Psoriasis is an unpredictable, and persistent skin condition that leaves patients in pain and searching for answers. Psoriasis is caused when skin cells multiply faster than normal. In an average individual, the length of cell cycle is anywhere between 21 – 28 days; however, in psoriasis, the cellular turnover is exceptionally high (the length of cycle is 2 to 6 days). The skin is essentially overproducing, causing raised red plaques, covered with white scales in the affected areas. The most common areas for psoriasis to happen are the knees, scalp, elbows, torso, palms, and soles of the feet. However, Psoriasis may appear anywhere in the body. (“Understanding Psoriasis”, n.d., para 1.) There is no cure for Psoriasis, but there are a multitude of home remedies that can alleviate the symptoms.
According to WebMD, “A variety of factors, ranging from emotional stress and trauma to streptococcal infection can cause an episode of psoriasis. Recent research indicates that some abnormality in the immune system is the key cause of psoriasis. As many as 80% of people having flare-ups report a recent emotional trauma, such as a new job or the death of a loved one.” (“Understanding Psoriasis”, n.d., para 3).
At Home Remedies to Help Alleviate Psoriasis
- Hot and Cold Shower Relief: Many people with psoriasis find that a hot and cold-water bath or cold compresses relieves their itch. A lukewarm bath with Epsom salt, mineral oil, milk, or olive oil may soothe the itching and infiltrate scales and plaques. (Krans, 2015, para 6).
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Psoriasis lesions on your scalp can cause quite the irritation and itch. “To soothe, mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water. Dab the solution on your scalp two to three times a week. Rinse after a few minutes to keep your scalp from becoming irritated by the vinegar. One caution: Don't try this if the skin on your scalp is cracked or bleeding.”(Orenstein, 2014, para 5).
- Moisturize Everywhere: Keeping your skin hydrated is one of the key precautions you can take when trying to avoid flare ups and alleviate itch. Keeping the air hydrated with a humidifier will also help regain comfort during flare ups.
- Capsaicin: Capsaicin is the ingredient in chili peppers that makes them hot, and works by blocking the communication to the sensory nerves. “Researchers from the University Medical Center in Freiburg, Germany found, over the counter creams containing capsaicin may help reduce the pain, inflammation, redness and scaling associated with psoriasis.” (Herbs/Natural Remedies”, n.d. para 4).
- Turmeric: This herb has natural anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antioxidant properties. You can take turmeric in a pill form, sprinkle it on your food liberally, or take it in a supplement form. (Herbs/Natural Remedies”, n.d. para 8).
- Wrap and Moisturize: Carefully wrapping your skin up, after it has been moisturized will assure that the ointment will stay on for longer and better absorb. (Borelli, 2013, para 5).
- Fish Oil: Taking a fish oil supplement daily, will help reduce the flare ups associated with psoriasis. Because fish oils are high in omega-3 fatty acids, they naturally reduce inflammation in the body. (10-Do-It-Yourself, 2015, para 1).
- Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree plants are grown in Australia, and are known to have antiseptic properties. When applied, it is said to help remove dry dead skin cells. (10-Do-It-Yourself, 2015, para 10).
While there is not a cure out there for Psoriasis, there are many home remedies to help alleviate the daily pain Psoriasis causes. Everyone’s skin reacts differently, so if the home remedies are not giving you relief, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. Do not apply oils, or apple cider vinegar to any areas of the skin that are cracked and bleeding, as this will result in painful stinging and possible infection.
- Understanding Psoriasis. (n.d.). WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/understanding-psoriasis-basics
- Orenstein, B. (2014, March 25). 8 Ways to Relieve Your Psoriasis Itch (L. Marcellin MD, Ed.). Retrieved December 4, 2015, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/psoriasis-pictures/relieve-psoriasis-itch/#07
- Krans, B. (2015, January 28). 7 Ways to Treat Psoriasis Symptoms at Home (G. Krucik MD, Ed.). Retrieved December 4, 2015, from https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis/treat-symptoms-home#36
- Herbs/Natural Remedies. (n.d.). Retrieved December 4, 2015, from https://www.psoriasis.org/treating-psoriasis/complementary-and-alternative/herbal-remedies
- Borelli, L. (2013, August 16). 5 Natural At-Home Treatments For Psoriasis. Retrieved December 4, 2015, from https://www.medicaldaily.com/psoriasis-treatment-5-natural-ways-alleviate-skin-disorder-home-25211
- 10 Do-It-Yourself Psoriasis Home Remedies. (2015, June 3). Retrieved December 4, 2015, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/psoriasis-pictures/most-popular-psoriasis-home-remedies.aspx#02