Psoriasis is a condition that affects the skin and which results in red crusty skin. In some cases, the patches of the affected skin are accompanied by the formation of silver scales that become itchy over a period of time. These dry skin patches will often appear on the scalp, knees, and hands, but can manifest just about anywhere on the body. The extent of the skin condition differs from one individual to another, so that for some, it is just a minor condition while others require medical intervention.
Psoriasis is a chronic condition, which means that those affected by this disease will live with the condition all their lives. For the most part, the condition involves periods when one experiences minimal discomfort and almost no symptoms, closely followed by a flareup of the symptoms. Psoriasis leads to the overproduction of skin cells resulting in the scale-like patches aforementioned. This is thought to happen in line with the immune system as the latter targets both diseased and healthy skin cells (autoimmune disorder).
Psoriasis has no cure and the essence of treatment is to slow down the production of skin cells while reducing the dryness and irritation that results thereof. When this is done alongside lifestyle changes, affected persons get relief from psoriasis. Some factors that trigger this condition include emotional burnout, exposure to the sun’s UV rays, environmental factors as well as the use of certain medication. Below are some of the natural remedies that you can use to manage psoriasis at home. It is also important to consult a medical doctor to allow for accurate diagnosis.
1. Epsom Salt Bath:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 2 Cups of Epsom salt, warm bath water and a gentle skin moisturizer.
Epsom salts contain Magnesium and Sulfate salts which are known to manage the formation of the silvery scales that accompany psoriasis once they are absorbed through the skin. Another benefit of using the salts is that they go a long way in relieving the skin itchiness. If you are looking for an ideal way to get rid of the burning sensation that is characteristic of psoriasis, then your solution may lie in the use of these wonderful salts.
NOTE: Avoid using hot water as this will only worsen the scale-like formations on the skin. Use warm water instead.
- Place the Epsom salt in the bath tub before adding the warm water.
- Stir the water to dissolve the salts before soaking in this bath for half an hour or so.
- Once this time elapses, pat your skin dry as gently as you can before applying an ideal skin moisturizer.
- Use this remedy once daily to keep the symptoms of psoriasis at bay.
2. Tea Tree Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Tea tree oil and cotton wool.
Tea tree oil is one of the most versatile home remedies for the management of different skin conditions, and psoriasis is no exception. Obtained from the leaves of the Australian Tea Tree (and not the plant that provides the tea beverage!) through the process of distillation, this oil helps prevent infection at the site of the scaly skin formations. In addition, the topical application of the oil also enhances the healing of the damaged skin by eliminating the dried skin.
NOTE: Tea tree oil must not be ingested/ used internally as it is highly toxic to the body. It is only intended for topical application.
- Place the oil in a shallow container and soak the cotton wool in it.
- Rub the soaked cotton wool on the dried skin, making sure that you do this as gently as you can to prevent abrasion. Use this remedy twice daily to manage psoriasis.
3. Oatmeal :
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Rolled oatmeal, clean piece of cloth and string, warm water in a bath and a skin moisturizer.
Oatmeal is an excellent way of managing psoriasis and reducing the inflammation associated with this skin disorder. In addition to this, oatmeal prepared using the directions provided below works well to eliminate the persistent itch that is felt on the dried skin. Since the oatmeal is mixed with warm water for this remedy, it works well in softening the skin as well as ensuring that it stays hydrated. Incorporate the use of oatmeal to your daily bath time to reduce the severity of psoriasis symptoms.
- Wrap the oatmeal in the clean piece of cloth and tie using the string. This is done to create a bag-like structure which is what you will soak in the water.
- Run warm water over the bag. The bath water will turn milky as a result. you may opt to run hot water first over the oatmeal bag before doing the same with cold water until your bath water attains the desired temperature.
- Soak in this water for 20-30 minutes, during which you can use the oatmeal bag as a cleanser or bath sponge to get maximum benefits.
- Dry your skin gently before following this up with the application of a gentle skin moisturizer. Use this remedy at least once daily, and more during periods when the skin flares up.
- Make sure you bin the oatmeal bag after every bath and prepare a fresh one for each remedy use.
4. Olive or Coconut Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Olive/coconut oil, water bath and cotton wool.
Olive oil is yet another effective home remedy for the natural treatment of psoriasis because it helps reduce the formation of skin flakes. This is achieved because olive oil softens and moisturizes the skin, thus reducing the scaling. Coconut oil may be used in place of olive oil because it not only hydrates the skin, it also nourishes the skin.
- Place your choice oil in a shallow bowl before warming it in a water bath. This is especially important for coconut oil because the oil tends to solidify when stored over a period of time.
- Soak the cotton wool in the oil and proceed to apply on the affected parts of the skin. Use this remedy as often as is required throughout the day.
