9 Home Remedies for Psoriasisby Claire Gillespie Health Writer
There’s no cure for psoriasis, and even a medical treatment plan that helps to manage the disease and minimize flares isn’t guaranteed to alleviate all symptoms. If you’d like to try some home remedies for psoriasis, talk to your doctor — and be aware that some herbal remedies can cause dangerous interactions with medications, and may be harmful if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a mood disorder, or have another pre-existing condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, olive oil may help reduce inflammation when applied to areas of the skin affected by psoriasis. Rub small amounts of warm olive oil into scaly patches to soften them, and massage some olive oil into your scalp during a shower to help get rid of flakes of skin from scalp psoriasis. If you have large patches of psoriasis on your body, add two teaspoons of warm olive oil to your bath — and relax.
Apple cider vinegar
The National Psoriasis Foundation suggests applying apple cider vinegar to your scalp, several times a week, to relieve the itch of scalp psoriasis. To prevent a burning sensation, dilute the vinegar with water (a 1:1 ratio), and rinse your scalp thoroughly after the solution has dried to avoid irritation. However, don’t apply apple cider vinegar to your skin if it is cracked or bleeding.
Not everyone with psoriasis experiences an itch, but if you do, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) might bring some relief. Mix 1.5 cups of baking soda with 3 gallons of water and apply the mixture to itchy skin with a washcloth. Some people with psoriasis report a burning sensation when they apply baking soda to their skin. If this is a concern, add the baking soda to your bathwater instead.
If the body gets too much of the inflammatory compound arachidonic acid (found in certain foods, like red meat and dairy), an all-natural way to fight back is with flaxseed — and you can take it any way you like. Add it ground up in smoothies, oatmeal, granola, muffins, or brownies, or use flaxseed oil as a dressing for salads and to cook stir fries.
If you have psoriasis, vegetable shortening is more than a greasy pantry staple. To help dry, cracked skin heal, coat the affected area with shortening, cover it with plastic wrap and fix it in place with surgical tape. Leave it on for up to four hours to let it do its moisturizing duty, and repeat every day until the condition of the skin improves.
The National Psoriasis Foundation suggests applying aloe vera gel to affected skin up to three times a day. Pure aloe vera gel, which can be found at most drug stores and health food stores, is rich in anti-inflammatory properties, and its cooling sensation will help calm irritated skin. The National Psoriasis Foundation says there is no clear benefit for psoriasis from taking oral aloe vera tablets, and warns that these could actually cause harm, so stick to topical treatments.
Dead Sea salts
You may get some relief for your psoriasis from magnesium-rich Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts in your bath water. The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends adding the salts to warm (not hot) water and soaking your body for about 15 minutes. As soon as you get out of the tub, apply your usual (psoriasis-friendly) moisturizer to prevent dryness.
Studies have linked the spice turmeric to reduced inflammation in a number of health conditions, including psoriasis. This is because turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin, which is believed to protect the skin by neutralizing free radicals and accelerating wound-healing. For optimum results, add about a teaspoon of turmeric to your rice, pasta, or vegetables every day, or mix it with a little juice and a teaspoon of black pepper and drink it down.
There may be no evidence in favor of oats to relieve psoriasis symptoms, but many people with psoriasis swear by applying an oat paste or taking an oatmeal bath to reduce redness and itching. Prepare an oatmeal bath by grinding a few handfuls of plain oatmeal in a blender or food processor, then sprinkling the powder into your bath water.