Psoriasis is an irritating and chronic skin disorder characterized by redness and irritation, and often accompanied by thick, flaky, itchy, silver-white patches that are sometimes painful.
Other symptoms include itching, inflammation and pain. The problem mostly occurs on the knees, elbows, palms and scalp, but can also appear on other parts of the body.
Psoriasis is considered as an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy cells in the body, thereby changing the life cycle of skin cells.
Normally, skin cells mature and die about once a month. But, in case of psoriasis, they tend to mature and die in less than a week, thus causing a buildup of dead skin cells.
The condition is often triggered by factors like emotional stress, dry skin, sunburn, smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental triggers, viral or bacterial infections and certain medications like beta-blockers and ibuprofen.
It also tends to run in families and becomes worse in those with a weak immune system. Most types of psoriasis go through cycles of flare-ups and remissions.
Although there is no cure for psoriasis and it is difficult and frustrating to treat, you can use some natural and effective home remedies to control the symptoms and prevent infection. Also, do consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for psoriasis.
An oatmeal bath helps hydrate the skin layers and reduce itching and inflammation. It also softens and soothes the skin, as well as calms the nerves. Oatmeal is considered good for other skin problems like dry skin and eczema, too.
- Thoroughly mix one cup of finely powdered oatmeal in a bath tub filled with warm water. Soak in this oatmeal bath for 15 to 20 minutes daily during flare-ups. When you get out of the bath, rinse with lukewarm water, pat dry your skin and generously apply a good moisturizer.
- Another option is to wrap two handfuls of rolled oats in a muslin cloth, place it in the bathtub and run hot water over it. Next, add some cold water to bring the bath water to a comfortable temperature and squeeze the oat bag. The water will turn milky. Soak in this water for about 10 minutes. You can use the oat bag as a gentle cleanser while soaking. After this bath, pat dry and moisturize your skin. You can do this daily during flare-ups. Make sure to discard the oat bag after every use.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps restore the natural pH balance of the skin and helps prevent infections. Plus, it reduces itching and skin irritation.
- Mix one teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it twice daily, especially during flare-ups. This remedy is also good for overall health as it detoxifies the body.
- Alternatively, mix together one part apple cider vinegar and three parts lukewarm water. Soak a washcloth in this solution and use it as a compress for about one minute. Repeat several times a day during flare-ups.
3. Ice Pack
An ice pack will help soothe the itching and irritation caused by psoriasis. Plus, by numbing the nerve endings, it will also ease acute pain caused by psoriatic arthritis. (For chronic pain though, use moist heat like a warm compress. Do not use heat if the joints are swollen.)
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean piece of towel or washcloth.
- Place it on the affected area.
- Leave it on for eight to 10 minutes.
- Do this every few hours throughout the day during flare-ups.
4. Epsom Salt
An Epsom salt bath is great for skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. It will help relieve itching and burning sensations, and soften the scaling that occurs with psoriasis. Plus, it is good for relaxation and detoxification.
- Mix two cups of Epsom salt in a bath tub filled with warm water.
- Soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
- When you get out of the bath, pat dry your skin and apply a good moisturizer liberally.
- Do this two or three times a week.
Garlic is another useful remedy for psoriasis due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It inhibits the activity of an enzyme called lipoxygenase that causes the inflammation associated with psoriasis. Plus, being an antimicrobial agent, it helps prevent infection.
Eating garlic can also prevent psoriasis outbreaks due to its active compounds and blood purifying property.
- Mix equal amounts of garlic oil and aloe vera gel. Apply it on the affected area. Leave it on for about 15 minutes before washing it off. Do this daily until you see improvement.
- You can also eat two or three crushed garlic cloves daily. For best results, let the crushed garlic cloves sit for about 10 minutes before eating them. If you do not like the taste or smell of garlic, you can take it with milk or opt for garlic supplements (consult your doctor for proper dosage).
6. Olive Oil
Olive oil is excellent for dealing with psoriasis because it softens the skin, thereby reducing flaking and scaling.
- Simply applying lukewarm olive oil generously on the affected area can help treat psoriasis. Reapply several times daily until you get positive results.
- Alternatively, add two drops of calendula oil and one drop of oregano oil to one cup of olive oil. Apply it on the affected area. Leave it on for a few hours before washing it off. Repeat several times a day during flare-ups.
Like olive oil, coconut oil will also help treat the problem.