12 Natural Ways to Relieve Psoriasis

12 Natural Ways to Relieve Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common autoimmune condition that affects the skin. Psoriasis occurs when the immune system mistakes a normal skin cell for a pathogen, and sends out faulty signals that cause overproduction of new skin cells. The cause of psoriasis is not fully understood, but it is believed to have a genetic component.

About 1 in 50 people will develop psoriasis at some point in their life. The disorder is typically chronic and varies in severity from minor localized patches to complete body coverage. It presents with thick, red, scaly patches on the surface of the skin that can get inflamed and start bleeding. Psoriasis can affect any area of the body, including the scalp, palms of hands and soles of feet, and genitals.

Many people mistakenly believe it’s contagious, which brings a lot of stigma to the patients and causes mental suffering and isolation in addition to the physical ordeal.

In psoriasis, a type of white blood cell attacks healthy skin cells that die as a result of the assault. The unexpected death speeds up the growth cycle of skin cells and they start arriving to the outer layer of the skin faster than they would otherwise. At the same time, dead cells don’t get removed fast enough, which results in a pileup and creates the unpleasant patches.

There are different treatments for psoriasis, but they are often not effective or come with numerous side effects. Steroids, for example, treat the inflammation, but they can only be used for short periods of time or intermittently due to their adverse effects. But there are other, more natural, options.

Many psoriasis sufferers look constantly for psoriasis treatments, and although there is currently no cure for psoriasis, various psoriasis treatments can help to control the symptoms:

1. Capsaicin Cream

Cayenne pepper is one of my favorite spices, and I wrote in the past how cayenne pepper can revolutionize your health. The active ingredient in cayenne is a substance known as capsaicin.

This chemical is usually used to relieve pain by acting on the sensory nerves by hindering the transmission of a neurotransmitter responsible for transmitted pain signals to your brain. However applying a topical cream, ointment or gel containing capsaicin can also help to relieve psoriasis symptoms.

According to one study, applying capsaicin cream to the skin relieved itching and skin lesions in people with psoriasis. The concentration of capsaicin in these applications can vary. Higher concentrations can cause a burning sensation to the skin, which improves the longer you use it.

Topical applications contain 0.025% – 0.075% capsaicin may be applied directly to the affected area up to 4 times a day. Pain may get slightly worse at first, but then may get better over the next few days. Capsaicin should be applied regularly several times a day, and it usually takes 3 – 7 days before you notice substantial pain relief. Don’t apply it to the sensitive areas near the eyes and mucous membranes and don’t forget to wash your hands well and avoid touching your eyes after using capsaicin. It’s always a good idea to test capsaicin cream on a small area of the skin before extended use.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Another favorite home remedy is using apple cider vinegar (ACV) which can be an effective soothing agent. ACV is very acidic so it makes the pH levels in the skin more acidic, thus reducing irritation. You can use ACV in several ways:

1. Prepare a compress – dampen a washcloth with warm water, and then add the mixture of 1 part of ACV with 3 parts of water. Apply the compress to the affected area for a few minutes several times a day.
2. ACV bath – add 2 cups of ACV to a bath of warm water, and soak for 20-30 minutes. Then shower to remove the ACV.
3. Add 2-3 drops of ACV to 2 tablespoons of your moisturizer and apply to the affected area.
4. Drink ACV solution by mixing 1 tablespoon of ACV with a glass of water.

3. Baking Soda

Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has fantastic cleansing ability and its alkalinity in warm bath helps to sooth these skin irritations. Dissolve 1/2 – 1 cup of baking soda in the bath and soak for 20 minutes. Alternatively to reduce itchiness mix 1 1/2 cups baking soda into 3 gallons water and apply to your itchy patches with a washcloth soaked in the solution. Repeat it several times.

4. Coconut Oil

In the previous article about the many health of coconut oil you could see how versatile this oil is. Coconut oil is also being used to relieve psoriasis as well as other skin irritations. A common recommendation is to add  2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil each day to your diet. You can add it to smoothies or spread it on your toast for example. Another way to use coconut oil is to apply it topically onto the affected area 3 times per day.

5. Epsom Salt or Dead Sea Salt Bath

Soaking in an Epsom salt bath is a good way to sooth irritated and itchy skin. Just add 1-2 cups to your bath water and soak for at least 15 minutes, 2-3 times a week to reap the benefits. You can also use Dead Sea salt for this matter. When you get out of the tub apply a moisturizer to the skin. Read here more about the most extraordinary uses for Epsom salt.

6. Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

Colloidal oatmeal is simply oats ground into an extremely fine powder. When added to bathwater, it creates a milky dispersion that prevents the oatmeal from settling rapidly. You can make colloidal oatmeal at home by grinding the oatmeal into the finest powder possible, so it dissolves easily in your lukewarm bath. Colloidal oatmeal helps smooth and comfort itchy, scratchy and dry skin. Make a lukewarm bath before going to sleep whenever necessary.

7. Omega 3 Fish oil

Research has suggested that taking daily omega 3 fish oil may bring some improvement for psoriasis sufferers. Omega-3 help psoriasis because of its anti inflammatory effect.

According to Mayo Clinic website, psoriasis is less common in populations whose regular diet includes cold-water fish containing omega-3 fatty acids. However there are mixed study results as to whether fish oil supplements are effective in reducing inflammation and improve psoriasis symptoms.

You can find more information about omega 3 and which foods contain it in my article about the amazing health benefits of omega 3. Taking omega 3 is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

8. Aloe Vera

Preliminary research suggests that applying pure aloe vera gel may improve symptoms of psoriasis and can help reduce redness and scaling. Apply it directly to the affected area up to three times a day. Also read my article about the best uses of aloe vera for great and healthy skin.

9. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is believed to have antiseptic properties and although there are no scientific studies about the effectiveness of tea tree oil on psoriasis, some people report that their symptoms have been improved after using it.

Many people suffer from psoriasis on their scalp so they can use shampoos with at least 5% tea tree oil or buy tea tree essential oil on its own and add it to their regular shampoo. To add the oil to your existing shampoo, add 10 drops for every eight ounces of shampoo in the bottle. Then shake the shampoo bottle to distribute the tea tree oil thoroughly. Rub the tea tree oil shampoo into your scalp and let sit for 5 minutes. Rinse with water, repeating once per day. It soothes itch and reduce flakes.

If you want to apply it directly on the skin, you can mix a couple of drops of tea tree oil into a few teaspoons of aloe vera gel or carrier oil and apply to the skin. It is recommended to do a skin test first on a small patch to make sure that you are not sensitive to it. If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This e-book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.

10. Turmeric

Turmeric can be used to relieve psoriasis due to its active ingredient curcumin.

According to several studies curcumin can “inhibit several inflammatory enzymes mainly involved in the inflammatory process of Psoriasis.”

Make a thick paste by mixing turmeric powder with water and spread the paste onto the affected area before bedtime. Wrap the area with a gauze to keep the paste in place and leave overnight. Then remove the gauze and wash the turmeric paste off of your skin using warm water. It will temporarily give your skin a yellow color. Also read my article about 12 reasons you should eat more turmeric.

11. Licorice Cream

Licorice is known to help with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. In one study, licorice gel, applied to the skin, relieved symptoms of itching, swelling, and redness. A gel with 2% licorice worked better than one with 1%. Other studies have found licorice to be a powerful anti-inflammatory, helping to control swelling and redness.

12. Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays an important role in preventing autoimmune diseases as well as other 12 common diseases. Researchers claim that vitamin D-based treatments increase the binding of a peptide called cathelicidin to DNA, which, in turn, inhibits the inflammatory response that triggers psoriasis.

According to research, your optimal vitamin D levels should be in the range of 50-70 ng/ml all-year-round. According to the article published in the British Journal of Dermatology, patients with psoriasis are often vitamin D deficient; especially in the winter months were this is the case for 80% of all sufferers.

Sensible exposure to the sun can help with psoriasis by boosting your vitamin D levels. You need to be careful not to overdo it as excessive sunbathing carries other risks connected with skin damage and aging. Also, if you get burnt, this can lead to a flare-up of psoriasis.

Vitamin D is also used in commercial treatments and comes in the form of lotions, creams and ointments. These can be used in combination with other treatments and are applied directly to the affected area. In mild cases of the condition, vitamin D creams proved to be effective in 50% of the patients.

UVB light therapy is another possible way that has shown to be effective. According to Henry Lim, chief of Dermatology at Detroit’s Henry Ford hospital, 70% of the patients with psoriasis get better when using UVB therapy.

Vitamin D Supplements for Treating Psoriasis

There is little scientific evidence for the use of vitamin D supplements in psoriasis. Nonetheless, many patients noticed that supplements and changes to their diet helped them clear their skin.

If you decide to go with vitamin D supplement, opt for vitamin D3 and take it in conjunction with vitamin K2 and magnesium to optimize its function and promote health (also make sure to read my post about the top signs of magnesium deficiency). Vitamin D is fat-soluble, so it’s good to take it with some form of healthy fat (for example, prepare your meal with coconut or olive oil) to help the absorption process.

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