Home Treatment for Psoriasis: Lifestyle, Remedies, Myths

Psoriasis is a medical condition involving a scaly skin rash that appears in patches or small, scaly bumps covering a larger area. It is an immune-mediated condition where the immune system attacks healthy cells instead of unhealthy cells, causing inflammation. The cause of psoriasis is unclear, but treatment options are available.

Medical treatments have been effective in treating psoriasis, but many people are unsatisfied with these options. Natural remedies such as bee wax and aloe vera have been found effective among some people with the condition.

Learn about psoriasis, home remedies, lifestyle changes, all-natural treatments that don’t work, and more.

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Psoriasis Is Chronic, but Controllable

Psoriasis is a chronic condition, which means it is long-lasting. Symptoms tend to come and go in phases of remission with very minimal or no symptoms and phases of relapse with more severe symptoms.

There are things people with psoriasis can do to help control symptoms and prevent relapses. However, this condition can also lead to complications.

Secondary Complications

There are possible secondary complications associated with psoriasis. For example, people with psoriasis are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

Additionally, like other long-term health conditions, many people with psoriasis experience mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, and sleep challenges.

Psoriasis can lead to and occur with other health complications such as:

Comorbidity Definition

Comorbidity is when the same person experiences two or more medical conditions simultaneously.

There are things that can be done, both medically and at home, to help control psoriasis symptoms and prevent other complications. A healthcare provider, such as a primary care provider or specialist who treats psoriasis called a dermatologist, can help determine the best options for each person.

Home Remedies

Home remedies may treat psoriasis, especially mild to moderate cases, or as a first treatment before trying medical options.

Psoriasis home remedies include:

  • Apitherapy is a treatment with bee products such as honey or propolis (a bee product that comes from plants and trees). A mixture of propolis and aloe vera gel, a substance that comes from an aloe vera plant, has been found effective in treating psoriasis.
  • Coal tar is a thick liquid used on the skin to treat psoriasis and has been found effective.
  • Creams, lotions, and moisturizers can help hydrate and protect the skin, which can be soothing for discomfort and healing.
  • Warm baths with oils are another way to hydrate and protect the skin while providing soothing relief from itching.
  • Combined skin routines that include cleaning the area with soap, moisturizing with cream or lotion, and baths with oils can be effective enough to be used alone or be part of a treatment plan in addition to other options.
  • Curcumin is in turmeric and has been found effective in treating psoriasis. It is available as a spice to use with food and as a supplement.
  • Chamomile oil applied to the skin has been found effective in improving psoriasis.

Lifestyle Changes

In addition to home remedies, lifestyle and behavior changes can help manage psoriasis symptoms and prevent relapses.

  • Stress relief: Stress can worsen psoriasis, and regular stress relief can help manage symptoms.
  • Weight management: Eating a low-calorie diet and maintaining a healthy weight has been found effective in improving psoriasis.
  • Nutrition: Certain foods, including processed foods, sugary foods, dairy, and gluten can make psoriasis worse in some people, so avoiding these possible triggers can help.
  • Exercise: Physical activity, especially vigorous physical activity, has been linked to reduced psoriasis symptoms.
  • Smoking: Tobacco smoking can make psoriasis worse, and quitting smoking can improve symptoms, as well as other health conditions that may be present alongside psoriasis.
  • Alcohol: Drinking alcohol can increase inflammation and make psoriasis worse, and limiting alcohol or not drinking at all can improve symptoms.

Treatment Myths

One of the biggest psoriasis treatment myths is that it can be cured. Unfortunately, while there are treatments to manage the disease and relieve symptoms, psoriasis cannot be cured.

Some natural methods to treat psoriasis are effective, but not all are supported by scientific evidence. Treatment options may help relieve symptoms in some people, but the effectiveness is unclear because they have not been studied, or the studies on the treatments do not clearly show whether they are effective.

