Home Remedies for Psoriasis

Lay It on Thick

A woman putting thick cream onto her hands.

Looking for a way to ditch the itch? A heavy cream can be the answer. Try petroleum jelly or another thick moisturizer. It locks water into your skin to help it heal and reduce the redness.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Scalp

A photo of apples and vinegar on a table.

It's more than just a salad dressing. Put some on your head a few times a week -- either full strength or mixed with water. It's a recipe for relief when your scalp calls out "scratch me."

Rinse it off after it dries so you won't get an irritation. And don't try this when your scalp is bleeding or cracked. The vinegar will make it feel like it's burning.

Get a Little Sun

A woman holds her hand up to block the sun.

Spend some time in the great outdoors. The sun's ultraviolet B rays can help fight your psoriasis.

Stick to 5 or 10 minutes a day, and use sunscreen on spots without psoriasis. Too much sun can raise your risk of skin cancer.

"Season" Your Bath

Salt grains in a wooden cup.

Want to shed some scales and soothe your skin? Put Dead Sea or Epsom salts into a tub with warm water. Soak for about 15 minutes, and use a moisturizer when you're done to seal in the water.

Capsaicin

Red peppers on display.

It's the ingredient that makes chili peppers hot, and it's got a place in your bag of tricks. Researchers say it can cut pain, inflammation, and redness. You'll find it in over-the-counter creams.

But ... Some people say it gives them a burning feeling when they put it on their skin.

Turmeric

Yellow turmeric powder inside clear pills.

You might know it as the yellow herb that shows up in foods with a curry sauce. Studies show it may cut down your psoriasis flare-ups. You can try it as an ingredient in your meals or as a supplement.

Tea Tree Oil

A photo of green tree needles and branches.

It comes from a plant that's native to Australia, but you don't have to go that far to get relief. Shampoos with this ingredient may help psoriasis on your scalp, though more research is needed.

Soak in Oats

Oats and hulls displayed on spa table.

It's a natural way to soothe your skin. Put some ground-up oats in your bath, sit back, and relax. Just make sure the water is warm, not hot, so you don't irritate your skin.

Meditation and Yoga

Women active in a yoga class.

Cut down your stress to shake off your symptoms. Meditation can help you take your psoriasis in stride. Yoga is especially helpful if you have psoriatic arthritis, too, because it eases joint pain and expands your range of motion.

Wrap It Up!

Woman wrapping her arm in plastic wrap.

Put cream on your skin at bedtime and cover the area with plastic wrap. Then add a layer of tight clothing -- like gloves or socks. The idea is to seal the moisturizer in while you sleep and let your skin absorb it.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Cooked salmon on a full dinner plate.

They fight inflammation, and you can find them in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines. You can also buy fish oil supplements.

How much they help with psoriasis isn't so clear. Studies have mixed results, so get your doctor's advice.

Oregon Grape

Green spiny leaves of a plant.

The name's a little misleading: It's really an evergreen plant. The formal name is Mahonia aquifolium. Look for creams where it's 10% of the ingredients. It's shown some promise in studies.

Mediterranean Diet

A Mediterranean salad in a white bowl.

This eating plan puts the focus on fish, veggies and fruits, and whole grains. A small study shows it might tone down your symptoms.

Aloe Vera

Cut aloe vera leaves in a bowl next to a scoop of lotion.

Studies suggest this plant can improve psoriasis. Aloe vera is anti-inflammatory and helps decrease redness. Use gel or cream with 0.5% in it on your skin.

Steer clear of tablets. There's no evidence that they help.

Sources:

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REFERENCES:

  • Syed, T.A. Tropical Medicine and International Health, August 1996.
  • National Psoriasis Foundation: "Herbal and Natural Remedies," "Managing Itch," "Psoriasis on Specific Skin Sites," "Phototherapy," "Gluten-Free Die," "Mind and Body Therapies," "Yoga and Tai Chi," "Over-the-Counter Topicals," "Vitamins and Supplements," "Weight Loss Greatly Improves Psoriasis."
  • Gupta, S.C. The AAPS Journal, published online Nov. 10, 2012.
  • Carson, C.F. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, January 2006.
  • Kurtz, E.S. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, February, 2007.
  • Cerio, R. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, September 2010.
  • Gulliver, W.P. American Journal of Therapeutics, September-October 2005.
  • Barrea, L. and Balato, N. Journal of Translational Medicine, published online Jan. 27, 2015.
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