Psoriasis is a common disease that affects how your skin cells shed, causing them to build up and form red, scaly, itchy dry areas that can be uncomfortable or painful. This is a chronic, long-lasting disease, but there may be periods when the symptoms go into remission or become worse depending on various stimuli in your environment. In many cases, this condition is a mere inconvenience, but in some cases it can be disabling. Those with arthritis tend to have particularly severe symptoms. There is no cure for psoriasis, but medications such as cortisone creams can provide valuable relief. In addition to using medications, there are several psoriasis home remedies that are known to provide relief for psoriasis sufferers.
Psoriasis Home Remedies
Here are some safe and effective psoriasis home remedies:
- Get a Shower, Swim and Soak. Taking part in activities that moisten the skin such as taking a bath, swimming or applying a wet compress to the affected areas can help rehydrate your skin. This can also soften the dead skin cells so they are easier to remove, allowing your medication or sunlight to access the skin more affectively. After you soak, work to gently remove as much of the dry skin as possible and rinse the lesions. Do not use very hot water to do this as it can cause more irritation. Also note that alternating from wet to dry very often can remove the skin's natural oils and cause additional moisture loss. Apply moisturizer between soaks to prevent this damage.
- Lose Weight. It is hard to control psoriasis and it tends to be worse for those that are overweight.
- Moisturize the Skin. Keeping your skin moisturized can help you prevent the bleeding and cracking associated with psoriasis outbreaks. It can also reduce inflammation and maintain flexibility of the skin. Seek out moisturizers that contain lactic acid, lard, and petroleum or simply apply cooking oil for the best results. Applying moisturizer as soon as you have finished bathing allows your skin to absorb a maximum amount of these ingredients.
- Humidify the Air. If the air in your home is dry it can cause your skin to become more dry and irritated. Make a point of running a humidifier to keep your home at a comfortable moisture level.
- Mind the Medicines. Some medications including beta blockers, antimalarials, or lithium can cause psoriasis symptoms to become worse. If you know you suffer from this condition, talk about this potential risk with your doctor before you start any new prescriptions. If you are having trouble controlling your symptoms, over the counter cortisone medications that contain at least 1 percent cortisone can help reduce your irritation. Be sure to follow all instructions on the package when applying these creams.
- Be Careful about Your Soap Choice. If your soap is too harsh it can cause more damage to your skin. Instead seek out mild soaps, particularly those that contain moisturizers that will help soothe your irritated skin. A pharmacist can help you find soaps that are most appropriate for psoriasis sufferers.
- Choose the Right Skin Products. Psoriasis makes your skin more sensitive to some perms, straighteners, hair dyes and other products. Seek our products that do not contain known irritants and avoid using products at all when you have lesions on your skin.
- Avoid Injuries to Your Skin. Scratches, irritation or sunburn can make your psoriasis symptoms worse, so work to avoid injuries as much as possible.
- Treat Infections Promptly. Infections can often cause a psoriasis outbreak, so work to treat any potential infections as soon as they appear.
- Use Proper Shampoos. Shampoos or creams that contain tar can help you remove your psoriasis scales. Look for over the counter tar oils or other products that are designed to help you manage psoriasis. Products that contain salicylic acid can also help you remove psoriasis scales.
- Try Natural Remedies
Beside the above psoriasis home remedies, you can also try some natural cures to relieve your symptoms.
- Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is an old remedy for inflamed skin. Soak your finger and toenails in apple cider vinegar or apply a solution of 1 gallon water and 1 cup vinegar to your lesions to help soothe your discomfort.
- Baking soda. Mix a combination of 3 gallons water and 1.5 cups baking soda and apply the solution to your psoriasis patches with a clean cloth to prevent itching.
- Epsom salts. Soaking in a bath with Epsom salts can reduce swelling and irritation of the skin.
- Mineral oil. Adding a bit of mineral oil to your bath can help sooth irritated skin.
- Olive oil. Warming olive oil and massaging it into your damaged skin can help soften the psoriasis scales so you can remove them. Just add a mixture of 2 teaspoons of olive oil with a glass of milk into your bathwater.
- Vegetable oil. Placing a cup of vegetable oil in your bath can help moisturize your skin.
- Fish oil. Taking fish oil supplements may help to heal your psoriasis outbreaks more quickly. Creams that contain fish oil supplements can also provide relief.
- Plastic wrap. Covering your outbreaks can make them fade faster by helping to keep the skin's natural moisture in place. Over the counter patches or standard kitchen wrap can be placed over your lesions with a bit of moisturizer. Consult your doctor for advice on how to apply these patches effectively so you do not suffocated the skin.
- Spices. Capsaicin will block the communication of your nerves, helping to reduce your itching and pain. Applying a cream that contains 0.25-0.75% capsaicin can be effective in treating psoriasis. This may burn initially but this discomfort typically fades quickly. Keep such creams away from the eyes as this can cause more severe irritation.
- Aloe. Aloe Vera gel can help to soothe the skin. Apply gel directly onto your lesions or purchase a balm that contains this ingredient to apply to your psoriasis outbreaks.
When to See a Doctor
If you develop a fever over 100.4 degrees F, an increase in the tenderness, swelling or pain of your patches, pus discharging from the patches or red streaks from your patches you may need to see a doctor. These can be signs that you are developing a bacterial infection.
Also note if you are developing crusty patches on your scalp, discoloration or separation of your nails, particularly with debris under the nail, bright red patches that are raised and covered with scaling, silvery skin and let your doctor know.
Seek medical assistance quickly if your psoriasis becomes widespread or appears to be more inflamed or severe than usual. If you are being treated for psoriasis and you develop vomiting, chills, fever or diarrhea that contains blood call your doctor right away.