Some options for psoriasis that may not work include:

  • Aloe vera: This treatment option may help some people relieve symptoms, but studies have shown mixed results.
  • Natural sunlight: Spending time outside to get natural sunlight may benefit psoriasis, but prescription phototherapy generally works better.
  • Tea tree oil (melaleuca oil): This oil is used to treat psoriasis, but no studies show this option is effective.

Triggers to Avoid

The specific causes of psoriasis are not clear. However, there are some things that may trigger relapses and lead to symptoms or make them worse. For example, stress is a trigger for up to 88% of people with the condition.

Psoriasis Triggers

  • Allergies (food, environmental)
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Infection
  • Injury to skin
  • Irritation to skin
  • Medications
  • Sleep loss
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Weather (cold or dry)

Why All Natural May Not Work

One of the biggest reasons that an all-natural treatment protocol may not work for psoriasis is the severity of the disease. Some people experience mild to moderate symptoms that natural options mostly or entirely control, while others experience more severe symptoms requiring medical treatment for adequate relief.

Natural remedies may be ineffective if you do not know how to use them to get the full benefits or have difficulty following through. For example, using soaps, creams, and warm baths with oils may require a specific routine with different daily steps. The results may be limited if these steps are not known or followed correctly.

Possible Supplement/Drug Interactions

Some treatment options, including home remedies and over-the-counter supplements, can interact with medications or other treatment options and lead to adverse effects. For example, some medications or remedies applied to the skin, such as coal tar with phototherapy, which can increase the risk of sunburn, should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

Consult a Healthcare Provider

When considering treatment options for psoriasis, it is important to talk with a healthcare provider, such as a primary care provider or a dermatologist.

Medication for Moderate to Severe Psoriasis

When psoriasis symptoms are moderate to severe, natural treatment options may not be enough. Medications are available. These treatments can be used alone or alongside natural treatment options.

Medical treatment options for psoriasis include:

  • Topical corticosteroids: Creams or ointments with medications to decrease inflammation and relieve itching
  • Calcineurin inhibitors: Creams or ointments with medications to calm the immune system and decrease inflammation
  • Dithranol (anthralin): Medication applied to the skin to slow skin cell production
  • Phototherapy: Ultraviolet light used to slow skin cell production
  • Trexall (methotrexate): Medication taken by mouth to decrease swelling and slow skin cell production
  • Gengraf (cyclosporine): Medication taken by mouth to calm the immune system
  • Soriatane (acitretin): Medication taken by mouth to slow skin cell production
  • Biological treatments: Medications given by injection to calm the immune system by targeting overactive cells

Summary

Psoriasis is a skin condition that happens when the immune system attacks healthy cells instead of unhealthy cells, leading to an itchy rash that can interfere with daily life. Although this is a lifelong condition, it is possible to manage the symptoms with medical treatments, home remedies, lifestyle behavior changes, or a combination of these options, depending on the severity of the condition.

A Word From Verywell

Living with psoriasis can be challenging, especially when the symptoms are uncomfortable and severe enough to interfere with daily life. If you or someone you know is facing this condition, help is available. There are effective treatment options for psoriasis, including medical interventions, home remedies, and lifestyle changes. Reach out to a healthcare provider for support.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it possible to cure psoriasis permanently?

    There is currently no permanent cure available for psoriasis. However, treatment options are available to help manage the condition and relieve the symptoms. That doesn’t mean medications will be needed forever, and some people do find that it gets better over time.

  • Can you control psoriasis by boosting your immune system?

    Psoriasis happens when the immune system attacks healthy cells instead of unhealthy cells. Making lifestyle changes to improve health and support the immune system can help manage psoriasis and control symptoms.

  • What’s a good psoriasis self-care routine?

    A good routine for psoriasis involves managing symptoms and improving general health. Strategies to do so may include avoiding alcohol, nicotine, and other substances, getting enough sleep, walking in the sun, eating a well-balanced diet without foods that may trigger symptoms, using proper skin care products, and managing stress throughout the day.

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