Psoriasis Natural Remedies
Psoriasis natural remedies include the use of herbs, natural supplements, and homeopathy.
Psoriasis is a common chronic skin disease that occurs when skin cells replicate too quickly. Psoriasis causes the skin to build new cells at about 10 times faster than
the normal rate. However, the rate of sloughing off old cells remains the same. This results in the new cells piling up under the surface, forming dry, red patches of
skin covered with silvery scales. These patches can cause itching and are sometimes painful.
Psoriasis is most often found on the scalp, the knees, the elbows, the buttocks, and the backs of the wrists. The disorder comes and goes in cycles - You may have periods
when your psoriasis symptoms improve or go into remission alternating with times your psoriasis worsens.
There are several types of psoriasis. The more common forms include:
- Plaque psoriasis: This is the most common form of psoriasis. It causes dry, raised, red skin lesions (plaques) covered with silvery scales, which
are itchy and sometimes even painful. This form of psoriasis can occur anywhere on your body.
- Nail psoriasis: This form of psoriasis affects the fingernails and toenails, causing them to develop stipples and pitted areas. The affected nails
become discolored and may become loose and separate from the nail bed.
- Scalp psoriasis: Scalp psoriasis forms red, itchy areas with silvery-white scales on the head. You may notice flakes of dead skin in your hair or
on your shoulders, especially after scratching your scalp.
- Psoriatic arthritis: Psoriasis can cause a type of arthritis that looks like rheumatoid arthritis in some people. In addition to inflamed, scaly
skin, psoriatic arthritis causes pitted, discolored nails and swollen, painful joints. It can also lead to inflammatory eye conditions such as conjunctivitis.
Although psoriatic arthritis is not as crippling as other forms of arthritis, it can cause stiffness and progressive joint damage.
- Pustular psoriasis: Occasionally, this form of psoriasis can occur in which pus-filled blisters will rise on the palms of the hands or the soles
of the feet. It generally develops quickly, with blisters appearing just hours after your skin becomes red and tender. The blisters dry within a day or two but may
reappear every few days or weeks.
Symptoms of Psoriasis
Symptoms of psoriasis vary from person to person depending on the form of psoriasis affecting the person, but may include one or more of the following:
- Red, inflammed patches of skin covered with silvery or white scales
- Thick, dry skin (during remission)
- Small scaling spots (commonly seen in children)
- Dry, cracked skin that may bleed
- Itching, burning or soreness
- Dull, distorted, pitted or ridged nails
- Swollen and stiff joints
- Blisters on the palms of the hands or the soles of the feet
Causes of Psoriasis
The underlying cause of psoriasis is an overproduction of T-cells, a type of white blood cells that, under normal conditions, travel throughout the body to detect and
fight off foreign substances such as bacteria.
However, in cases where people have psoriasis, these T-cells "attack" the skin and set off a cascade of events that accelerate replication of the skin cells, causing them to
pile up on the surface of the skin. To give you some kind of perspective, normal skin cells form, mature, and are then sloughed off every 30 days. However, in
psoriasis, the skin goes through this whole process in only 3 to 6 days.
In addition, under normal circumstances, T-cells produce chemicals that help heal the skin. In psoriasis, however, T-cells produce an abnormally large amount of these
chemicals which end up causing more inflammation in the skin and joints.
Exactly what causes T-cells to malfunction in people with psoriasis is still unclear; however, the prevailing theory is that both genetic and environmental factors
play a role.
Factors that can trigger psoriasis include:
- A poor diet (especially one that is low in fiber and EFAs)
- Digestive problem (difficulty digesting protein)
- Poor liver function
- Cold weather
- Certain medications (such as lithium for bipolar disorder; high blood pressure medications such as beta blockers)
- Illness or infection
Psoriasis Natural Remedies
Conventional psoriasis treatment usually uses anti-inflammatory drugs such as topical corticosteroids as well as topical retinoids to alleviate the skin irritation and
symptoms caused by psoriasis. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may also prescribe oral medication such as retinoids and immuno-suppressants such as cyclosporine.
However, these medicines come with quite a few side effects.
Consistent and regular administration of psoriasis natural remedies, such as herbs and other natural supplements, can address the underlying trigger factors and bring
long-term relief. Psoriasis natural remedies are also milder and safer to use.
Psoriasis Natural Remedies - Herbs
Herbs make excellent psoriasis natural remedies. Herbs that have blood cleansing and detoxifying properties can be used to correct toxic situations in the blood stream
and restore healthier functioning of the liver and the kidneys - two main organs which are responsible for toxin elimination. Common herbs with these properties include:
You can make a tea using equal parts of the dried herbs of burdock, cleavers, sarsaparilla, and yellow dock. Alternatively, take the tinctures of these herbs three
times a day.