5. Ice Pack:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Ice cubes and a clean towel.
Psoriasis tends to manifest in phases, and sometimes individuals will experience flareups accompanied by severe symptoms. During this periods, one of the best home remedies that you can use to manage the symptoms is an ice pack. The low temperatures help reduce the irritation by numbing the nerve endings on the affected part of the skin. It is important, however, to note that this remedy is best used for acute pain on the skin covering the joints.
- Place the ice cubes on the towel and wrap well so that you have a pack of sorts that you can hold against the skin. The use of the towel is important because placing the ice directly on the skin causes damage through the frost bite.
- Rub the ice pack on the irritated part of the skin and allow it to remain there for 5 minutes at a go.
- Repeat this severally to get relief from the flare-ups.
- Use this remedy as often as is required during this period.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Fresh turmeric, pestle and mortar, strainer, cotton wool, warm water and skin moisturizer. Gloves (optional)
Turmeric is a popular spice in the East, and belongs to the ginger family of herbs and spices. This fragrant herb has a high concentration of curcumin, a natural anti-inflammatory which makes it an ideal home remedy for the management of the symptoms of psoriasis. In fact, this is recommended for the home treatment of psoriatic arthritis.
Recent studies in the research of psoriasis indicate the possibility that turmeric changes gene expression with specific activity on the gene that causes the skin to flare up. To enjoy the benefits of this spice, it is advisable to apply turmeric paste topically. Including turmeric in your daily diet also goes a long way in managing psoriasis. Gloves are included in the list of requirements to protect you from staining, thanks to turmeric’s deep golden color.
- Peel the fresh turmeric and clean it before chopping into small pieces.
- Place the chopped turmeric in a pan and add just enough water to cover the pieces.
- Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes on low heat to allow the active ingredients present in the turmeric to dissolve in the water.
- Allow the solution to cool for a few minutes before straining the mixture.
- Discard the used turmeric pieces and preserve the strained solution.
- Soak the cotton wool in the solution and apply on the affected skin.
- Let the turmeric solution dry before rinsing with warm water.
- Pat dry before applying an ideal skin moisturizer to lock in the effects and hydrate the skin.
- Repeat this procedure as often as needed.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons of warm water, a wash cloth and an ideal skin moisturizer.
Apple cider vinegar (abbreviated ACV) is a key remedy in the natural treatment of psoriasis. This is because its mild acidity helps restore the skin’s natural pH, which in turn helps prevent infections as a result of the scaly skin. When mixed with water and used as a warm compress, ACV helps reduce the irritation of the skin, so that individuals can manage the itchiness with ease.
- Mix the ACV and warm water in a container. The amount used will vary depending on the extent of psoriasis, but the general ratio is 1:3 for the ACV: warm water.
- Soak the washcloth in the ACV solution and use this as a warm compress for the affected part of the skin.
- Place the compress on the skin for about 5 minutes or so.
- Repeat this severally per sitting and use the remedy thrice daily or more during the flare-ups.
8. Stay Hydrated:
Time Required: Regular water intake through out the day.
What You Need: Potable water. Lemon wedges (optional).
This is one of the simplest remedies available, but few people are able to draw the connection between dehydration and worsened symptoms of psoriasis. As a matter of fact, chronic dehydration predisposes psoriasis patients to increased itching, greater skin flaking and overall more inflammation. Staying hydrated helps ensure that the skin remains moisturized and less prone to drying, thus making it easy to manage the symptoms of psoriasis.
- Make sure that you take enough water during the day.
- If you find water a little too plain, consider adding lemon wedges to add a refreshing taste.
Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: 1Tablespoon of dried licorice, 6 cups of water, strainer and clean towel.
Licorice root has been found to be an effective home remedy for the treatment of various skin conditions, among them psoriasis. Studies have shown that licorice contains a compound known as glycyrrhizin, a potent anti-inflammatory that also works by reducing the irritation of the dried skin. This in turn, goes a long way in decreasing itchiness and redness at the affected site.
- Place the dried licorice in a pan and add the water.
- Bring the mixture to boil.
- Once it has started boiling, turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 40 minutes.
- Set aside to cool before passing through a strainer.
- Discard the licorice as you will need the solution for this remedy.
- Dip the clean towel in the licorice solution and squeeze out the excess solution.
- Use the towel to dab the solution on the affected skin.
- Use this remedy thrice daily until the symptoms clear.
Other remedies that you can use for the treatment of psoriasis include cashew nut oil which prevents symptoms flare up, baking soda paste which helps deal with the itchiness as well as cayenne pepper and aloe vera. The pepper works because it contains capsaicin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound that helps heal the skin by reducing the flaking of the skin. Aloe vera on the other hand, soothes the skin while ensuring that it remains hydrated. In addition to these remedies, other tips that you can use to manage psoriasis include avoiding chemical substances as much as possible, maintaining a healthy diet and steering clear of potential triggers.