Living with psoriasis can become an overwhelming hassle that involves: countless treatments, costly products, doctor visits, self esteem issues leading to depression and an abundance of trial and error attempts at alleviating symptoms and flare ups. Here are a few home remedies and tips for you to consider, in addition to your psoriasis care routine:
Turmeric is the spice most commonly associated with providing Indian curries with their yellowish hue. Recent studies have determined that the curcumin in turmeric may have anti-inflammatory properties that may be beneficial to patient’s with psoriasis (psoriasis is a disease characterized with inflammation).
It would take an exuberant amount of the spice to be effective in treatment; therefore, it would be more prudent to take a turmeric supplement as part of your regimen, rather than sustaining on a diet of nothing but curry.
Omega- 3 Fatty Acids
Another ingredient that has been attributed with having anti-inflammatory properties are omega-3 fatty acids. Omega -3’s are most commonly found in fatty fishes including: albacore tuna, mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines and salmon. If incorporating at least three servings of fatty fishes per week into your diet is an unrealistic expectation of yours, it may benefit you to get your omega-3’s in a fish oil supplement form.
It is important to discuss this with your doctor before adapting this as part of your treatment, as fish oil supplements have been known to thin the blood. While this is not necessarily life threatening, if you are on blood thinning medications already or are anemic, it would not be a suitable option for you to incorporate into your psoriasis treatment plan.
Aloe Vera is a plant most commonly used to treat sunburns and other irritations of the skin; however, it may benefit you to use on your psoriasis plaques. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, it is alright to apply aloe gel to your skin up to three times per day. Having a few plants in the home could benefit you. They are not expensive and very easy to care for.
In addition, creams and gels containing Aloe Vera are acceptable ways to help reduce the redness and itching. Avoid taking a supplement, as they can be dangerous and have not been documented with being an effective form of treatment.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an oil that comes from the leaves of the tea tree plant native to Australia. For centuries, it has been used to treat skin ailments, irritations and infections. It is most commonly used to treat scalp psoriasis. There are a plethora of shampoos and conditioners that promote the use of tea tree oil in their products.
Be sure to read labels to check for known allergens before making your selection. In addition, tea tree oil has been known to be an allergen for some, so be cautious with initial use. Never use it on open wounds, cracks and lesions.
While you may experience relief utilizing these treatment techniques, it is important not to deviate away from doctor’s orders. Talk to your doctor before making any changes in your psoriasis skin care regimen.
Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting is a board certified dermatologist and is a past fellow of the National Institutes of Health, who blogs regularly about skin barrier optimization or SBO.