Topically, the following herbs are effective psoriasis natural remedies:
- Burdock root
- Yellow dock
- Milk thistle
- Aloe vera: Aloe has soothing, cooling, and anti-inflammatory effects. Apply aloe vera gel to the affected areas two to three times a day.
- Cayenne: Cayenne contains capsaicin which is a great reliever of pain and itching. Studies have found that a cream containing capsaicin helped relieve itching and got
rid of psoriasis plaques. Apply the cream to the affected areas two to three times a day.
- Oat: Oat soothes the skin and reduces irritation caused by inflammation. You can put a cup of oatmeal in a bag made of cheese cloth.
Put this bag under a running tap and swish it through the bath water. Then squeeze and rub the wet bag over the skin.
Psoriasis Natural Remedies - Natural Supplements
The following natural supplements form an essential part of psoriasis natural remedies:
- Essential Fatty Acids: EFAs found in fish oil or flaxseed oil have anti-inflammatory effects and are good for skin disorders such as psoriasis and
- Digestive Enzymes: One possible trigger of psoriasis is digestive problem. Supplementing your diet with digestive enzymes can help you
digest food more efficiently.
- Probiotics: Probiotics supply your body with "friendly bacteria" which are essential for detoxification and skin health.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: ACV is a good disinfectant. According to the Psoriasis Foundation, some people suffering from psoriasis have reported
success in using ACV to treat their skin condition. You can use ACV as a soak for affected fingernails and toenails - just pour some in a bowl and dip your nails in for
a few minutes. You can also apply it to plaques using cotton balls.
Psoriasis Natural Remedies - Homeopathy
Homeopathy is effective in alleviating symptoms caused by psoriasis. Choose a remedy that most closely matches your symptoms.
Continue taking the remedy until there is an improvement. Once the skin begins to improve, stop taking the remedy. If however, the skin worsens after taking the remedy,
stop using it and consult a holistic practitioner.
Common remedies to treat psoriasis include the following. It is advisable to consult a practitioner as to dosage.
- Arsenicum album: This remedy is effective for skin that is dry and scaly and tends to get infected. Scratching can make the itching worse,
and applying heat brings relief.
- Calcarea carbonica: This remedy is for dry, scaly plaques that often crack open. People needing this remedy tend to be overweight and chilly. They tend to feel
anxious, overwhelmed, and easily fatigued.
- Graphites: People needing this remedy often have a long-term history of skin disorders. The skin has lesions that ooze, and the lesions mainly occur on the backs of the
hands and the ears, on the head and scalp, and on the genitalia. Itching is often worse from getting warm, and the person may scratch the irritated places till they bleed.
- Mercurius solubilis: This remedy is for people who tend to have swollen lymph nodes and moist or greasy-looking skin, and are very sensitive to changes in temperature.
The areas affected by psoriasis may become infected easily.
- Mezereum: This remedy is for people with scaly plaques that may itch intensely. The plaques may thicken or crust over if the person scratches them too much.
Cold applications relieve the itching.
- Petroleum: This remedy is for people with extremely dry skin all over the body. Itching tends to be worse at night. Symptoms are worse in the
- Rhus toxicodendron: This remedy is for people with dry, red, chapped, and raw skin that itches intensely. Symptoms are better from hot
applications or baths.
- Sepia: This remedy is recommended for women with hormonal imbalance. There is a thickening of the skin, with circular eruptions and
- Sulphur: This remedy is a good choice if your skin feels intense burning, itching, and there are inflamed eruptions that are worse from warmth and bathing.
The lesions are often moist and oozing. This remedy is sometimes helpful to people who have repeatedly used medications to suppress psoriasis (without success). It is
also commonly used for psoriatic arthritis.
Other Psoriasis Natural Remedies
Other psoriasis natural remedies include:
- Epsom Salts / Dead Sea Salts: These salts can help alleviate skin swelling brought on by psoriasis. Add a handful of the salts to your
bath and soak for at least 15 minutes. Avoid hot water and harsh soaps. Instead, use lukewarm water and mild soaps that have added oils and fats.
- Eat More Fiber: Increase your fiber intake by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, or beans at every meal.
- Drink Water: Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to help improve digestion, eliminate toxins, and reduce inflammation.
- Say "No" to Alcohol: Alcohol causes inflammation and triggers psoriasis.
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Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004).
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