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Making the Best Choices for Your Psoriasis

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Home Remedies for Psoriasis: Tips, Effectiveness, and More

Medically Reviewed By Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI

Home remedies and natural methods may not cure psoriasis. However, aloe vera creams, supplements, and oatmeal baths may help alleviate symptoms and  significantly reduce flare-ups. Home remedies for psoriasis may help provide relief or complement your usual treatment.

This article explains natural and home remedies for psoriasis and their effectiveness. It also looks at what not to do, when to see a doctor, and some frequently asked questions.

1. Mediterranean diet

A variety of fruits and vegetables in reusable bags rest on a plain white background.
Sergey Narevskih/Stocksy United

A 20 Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source 1 Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source 8 questionnaire study Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source suggests that following a Mediterranean diet may slow the progression of psoriasis.

Mediterranean diets can vary, but generally involve:

  • prioritizing foods such as:
    • fruits and vegetables
    • nuts and legumes
    • plant oils
    • whole grains and cereals
    • oily fish
  • limiting foods such as:
    • highly processed, preprepared foods
    • foods high in saturated fats and added sugar

2. Skin hydration

Using an indoor humidifier may help your skin stay hydrated. Humidifiers prevent the air from becoming dry, which can be drying to your skin or cause itching.

Regularly applying a moisturizer or ointment can also help keep your skin hydrated. Types of over-the-counter (OTC) products include:

  • fragrance-free moisturizers for sensitive skin
  • petroleum jelly
  • humectants, which promote water transfer in your skin
  • occlusives, which help prevent water loss
  • emollients, which help fill gaps in the skin

These products may contain a variety of moisturizing ingredients, including:

  • emollients, such as dimethicone and propylene glycol
  • humectants, such as:
    • glycerin
    • urea
    • ammonium lactate
    • hyaluronic acid
    • gelatin
  • occlusives, such as:
    • lanolin
    • paraffin
    • petrolatum
    • cholesterol
    • stearyl alcohol

Other ingredients include linoleic acid Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source and ceramides.

Talk with a doctor or pharmacist about what products may be most effective for your condition.

3. Aloe vera

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, some people with psoriasis find that aloe vera helps relieve skin discoloration and scaling. They recommend trying aloe vera products containing 0.5% aloe.

4. Light therapy and sunlight

Research suggests that different types of light therapy may help slow the growth of cells affected by psoriasis. This can include treatments such as UVB phototherapy.

Additionally, a 2018 clinical review Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source suggests that multiple, short exposures to sunlight may be an effective treatment for psoriasis.

However, exposing the skin to sunlight may not be recommended for everyone. This is because some medications and ointments, such as coal tar, can increase the risk of sun damage.

It is important to use a broad-spectrum sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher when exposing your skin to the sun.

Contact your doctor before treating affected skin with sunlight.

5. Capsaicin

A 2020 review suggests that capsaicin may have significant anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties. These may help soothe psoriasis symptoms.

You may find capsaicin listed as an ingredient in some ointments. These may be available over the counter in pharmacies or health food stores.

6. Turmeric and curcumin

Curcumin is a compound derived from the turmeric plant. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may help relieve inflammation.

Research suggests Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source that curcumin and turmeric products may be relatively safe and effective for treating psoriasis.

Turmeric and curcumin are available as dietary supplements or in topical creams you apply directly to affected skin.

Always contact your doctor before taking a new supplement.

7. Oatmeal and Epsom salt baths

A 2020 study Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source suggests that oats may improve symptoms of itching, dryness, and inflammation.

You can use oats as a home remedy for psoriasis by taking a colloidal oatmeal bath or applying an oat paste to your skin.

Bathing in Epsom salts or other mineral salts may also help alleviate scaling and itching due to psoriasis.

Applying a moisturizer after bathing can help to reduce any skin dryness.

8. Mind-body therapies

Stress is one of the most common triggers of psoriasis.

Mind-body therapies combine body movements and breathing exercises with mental focus or meditation. They can help to relieve pain and stress. Examples include:

  • yoga
  • tai chi
  • hypnosis
  • guided imagery

In a 2021 trial Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source , mind-body therapies slightly improved well-being scores for people with psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis.

9. Probiotics

A 2021 systematic review and meta-analysis Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source suggests that taking probiotics orally may reduce signs of inflammation and the progression of psoriasis.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that may improve the balance of beneficial bacteria in your digestive system. They are available as OTC supplements and in some natural foods, such as yogurt. However, dietary supplements may be more effective Trusted Source National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements Governmental authority Go to source at delivering probiotic strains to the gut.

10. Oregon grape

Oregon grape, or Mahonia aquifolium, is a herb that can have anti-inflammatory properties.

A 2018 review Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source suggests that using Oregon grape topically may significantly improve symptoms of psoriasis.

You may be able to find OTC ointments containing Oregon grape in pharmacies and health food stores.

What not to do

Some popular home remedies for psoriasis may be triggering or irritating for some people.

For example, an apple cider vinegar rinse is a popular home remedy for psoriasis on the scalp. However, recent studies suggest Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source that this may be ineffective or cause Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source further irritation.

Some products that come into contact with the skin can also contain irritating or drying ingredients. When choosing skin products, look for those labeled “fragrance-free,” “alcohol-free,” and “paraben-free.”

Smoking may also increase Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source your risk of psoriasis episodes. It can also negatively impact the action of some psoriasis medications. As a result, avoiding smoking may help alleviate your psoriasis symptoms.

Safety and when to see a doctor

Always ask your doctor for advice before trying any new medication, supplement, or topical remedy. Some people can experience negative reactions that may make symptoms worse.

If you notice any new, changing, or worsening symptoms after trying a new treatment, contact your doctor promptly.

Additionally, contact your doctor if your psoriasis symptoms do not improve with home remedies or other treatments. They can suggest alternative treatments and answer any questions you may have.

FAQ

Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., has reviewed the following frequently asked questions.

How can I get rid of psoriasis quickly?

It may not always be possible to treat psoriasis quickly. Additionally, the most effective treatment can vary depending on the person.

However, some treatments may offer quick relief. Examples include:

  • oral medications, such as methotrexate and immunosuppressants
  • retinoids
  • phototherapy
  • home care methods, such as:
    • dietary supplements
    • mineral baths
    • topical ointments

Does Vaseline help psoriasis?

Vaseline may help relieve symptoms of psoriasis. It is a branded version of petroleum jelly. Petroleum jellies can help your skin retain moisture.

What is the best natural ointment for psoriasis?

The best natural ointment for psoriasis can depend on the person. What may be helpful for one person may be irritating or ineffective for another. However, some people have reported improvements using aloe vera gels and oatmeal pastes.

Summary

Home remedies for psoriasis can effectively reduce symptoms of dryness, itching, and inflammation. While they may not cure your psoriasis, they can be a good natural way to complement psoriasis medications.

Home remedies for psoriasis include taking probiotic or turmeric supplements, applying aloe vera creams, and taking oatmeal baths. Other methods include meditation and yoga and following a Mediterranean diet.

Always contact your doctor before trying a new medication, supplement, or topical product. Contact your doctor promptly if you notice any new or concerning symptoms of irritation.

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Medical Reviewer: Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI
Last Review Date: 2023 Mar 23
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