Psoriasis can be a challenging disorder, especially for those experiencing severe forms of it. Although depending on the type of psoriasis you have, common symptoms of the disease include red, raised, inflamed, itchy skin patches, white-silver plaques on the patches, dry skin that easily cracks and bleeds, and painful joints, which usually occur as exacerbations and flareups that may prove difficult to control.
Although there is no cure for this disease, there are several therapies – including steroids, immune modulators, and light therapy – that relieve these symptoms and reduce flareups. However, many may find these treatments expensive, ineffective, or their side effects uncomfortable. Not to worry, there are simple, easy-to-use home remedies that can lower the severity an frequency of these symptoms.
Aloe vera has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries and a growing body of evidence suggests that it may also be effective for treating psoriasis.
The natural aloe vera plant or creams made from its extracts can be applied to the patches and plaques to reduce itching and inflammation. Aloe vera also provides moisture to the skin patches, keeping them from drying out.
In 2018, studies showed that people with mild to moderate forms of psoriasis who applied 3% aloe vera for 12 weeks experienced a remarkable improvement in their symptoms. Similarly, a study testing the effect of topical 0.5% aloe vera on patients with psoriasis found that the aloe vera cream resulted in significant relief of the symptoms compared to a topical placebo.
Against the backdrop of these pieces of evidence, theNational Psoriasis Foundation recommends using a cream that contains 0.5% aloe vera for treating psoriasis. You can also use natural aloe vera gel squeezed out from the plant.
However, before using aloe vera for psoriasis, apply a small amount in a small area of your skin to check for any reactions. If a reaction does not occur within 24 hours, you can then apply to all parts of your skin with the patches.
Turmeric is a natural spice that is effective in treating several conditions. It is popular in ayurvedic and Chinese cultures as a healing spice for inflammatory conditions. Given its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, Turmeric is also effective in relieving symptoms of psoriasis.
Curcumin is the active component of turmeric and is responsible for much of its medicinal abilities. An observational study published in the Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications found that curcumin may relieve symptoms of psoriasis when used with conventional treatments such as antibiotics and topical steroids.
Another study found that applying turmeric gel twice daily for two months improved skin inflammation in psoriasis.
You can enjoy this benefit by adding ground turmeric to your foods or make turmeric paste for topical application to the skin lesions.
3. Oregon Grape
Oregon grape, the state flower of Oregon, USA, is an antimicrobial plant in the barberry family. Historically, it has been used for improving digestive problems and severe eczema. Following several years of testing its efficacy for treating psoriasis, it was found to relieve these lesions and even led to the disappearance of the lesions upon continuous use.
Oregon grape contains alkaloids such as berberine and oxyacanthine, which inhibit the growth of rapidly dividing cells. These ingredients limit the progression of psoriasis and prevent flare-ups.
A recent study found that a cream containing an extract of Oregon grape relieved or eliminated the skin lesions in more than 80 percent of 433 participants. The study also showed the herb to be safe and with minimal side effects.
You may apply oregano grape topically or consume its oral liquid extracts to get the most of the herb. You may find the extract taste bitter; the good thing is you can improve its taste by adding a little sweetener.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is popular for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which may benefit people with psoriasis. According to the US. National Psoriasis Foundation, apple cider vinegar can soothe the irritation and itching from psoriatic lesions.
You can find organic apple cider vinegar in grocery stores and apply to your skin several times a week to get significant relief of your symptoms. To prevent irritation, you may dilute apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water and when the mixture has dried, rinse with clean water.
Avoid applying apple cider vinegar on cracked, bleeding skin or open wounds as it may worsen the irritation and potentially worsen a flareup.
Capsaicin is what makes chili peppers spicy and hot. Researchers found that when added to creams and ointments, capsaicin can relieve pain. The substance has also been found to soothe inflammation and scaling seen in psoriasis.
A study examining the effect of topical capsaicin on moderate and severe psoriasis found that it was associated with significant reductions in scaling and inflammation in these patients after 3-6 weeks of its application. Although many of these patients complained of an initial burning sensation upon applying capsaicin, this symptom resolved after continuous use.
After applying capsaicin on the affected areas of your skin, ensure to wash your hands immediately and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes and mouth until you do so.
Salt baths can relieve itching, remove scales, and soothe irritating skin lesions in psoriasis. You may do this by adding dead sea salts or Epsom salts to a warm bath. Dead sea salt is particularly effective for treating psoriasis, as it is rich in minerals – including iodine, zinc, sulfur, potassium, and sodium – and 10 times saltier than the salt in the ocean.
Many of the minerals in dead sea salt have anti-inflammatory properties, which relieve irritation and inflammation of the skin in psoriasis. Furthermore, dead sea salt improves blood circulation in the skin, lowering the number of unhealthy cells and scales in the skin.
In one clinical trial, patients who bathed in a dead sea salt bath or even a bath with common salt for at least 29 minutes per day for three weeks had remarkable relief in their psoriasis symptoms. The improvement was greater for those who had dead sea salt baths compared to those who had baths with common salt.
Thankfully, you need not swim in the Dead Sea to enjoy this benefit, you can simply purchase original Dead Sea salts or visit a spa for a salt bath.
7. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, or the tea tree plant. The plant is naturally found in Australia, where people have been using it to treat skin diseases and wounds.
Tea tree oil has strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which help to alleviate skin irritations and inflammation in psoriasis and other skin diseases. Anecdotes confirm that it is safe to use, with minimal side effects.
You can use tea tree oil in several ways; diluting with olive oil as the carrier oil and applying topically or adding small drops of tea tree oil to lukewarm water and bathing with it. You may also mix the oil with water and apply directly over the affected area of your skin. Whichever method you use, ensure not to use the oil by mouth, as this may cause several adverse effects including stomach discomfort and mental changes such as hallucinations.
Psoriasis can be a discomforting disorder with flareups that may be severe and in some cases, life-threatening. While conventional medicines may be effective, they may put you at risk of serious adverse effects. With simple home remedies listed here, you can experience remarkable improvement in your symptoms and reduced frequency and severity of flareups with little or no side effects.
Many times home remedies will work to some extent where you can start with till you start a proper ayurvedic psoriatic treatment.