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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.
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
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.
Having the right balance of bacteria in the body may help the immune system. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, and
A 2020 review went further,
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
Further to this, a
Curcumin is available online or in stores in pill or capsule form.
Oregon grape, or Mahonia aquifolium, is an herbal remedy that may help calm the immune response in psoriasis.
In 2018, authors
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.
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
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.
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.
Wet wraps provide a simple option for treating psoriasis and
After bathing, applying an appropriate moisturizer while the skin is still damp can help prevent moisture loss.
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
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:
- 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.
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.