What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a recurring skin condition caused by flakey, red patches on the skin. Psoriasis is not an allergic reaction — in fact, it starts from deep within your immune system, in your white blood cells. When these cells accidentally become active and set off other immune responses, psoriasis can flare up. Episodes commonly happen to people when they’re stressed out.
How do you treat psoriasis at home?
Unfortunately, there’s no permanent cure for it, and you should always discuss treatment options first with a healthcare professional, if possible. But you can manage symptoms at home with these effective treatments. Here are the best ways to remove the itch and get that inflamed skin calm again.
1. Take an Epsom salt bath
There’s nothing like some good ol’ magnesium sulfate to calm that psoriasis down. It’s soothing and can help you shed those itchy scales. Also, what could be more calming than a warm, cozy bath? Make sure the water isn’t too hot, and soak for around 15 minutes. Moisturize afterwards to seal in the potent water.
2. Eat more fatty fish or take fish oil supplements
Go pescatarian and your skin will thank you for it. Fish oil is known to overall boost your immunity, and you can get it either from pills or by eating your weekly serving of salmon or albacore tuna. Fish oil also reduces the risk of heart disease, which people with psoriasis are prone to.
3. Use tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is a common treatment for those experiencing scalp Psoriasis. It comes from a plant native to Australia, but you can find it in health food stores, mostly in essential oil or shampoo form — whatever you prefer.
4. Incorporate yoga into your fitness routine
If you can’t afford a weekly massage, consider integrating yoga into your weekly routine. Yoga is a wonderful stress reducer, making it an ideal holistic treatment for psoriasis. Consider incorporating 5 minutes daily, including not just strengthening movements but breathing exercises and stretching. There are lots of virtual classes if you don’t want to be in-studio during a flare-up.
5. Eat more turmeric
You can also take turmeric pills or cook with turmeric, which is part of the ginger family. Its active ingredient, curcumin, is thought to help psoriasis due to its strong anti-inflammatory properties.
6. Get some sun….or light therapy
Getting a moderate amount of vitamin D through natural sunlight can help reduce symptoms. The UVB rays can help slow the growth of psoriasis skin cells. Since too much sunlight can worsen psoriasis, you may want to start with light therapy, which exposes the skin to UV light under doctor supervision.
7. Improve your diet
Eating lots of refined carbs and sugar certainly isn’t helping your skin. Consider modifying your diet by hydrating as must possible, eating fresh, nutritious veggies and fruits, and avoiding processed food full of inflammatory ingredients. You may also want to reduce the amount of gluten in your diet since some people with psoriasis say that going bread-free helps them feel better.
8. Use a non-soap cleanser
Regular soap can contain harsh surfactants that strip skin of moisture — consider using a psoriasis-specific body wash — for instance, many of them contain salicylic acid, like this medicated CeraVe cleanser or a product with tea tree oil. Always avoid artificial fragrances and chemicals when possible. The simpler, the better.
9. Consider investing in a humidifier
An overly dry environment might be the reason your psoriasis is flaring up. While you can’t change the weather outside, you can keep your skin moist and happy by getting a good humidifier. Do some research on what’s best for the size of your space and your preferences. Consider factors like tank capacity, noise level, and how easy it is to use.
10. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
Stress is a major cause of psoriasis, and the key to healing our brains and bodies during stressful periods is to get enough sleep. Getting those 7 or 8 hours is essential, and so is the quality of your sleep. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. If you’re finding that hard, consider taking a screen break at a certain time each night.
11. Aloe vera gel
Buy some aloe vera gel, or better yet, an aloe vera plant, so you can slice off a leaf whenever you need cooling relief. If other topical psoriasis remedies haven’t worked for you in the past, consider this one — the condition isn’t exactly one-size-fits-all, but many find aloe relieves flare-ups. Some studies find that when combined with propolis, or bee venom, It’s even more effective.