin called plaques. Plaques usually appear on the elbows, knees, and scalp, but they can develop anywhere on the body.

Before using home remedies, it may be a good idea to speak with a doctor. Home remedies tend to work best when people use them alongside medical treatment.

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Using home remedies alone or with medical treatment may improve psoriasis symptoms.

People with psoriasis may use complementary approaches because medical treatment was unsuccessful or had side effects.

However, some home remedies may interact with medications, so anyone thinking about using them should speak with a doctor first.

It is also important to monitor psoriasis symptoms to ensure that the remedies are not causing them to get worse.

Exposure to sunlight can sometimes improve the appearance of the skin when a person has psoriasis. People should expose their skin gradually and for brief periods.

The sun’s UVB rays are beneficial for psoriasis symptoms as they can slow the growth of affected skin cells.

It is essential to put sunscreen on all exposed skin, including plaques, as sunburn can worsen psoriasis. The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) advises using a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that protects against UVA and UVB rays.

Some medications can also make the skin more sensitive to the sun.

Not everyone should use sunlight to treat psoriasis. The NPF advises speaking with a doctor before exposing skin to the sun.

Those with a family history of skin cancer may need to stay out of the sun and seek other treatments.

Capsaicin, a component of red peppers, has demonstrated the ability to fight inflammation.

A study from 2020 suggests capsaicin may be an effective psoriasis treatment.

People with psoriasis may use a capsaicin cream to treat skin plaques. This may initially cause a burning sensation and inflammation, but capsaicin may help nerves in the treated area become less sensitive to inflammation with further application. This can lead to less scaling, itching, and pain.

A more recent study suggests people could use capsaicin as an alternative to topical psoriasis treatments containing steroids. The study found that capsaicin application to affected areas created a protective effect that reduced the body’s ability to send signals, known as cytokines, for more inflammation.

Capsaicin creams are available online, in pharmacies, and in health food stores.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria present in yogurt and fermented foods. People can also consume them in supplements.

Having the right balance of bacteria in the body may help the immune system. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, and research suggests probiotics may be helpful in managing psoriasis symptoms.

A 2019 review study found that the gut microbiome — the collective genomes of the bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microbes that live in the digestive system — is essential to skin health and may prevent psoriasis outbreaks or stop them from getting worse.

A 2020 review went further, suggesting that a depleted gut microbiome may play a role in triggering psoriasis.

There is insufficient research in this area, and people with psoriasis should check with a doctor before taking supplements to ensure it is safe.

Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric. It may lessen inflammation in the body and reduce psoriatic activity.

The authors of a 2018 review of research stated that there is strong evidence to support the therapeutic effect of curcumin in treating psoriasis.

Further to this, a 2021 study concluded that curcumin alleviated induced psoriasis in mice.

Curcumin is available online or in stores in pill or capsule form.

Learn more about how curcumin can help people with psoriasis.

Oregon grape, or Mahonia aquifolium, is an herbal remedy that may help calm the immune response in psoriasis.

In a 2005 report on three clinical trials involving a total of 104 people, the authors conclude that M. aquifolium cream is a safe and effective treatment for mild-to-moderate psoriasis.

In 2018, authors reviewing the evidence to support treating psoriasis with M. aquifolium found seven studies investigating its use. They concluded that M. aquifolium can improve symptoms and is safe and effective with few side effects.

Traditional medicine has long used the gel from inside the aloe vera plant to treat skin wounds. Applying an ointment containing aloe vera may also help reduce the scaling and inflammation that psoriasis causes.

In a 2018 study, 2,248 people with mild-to-moderate psoriasis used an ointment containing either 50% propolis and 3% aloe vera or a placebo. The study findings suggested that aloe vera might be helpful for people with this condition.

Those who used the preparation containing aloe vera experienced a noteworthy improvement in their symptoms.

People should apply aloe vera directly to the skin and avoid taking it internally. The NPF recommends choosing a cream or gel that contains at least 0.5% aloe.

Many health food stores carry aloe creams and gels, which are also available to purchase online.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that apple cider vinegar might help soothe itching and burning resulting from scalp psoriasis. However, it is not suitable for applying to broken or cracked skin areas.

Apple cider vinegar contains natural germ-killing properties and can be soothing for the scalp. The NPF suggests applying it a few times a week.

