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Medic for Psoriasis

Psoriasis (sore-EYE-ah-sis) is an irritating and chronic skin disease which develops when the body’s immune system goes haywire and sends incorrect signals to the skin cells triggering them to multiply swiftly.

The skin cells multiply rapidly at a pace of days instead of weeks, and a thick layer of new skin cells covers the skin as there is no sloughing off of excess skin cells.

This piled-up layer of cells appears as patches on the skin, characterized by redness and irritation, and is often accompanied by thick, flaky, itchy, silver-white patches that are sometimes painful. Psoriasis is not contagious and is not acquired by touching a psoriasis patient.

Other symptoms include itching, inflammation, and pain. The problem mostly occurs on the knees, elbows, palms, and scalp, but can also appear on other parts of the body.

Psoriasis is considered as an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy cells in the body, thereby changing the life cycle of skin cells.

Normally, skin cells mature and die about once a month. But, in case of psoriasis, they tend to mature and die in less than a week, thus causing a build-up of dead skin cells.

The condition is often triggered by factors like emotional stress, dry skin, sunburn, smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental triggers, viral or bacterial infections and certain medications like beta-blockers, malarial preventives, lithium, and ibuprofen.

It also tends to run in families and becomes worse in those with a weak immune system. Most types of psoriasis go through cycles of flare-ups and remissions.

Although there is no cure for psoriasis and it is difficult and frustrating to treat, you can use some natural and effective home remedies to control the symptoms and prevent infection. Also, do consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Here are the top 10 home remedies for psoriasis.

1. Colloidal Oatmeal

Colloidal oatmeal refers to oats that have been finely ground and then suspended in any liquid like water, gel, etc. While in the liquid medium, the oatmeal remains suspended and dispersed uniformly.

The advantage of colloidal oatmeal is that it can be easily applied and quickly absorbed. Thus, it is very beneficial for skin disorders like dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis.

Many of its skin beneficial properties are because of the presence of therapeutic chemicals present in it. The starches and beta glucans are responsible for its water retention and protective function.

Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities are due to phenols; whereas the saponins are mainly responsible for its cleansing activity.

All these functional properties make colloidal oatmeal a wonderful cleanser, moisturizer, buffer and a soothing, protective anti-inflammatory agent for treatment of psoriasis symptoms.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, apple cider vinegar (ACV), which is used as a disinfectant since ancient times, may alleviate the itchy feeling and irritation associated with psoriasis.

Apple cider vinegar helps restore the natural pH balance of the skin and helps prevent infections.

You should see results within a few weeks if it works for you.

3. Cayenne Pepper

This hot red pepper comes with a full host of health benefits and is very handy for your psoriasis malady! Capsaicin is the main active ingredient in cayenne pepper that makes them hot. Researchers in 2010 reported that capsaicin may help reduce symptoms of inflammation, pain, redness, and scaling that are commonly seen in psoriasis.

You can use capsaicin containing cream for this. You can get it online or from your local health store. Apply capsaicin containing cream to areas where you have psoriasis.

Caution: Please do not apply the capsaicin ointment on the face.  Please check if you are allergic to capsaicin ointment as it may cause a burning sensation for some. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap after use.

4. Epsom Salt

An Epsom salt bath is great for skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate and has unique properties which give it medicinal value. It helps relieve itching and burning sensations and softens the scaling that occurs with psoriasis.

Plus, it is good for relaxation and detoxification due to the high amount of magnesium present in it. It is unlike sea salt in the fact that it softens the skin and can be rinsed away completely. Experts say that soaking the body in Epsom salts boosts the body’s magnesium levels.

  1. Mix two cups of Epsom salt in a bathtub filled with warm water.
  2. Soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. When you get out of the bath, pat dry your skin and apply a good moisturizer liberally.
  4. Do this two or three times a week.

5. Garlic

Garlic is another useful remedy for psoriasis due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It inhibits the activity of an enzyme called lipoxygenase that causes the inflammation associated with psoriasis. Plus, being an antimicrobial agent, it helps prevent infection. Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB), a molecule found in the body, plays a crucial role in inflammation. The activation of this molecule has been linked with psoriasis.

A study in 2004 showed that garlic derivatives ajoene, diallyl sulfide and S-allyl cysteine inhibit NF-kB. A 2011 study suggested that external application of garlic can be an effective remedy against psoriasis. Eating garlic can also prevent psoriasis outbreaks due to its active compounds and blood purifying property.

6. Olive Oil

Olive oil is excellent for dealing with psoriasis because it softens the skin, thereby reducing flaking and scaling. A paper published in 2017 reported that the polyphenols present in extra-virgin olive oil are effective in preventing and treating immune disorders like psoriasis.

A study in 2003 showed that a mixture of honey, beeswax, and olive oil was effective in the management of psoriasis symptoms.

Like olive oil, coconut oil will also give relief to psoriasis symptoms.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric is a wonderful condiment to stock in your kitchen cabinet. It has multipurpose uses which are beyond the scope of this article. Since ancient times, it has been used for the treatment of skin diseases in India.

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Its active compound curcumin fights inflammation and inhibits an enzyme called phosphorylase kinase that is responsible for skin cell growth.

Scientists have investigated the efficacy of turmeric in the treatment of psoriasis. A clinical study in 2000 showed that 50% patients had 90% clearance of psoriasis symptoms within 2-6 weeks when treated with curcumin gel, while the others showed 50-85% improvement after 3-8 weeks. This result was supported by another study done in 2015, which suggested that turmeric gel application can be an alternative therapy for people with plaque psoriasis.

Note: Do not take turmeric if you have gallbladder problems as it can make them worse. Also, if you have blood clotting issues or taking diabetes medications then consult your doctor before taking this herb.

8. Licorice

Licorice has been used in Chinese medicine for a very long time for the treatment of psoriasis. At present, it is used in the treatment of dermatitis and eczema. Studies have found that licorice root is good for skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis because of its compound called glycyrrhizin.

Thus, it helps reduce redness and irritation. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that reduce inflammation and benefit the skin.

9. Glycerin

Glycerin is considered great for skin as it attracts moisture and thus helps maintain beautiful and healthy skin.

Researchers believe that the glycerol present in glycerin plays a role in skin maturation and allows the skin to mature properly.

  1. Liberally apply glycerin on the affected area.
  2. Leave it on for as long as possible.
  3. Use it two or three times daily for a few weeks or until you are satisfied with the results.

10. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera gel is an effective topical treatment for many skin problems like sunburns, damaged skin, burns, and many others. It also provides relief from the symptoms of psoriasis by treating skin irritation by soothing and rehydrating it. It forms a protective layer on the broken skin and promotes healing.

Plus, it is rich in many bioactive molecules that have antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory compounds. Thus it helps fight inflammation and boosts the immune system.

  1. Extract the translucent gel from an Aloe vera leaf.
  2. Crush and apply it to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on until it is completely absorbed by the skin.
  4. Repeat three times daily for several weeks.

You can use this Aloe vera remedy to treat eczemadermatitis and other skin allergies as well.

Here is a BONUS remedy for our readers!

Additional Home Care Tips

Between 10 and 30 percent of patients suffering from psoriasis tend to develop psoriatic arthritis. So, do consult your doctor if you have symptoms of arthritis.

Resources:

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