Even though it affects your skin, psoriasis actually begins deep inside your body in your immune system.
It comes from your T cells, a type of white blood cell. T cells are designed to protect the body from infection and disease. When these cells mistakenly become active and set off other immune responses, it can lead to psoriasis symptoms.
Even though there’s no cure, many treatments exist to ease the symptoms of psoriasis. Here are 12 ways to manage mild symptoms at home.
Dietary supplements may help ease psoriasis symptoms from the inside.
Check with your doctor before taking supplements to make sure they don’t interfere with other health conditions you may have or medications you’re taking.
Use a humidifier to keep the air in your home or office moist. This can help prevent dry skin before it starts.
Moisturizers for sensitive skin can keep your skin supple and preventing plaques from forming.
Aloe vera has been shown in some cases to reduce redness and irritation caused by psoriasis. A
More research is needed to show for sure if aloe vera can improve symptoms of psoriasis. However, the risk of trying aloe vera gels or creams is low, so it may be worth a try.
Most soaps and perfumes have dyes and other chemicals in them that may irritate your skin. They can make you smell great, but they also can inflame psoriasis.
Avoid such products when you can, or choose those with “sensitive skin” labels.
Diet may play a role in managing psoriasis.
Eliminating red meat, saturated fats, refined sugars, carbohydrates, and alcohol may help reduce flare-ups triggered by such foods.
Cold water fish, seeds, nuts, and omega-3 fatty acids are known for their ability to reduce inflammation. This can be helpful for managing psoriasis symptoms.
Olive oil may also have soothing benefits when applied topically to the skin. Try massaging a few tablespoons on your scalp to help loosen troublesome plaques during your next shower.
Apple cider vinegar has also been found to be a good detoxifier for the body. You can drink it or apply it directly to plaques on the skin with a wash cloth.
A lukewarm bath with Epsom salt, mineral oil, milk, or olive oil can soothe the itching and infiltrate scales and plaques. Oatmeal baths can also be very helpful and soothing for plaque psoriasis.
Be sure that the water is not hot. Hot water can cause more irritation.
Moisturize immediately after your bath for double benefits.
Light therapy involves exposing your skin to ultraviolet light under the supervision of a doctor.
Ultraviolet light can help slow the growth of skin cells triggered by psoriasis. This therapy often requires consistent and frequent sessions. Sitting in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes can also help reduce plaques.
Tanning beds aren’t a good method of achieving light therapy. Too much sunlight can actually worsen psoriasis.
Light therapy should always be done under the supervision of a doctor.
Any chronic condition like psoriasis can be a source of stress, which in turn can worsen psoriasis symptoms.
Alcohol is a trigger for many people who have psoriasis.
A study in 2015 found an increased risk of psoriasis among women who drank nonlight beer. Those who drank at least five nonlight beers per week were nearly twice as likely to develop psoriasis compared to women who didn’t drink.
Herbs are commonly used to treat many conditions.
Turmeric has been found to help minimize psoriasis flare-ups. It can be taken in pill or supplement form, or sprinkled on your food.
Talk to your doctor about the potential benefits for you.
Avoid tobacco. Smoking may increase your risk of psoriasis.
If you already have psoriasis, it can make your symptoms more severe.
Being overweight or obese puts you at a greater risk of developing psoriasis. Obesity is also associated with more severe psoriasis symptoms.
Here are some tips for losing weight:
- exercise on a regular basis
- cut back on refined carbs
- eat plenty of vegetables and protein
There isn’t a single answer for keeping the symptoms of psoriasis at bay. What works for one person may not work for another.
Some treatment options may have negative side effects for preexisting conditions other than psoriasis.
While these remedies for psoriasis may help with mild cases, prescription therapy is required for more severe cases. Talk to your doctor before seeking treatment on your own.
“Changing my diet made a huge difference for my psoriasis. I went on a diet to lose weight and an unexpected, very welcome side effect of this was that my elbows cleared up considerably!”
— Clare, living with psoriasis