by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects more than 7.5 million American adults. It can be very difficult to manage and often requires a combination of prescription medications and natural treatments.
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky patches to appear on the body. It’s not contagious, but it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Many people with psoriasis try to hide or cover up any breakout so others won’t notice.
Psoriasis is a condition where your T-cells, a specific type of white blood cell, attack the skin and cause it to shed in flaky patches. These patches can be red or silvery-white, and they can be itchy or sore. The patches do not normally go away by themselves but can be treated with creams or tablets that reduce inflammation and irritation.
In this article, we will look at several natural ingredients you can start using to help manage symptoms of psoriasis.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any condition. If you feel you may have psoriasis, it is recommended that you speak to your doctor or healthcare professional.
8 Natural Ingredients to Help Manage Psoriasis
Psoriasis can be managed with lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and stress reduction. If those changes aren’t enough, here are eight natural ingredients that have been found to help treat psoriasis that you can try.
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a plant that’s valued for its medicinal properties. It’s been used for thousands of years as a skin treatment and is still one of the most popular home remedies to help manage psoriasis today. The gel inside the leaf has anti-inflammatory properties and can ease the itching associated with psoriasis. It also soothes redness and irritation on the skin and helps to heal dry, cracked areas.
A study published in 2010 found that aloe vera gel cream was slightly more effective in improving psoriasis symptoms compared to 0.1% triamcinolone acetonide, a steroid cream regularly used to treat psoriasis.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has been used for centuries in Australia as an antiseptic and anti-fungal agent for topical application. The oil is extracted from the leaves and branches of the tea tree plant (melaleuca alternifolia). It contains several terpenes, including cineole, terpinen-4-ol, and alpha-terpineol, which give it its unique scent. It also has antimicrobial properties that make it effective against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
Turmeric is one of the most commonly used spices in Indian cuisine and has long been used as a medicinal herb in Ayurveda medicine (a form of traditional medicine practiced in India). It’s also found in curry powders and yellow mustard seeds — both common ingredients in American cooking.
It contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties that may help manage psoriasis by inhibiting the white blood cells that trigger inflammation responses within the body.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, which makes it an excellent moisturizer. It also helps reduce inflammation and irritation around the affected area. Apply a small amount of olive oil to the affected area and gently massage until absorbed. For best results, use this remedy twice daily.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil helps in countering dryness caused by psoriasis by confining moisture in your skin. Gently rub some small amount of coconut oil on psoriasis plaques, as you would with any moisturizer. You can also use the oil on your scalp to loosen psoriasis scales.
Oatmeal is a wonderful remedy for psoriasis because it contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the redness and itching of psoriasis. The oatmeal also helps to remove dead skin cells, which are often one of the causes of psoriasis.
To make this treatment, add one cup of oats to a bathtub full of hot water and soak for 15 minutes. You can also use oatmeal as an exfoliant by making a paste with oatmeal and water, rubbing it into your skin, and then rinsing it off. This will help remove dead skin cells while moisturizing your skin at the same time.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits because it contains enzymes and probiotics that aid digestion and boost immunity. It also contains acetic acid, which helps balance pH levels in the body.
Apple cider vinegar has been shown to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria on contact. Therefore, it makes sense that it could also help manage psoriasis symptoms by reducing inflammation and killing off bacteria on the skin’s surface.
8. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural antiseptic and can help to reduce inflammation. It’s also an excellent exfoliant, which helps to slough off dead skin cells and leave the skin smooth. Mix together two tablespoons of baking soda and two tablespoons of water to make a paste, and then apply it to your psoriasis-affected areas. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.
Be cautious of one thing: Baking soda can be beneficial for itching, but like oatmeal, it can be very drying.