Psoriasis is a skin condition that can make your skin patchy, making you self-conscious and others around you wary of “catching” it from you. While the condition isn’t contagious, treating it can give you that much-needed peace of mind and freedom from trying to cover up and mask patches where the distinctive scaly look of Psoriasis has cropped up. So why not explore some natural remedies that you can easily put into practice to ease your symptoms and treat the problem?
What Is Psoriasis?
An immune system problem that triggers patchy thick skin with a particular reddish tinge and silvery scale-like appearance, psoriasis can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Your body essentially replicates skin cells much too quickly causing a buildup of excess cells. The patches may itch or feel sore, and can appear anywhere on your body including on your knees, elbows, feet, palms, back, and even on your face or scalp. For some people, it could also trigger psoriatic arthritis.1
1. Lower Stress Naturally
Stress is believed to worsen psoriasis in those already affected.2 So keeping it in check could help ease symptoms and halt progress or flare-ups. You could try Ayurvedic herbal remedy Ashwagandha, a popular stress busting treatment. It is also a powerful antioxidant and eases anxiety. More important, it is an adaptogen – meaning it helps your body keep the right balance of stress hormone cortisol and strengthens your ability to respond to stressors.3 Tap into alternative forms of exercise and therapy like Yoga to heal the mind and body, or Tai Chi for overall fitness and flexibility, especially if you have psoriatic arthritis.4
2. Soothe Sores With Topical Natural Remedies
You can provide relief from the constant itchiness and soreness by using topical treatments that help soothe the skin and clear it up. Here are some natural remedies that are suggested by the National Psoriasis Foundation.5
- Aloe Vera: Use the gel taken straight from the plant, or a natural version of the product like an aloe cream thrice a day to cut down on the scaly appearance as well as redness.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Use this for scalp itchiness, diluted or as is, depending on how sensitive your skin is.
- Epsom Salt: Epsom salt or dead sea salt infused into your bath can soothe skin that is sore from psoriasis. Soak in the tub for around 15 minutes.
3. Build Immunity
Psoriasis can be triggered by throat infections or certain medications including painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen, beta blockers for treating heart problems, and high blood pressure medication(ACE inhibitors).6 Stay healthy and fit and give your body the right nutrition to boost immunity. While there is a wide range of immune-boosting foods, some like Indian gooseberry or Amla7, garlic and onion8, and spices like turmeric which is also anti-inflammatory9, are especially good.
4. Lose Weight And Get Fit
According to research, obesity or a higher BMI is linked to increased risk of developing both psoriatic arthritis as well psoriasis. If you fall into this category, you are also more likely to have a more severe form of the problem. Thankfully, weight loss through a combination of diet and exercise can help treat the problem. In one study, researchers evaluated this approach on 303 overweight and obese individuals with a moderate-to-severe case of chronic plaque psoriasis that had not responded to other treatment. A 20 week program resulted in lowered severity of psoriasis.10
5. Quit Smoking
Smoking is one of the triggers for psoriasis11, so if you are being good otherwise, it may be worth trying to quit smoking to see if that helps your condition. The American Academy of Dermatology actually recommends not smoking , as this can make psoriasis worse in those who already have the condition. They say this is important because maintaining overall health is necessary to lower risk of other health problems like heart disease or diabetes for which people with psoriasis are already at increased risk of developing.12
6. Cut Down Alcohol Consumption
Drinking too much? That could be making your psoriasis worse.13 Go ahead and get that lifestyle makeover the American Academy of Dermatology suggests, including lowering alcohol intake. If you can stop drinking alcohol together, even better.
Acupuncture while not widely recommended has helped some people with their psoriasis. According to one review, it is useful for treating any kind of chronic pain issues, so if you are dealing with pain from your arthritis, you may benefit from visiting a trained acupuncture professional.14
Certain aroma oils are considered beneficial in treating psoriasis. They lift your mood when inhaled and can be used by putting a few drops into your bath or using a diffuser. Tea tree, rose, lavender, and chamomile are the most effective.15
|↑1, ↑2||Psoriasis. U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑3||Umadevi, M. “Traditional and medicinal uses of Withania somnifera.” The Pharma Innovation 1, no. 9 (2012).|
|↑4||Yoga and Tai Chi. National Psoriasis Foundation.|
|↑5||Herbs/Natural Remedies. National Psoriasis Foundation.|
|↑6, ↑11, ↑13||Psoriasis – Causes. NHS.|
|↑7||Potdar, Shrudha, and Nagesh Lakshminarayan. “Antimicrobial Efficacy of Emblica Officinalis Fruit Extracts on S. Mutans, E. Faecalis and C. Albicans.” Advances In Human Biology 4, no. 1 (2014): 26-30.|
|↑8||Corzo-Martínez, Marta, Nieves Corzo, and Mar Villamiel. “Biological properties of onions and garlic.” Trends in food science & technology 18, no. 12 (2007): 609-625.|
|↑9||Julie, S., and M. T. Jurenka. “Anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a major constituent.” Alternative medicine review 14, no. 2 (2009).|
|↑10||Debbaneh, Maya, Jillian W. Millsop, Bhavnit K. Bhatia, John Koo, and Wilson Liao. “Diet and psoriasis, part I: Impact of weight loss interventions.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 71, no. 1 (2014): 133-140.|
|↑12||Psoriasis: Tips For Managing. The American Academy of Dermatology.|
|↑14||Vickers, Andrew J., Angel M. Cronin, Alexandra C. Maschino, George Lewith, Hugh MacPherson, Nadine E. Foster, Karen J. Sherman, Claudia M. Witt, Klaus Linde, and Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration. “Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis.” Archives of internal medicine 172, no. 19 (2012): 1444-1453.|
|↑15||Mind and Body Therapies. National Psoriasis Foundation.|