For a gentler treatment, a person can dilute the vinegar with an equal amount of water. If it burns during or after application, it is vital that the person stop using it.

A 2021 article in the International Journal of Dermatology discussed vinegar’s antimicrobial and antioxidant properties in wound care. The authors note that while it is generally safe, inappropriate use can damage the skin.

Studies suggest tea tree oil has natural anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Anecdotal evidence suggests it is a safe treatment for people with psoriasis.

However, there have been no clinical studies on the effectiveness or safety of tea tree oil in treating psoriasis.

Some people have also reported allergic reactions to tea tree oil, including severe rashes, redness, irritation, swelling, and burning.

Therefore, people should be aware of the side effects and speak with a doctor before using tea tree oil to treat psoriasis.

Learn more about how tea tree oil can help people with psoriasis.

Itching and flaking can make psoriasis symptoms feel worse, so it is essential to keep skin moisturized.

The AAD notes that moisturizing creams, or emollients, are a standard treatment to use alongside other therapies.

Applying a heavy ointment or thick cream at least once a day may help control symptoms and keep the skin feeling comfortable.

People should look for products that are free of fragrances and dyes with the label “for sensitive skin.”

Moisturizers that are suitable for people with psoriasis are available for purchase online.

Doctors may also recommend topical treatments and creams containing coal tar, salicylic acid, and other medicinal ingredients.

Baths and showers can be relaxing, but those that are too long or too hot can strip the skin of its oils, and this can make psoriasis worse.

Some people find that a warm bath containing colloidal oatmeal or Epsom salts is soothing and relieves symptoms.

According to research, an oatmeal bath or a wet dressing can reduce itching, and a warm bath containing a suitable bath oil can help moisturize the skin.

Wet wraps provide a simple option for treating psoriasis and may reduce symptoms quickly.

After bathing, applying an appropriate moisturizer while the skin is still damp can help prevent moisture loss.

Some people with psoriasis may be more likely to be overweight and have a higher risk of some other conditions, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Exercise can help lower this risk.

Diet is also key to maintaining a moderate weight and avoiding cardiovascular issues and other types of illness.

Tips that may help include:

  • avoiding sugar
  • drinking plenty of water to keep skin moisturized
  • cutting out trans fats, which are present in many fast and processed foods
  • eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties, including foods containing omega-3 fatty acids and many fruits and vegetables

Learn more about how diet can affect psoriasis here.

Other home remedies that people have tried include:

Researchers need to conduct more studies into how these might benefit a person with psoriasis.

However, acupuncture and massage can help relieve pain, and they may be beneficial for someone who has psoriatic arthritis.

People should speak with a doctor before undergoing any treatment that might involve essential oils, such as a massage, as some of these products may make symptoms worse. A doctor can offer advice on suitable products.

Psoriasis tends to involve flares, when symptoms get worse, and times of remission, when a person may have no symptoms.

Avoiding triggers, where possible, may help prevent a flare.

Common triggers include:

  • stress
  • smoking
  • skin injury, including cuts, scrapes, and sunburn
  • certain medications, including some drugs for high blood pressure, psychiatric conditions, arthritis, and malaria
  • infections and illnesses, such as strep throat, colds, and other common conditions

Triggers vary between individuals. People who can identify their triggers should find it easier to avoid them.

Learn more about different triggers for psoriasis.

Many different treatments are available for psoriasis, and medical advances are producing treatment options that may be more effective than those available in the past.

The main types of treatment available are:

  • biologics, which are proving effective for moderate-to-severe symptoms
  • systemics, which affect the whole body
  • phototherapy, a type of light treatment that people can have in a doctor’s office
  • new oral treatments, which prevent inflammation by inhibiting specific molecules
  • topical treatments for applying to the skin

Finding the right option requires guidance from a medical professional, who will also discuss any home remedies that may help.

People can sometimes manage mild psoriasis with home remedies alone. However, if symptoms worsen, it is best to speak with a doctor about additional treatment options.

Individuals should discuss any supplements, herbs, vitamins, or other home treatments with a doctor to ensure that the therapy will be suitable and safe.

Sometimes, natural treatments can interact with medicines and cause problems for people with certain health conditions.

Many people with psoriasis can reduce or eliminate bothersome symptoms by trying different home remedies and medical treatments.

Read the article in Spanish.