- What is Psoriasis?
- What Causes Psoriasis?
- Home Remedies for Reducing the Severity of Psoriasis
- Other Ways to Treat Psoriasis
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder which leads to dry, red, scaly patches on the skin. An autoimmune disorder refers to a condition in which the cells of our immune system mistakenly attack our own body cells. Psoriasis is a chronic disease and differs in intensity from localised red patches on the skin to systemic coverage of the body with these patches.
What Causes Psoriasis?
- Psoriasis occurs when there is an increase in the production of skin cells.
- The skin cells grow deep inside our body and as older skin cells are shred away, they slowly rise up to come on the surface.
- This cycle is typically one month long. However, due to the increased production of skin cells, the skin cells start building up on the skin, forming red, patchy scales.
- These patches are often itchy and painful.
- They usually develop on scalp, face, neck, joints, and feet.
Home Remedies for Reducing the Severity of Psoriasis
Using home remedies can help allay the symptoms of psoriasis. Because these remedies use natural ingredients, they help ease the symptoms of psoriasis without any side effects.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a simple and easy way to treat the symptoms of psoriasis especially if it’s in your scalp. It can help relieve the itching and irritation caused by psoriasis. Just apply some apple cider vinegar either directly or in a 1:1 ratio with water to your scalp several times a week. You shouldn’t apply it to your scalp if the skin is cracked or is bleeding since it will lead to a sharp burning sensation. If the remedy works results are visible in a few weeks.
2. Dead Sea Salt
Soaking in a tub of warm water with added dead sea salts or Epsom salts can help to ease psoriasis symptoms and reduce itching. Apply moisturiser to your skin after getting out of the water.
3. Oatmeal Bath
An effective and easy psoriasis treatment at home can be the use of oatmeal. Oatmeal is known to have a nourishing effect on the skin. While there has been limited scientific proof to support it many individuals suffering for psoriasis attest to the effectiveness of applying an oatmeal paste to the skin or taking an oatmeal bath as a relief for psoriasis symptoms.
4. Aloe Vera
One of the best natural remedies for psoriasis is using aloe-vera. Aloe-vera has been used historically to treat skin ailments. Applying Aloe Vera gel to the skin up to three times a day has shown to reduce redness and scaling of the skin associated with psoriasis.
5. Tea Tree Oil
Derived from the leaves of Melaleuca Alternifolia, Tea Tree Oil has been shown to have a surprising number of uses. Topical application of tea tree oil to the skin may help reduce some of the symptoms associated with psoriasis. Also, some individuals have reported that shampoos containing tea tree oil can be used for scalp psoriasis treatment.
6. Use Moisturizer
Dry skin can exacerbate the symptoms of psoriasis so it’s important to keep your skin moisturized to prevent psoriasis symptoms from worsening. Moisturizers which contain no added fragrances or dyes and are labeled for ‘sensitive skin’ can be helpful in combating psoriasis. Check here to know about homemade moisturizers for dry and sensitive skin.
7. Fish Oil
Research has shown omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation and help in improving the condition of people with autoimmune disease. Fish oil and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help combat the symptoms of psoriasis. It’s a good practice to include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet 2-3 times a week.
Turmeric is not only a popular spice in India and other countries belonging to the Indian subcontinent but it’s also widely used for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin the active ingredient of turmeric has been shown to reduce psoriasis symptoms and reduce psoriatic flares. Consuming food containing turmeric or taking pills/supplements of turmeric can help with psoriasis.
Other Ways to Treat Psoriasis
There are a few preventive tips and remedies to decrease the frequency of psoriasis flares these include –
1. Bathe Carefully
People suffering from psoriasis are recommended to bath maximum once per day, and never with hot water (mildly warm water is fine) to prevent their skin from drying. Also, they should pat their skin dry instead of rubbing with a towel and should apply moisturizer to the skin after the bath.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Close to 60% of our body is composed of water so drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is always a good idea. Staying hydrated may help reduce the severity of psoriasis flare-ups.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking cigarettes are extremely unhealthy. Apart from the various health risks associated with smoking, it’s also known to be a risk factor for psoriasis. Avoiding smoking cigarettes can help allay the symptoms of a psoriasis flare-up.
4. Stop Consuming Alcohol
Consumption of alcohol is one of the triggers of a psoriasis flare-up. A study found that people who consume alcohol are more likely to develop psoriasis than the people who do not consume alcohol. Keeping this in mind it’s a good idea for people who suffer from psoriasis to avoid alcohol.
Discover more about the effects of smoking, drinking and junk foods on health.
5. Proper Diet
A healthy diet that includes lots of vegetables and fruits and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D but does not include alcohol can be helpful in limiting the severity of psoriasis flare-ups.
6. Be Relaxed
Stress can be a trigger for psoriasis. Being relaxed and stress-free is a good way to reduce the frequency and intensity of psoriasis flare-ups. Getting a scalp massage, a back rub, exercising, playing games and aromatherapy are all good ways to unwind and be stress-free after a hard days work.
7. Exposure to Sunlight
National Psoriasis Foundation based in the USA recommends that people with psoriasis should expose themselves to the sun for 5-10 mins a day at midday. The sun’s UVB rays can be helpful in the treatment of psoriasis. You should always seek the advice of a physician before trying sun exposure to treat psoriasis since certain medications can increase skin sensitivity to the sun. Also, if you have a familial history of skin cancer or if you get sunburnt, sun exposure should be avoided.
8. Avoid Strong/Synthetic Fragrances
The chemicals present in commercially available soaps, shampoos and perfumes can cause skin irritation. Products containing fragrances can worsen psoriasis symptoms so they should be avoided.
9. Avoid Dyeing and Colouring Hair
It’s a good idea to avoid dyeing your hair especially if you suffer from psoriasis of the scalp. Chemicals present in these products can lead to frequent and intense psoriasis flare-ups.
10. Make a Routine
If you’re suffering from psoriasis it’s important to follow a daily routine to take care of psoriasis. Psoriasis treatments as advised by your doctor should be made a part of your daily life. Also, it’s important to check with your doctor before trying any natural remedy for psoriasis.