Using bananas as an at-home treatment for psoriasis gained some traction on TikTok where a dermatologist recommended the therapy. But before you go slathering bananas on your lesions, find out if there’s any scientific evidence for such a remedy.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition. It can affect more than just the skin and often responds to systemic and topical treatments.

Bananas may have an anti-inflammatory effect and antioxidative properties. It’s unclear how eating bananas or applying them topically can help with psoriasis.

Little scientific data is available, and most claims of its effectiveness are anecdotal or spread through word of mouth.

Psoriasis is a chronic condition where an overactive immune system causes skin cells to grow rapidly, leading to skin lesions. For some, conventional treatments can keep psoriasis symptoms at bay.

Others may not respond as well to treatment. Some who have severe cases of psoriasis seek alternative or complementary forms of treatment. Bananas may be a complementary form of treatment, but scientific evidence supporting its use is extremely lacking.

Proponents of using bananas suggest that eating bananas and applying the peel to their skin lesions can help provide some symptom relief.

In a 2023 study, researchers examined the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects of banana peel extracts on acne vulgaris. Their in vivo (within a living organism) animal study showed that banana peel extract’s anti-inflammatory effects may help with:

  • preventing nodule formation
  • stopping bacterial growth
  • decreasing proinflammatory cytokine production

The use of in vivo study in rats and the study of banana peel extract’s effects on acne vulgaris makes it impossible to make a broad general statement supporting banana peel use in psoriasis.

What makes the study interesting for psoriasis, however, is that proinflammatory cytokines play a role in psoriatic disease. In fact, several psoriasis treatments target inflammatory cytokines either directly or indirectly.

This does not mean a banana peel will work, but it could be an area for further investigation in the future.

So far, no study or review has directly looked at applying bananas or the peel to psoriasis lesions. Recommendations to use banana peels are completely anecdotal.

For example, a dermatologist endorsing the treatment on a TikTok video does not substitute for well-structured studies using a large population of people to test the effectiveness and safety of applying the treatment.

The banana peel does contain about 40 compounds that may provide several health benefits, but how they affect psoriasis is unknown. Also, several factors, including variety, cultivation methods, and maturity, can affect what compounds are actually available.

Before you go layering banana peels on your active psoriasis lesions, you should speak with a dermatologist. You can explain to them your reasons for wanting to try it. They may have additional ointments or creams to try or advise against it based on your personal health history.

Another potential avenue of treatment involves bananas and oxidative stress. Scientists know that oxidative stress plays a role in psoriasis.

Bananas contain several compounds that an older study from 2011 found helpful in treating oxidative stress not directly related to psoriasis. In their study, they noted that unripe bananas contain more compounds that help with oxidative stress compared with ripe and over-ripe bananas.

In other words, it’s possible that bananas may help with psoriasis by reducing the effect of oxidative stress. Still, no study directly examines the use of the fruit or peel as an alternative treatment for psoriasis.

Psoriasis management often involves many aspects.

You will want to work with a treatment team and follow their advice. If you experience worsening symptoms or they do not improve, you should consider discussing this with a member of the team. They may have additional treatment recommendations.

You can also take steps to help reduce the number of flares you have or help reduce symptom severity. Management tips include:

  • bathing in cool or warm water rather than hot
  • eating a nutritious diet
  • finding ways to reduce stress, such as meditation or yoga
  • moisturizing
  • stopping smoking, if applicable
  • avoiding alcohol
  • using a humidifier to create a moist environment
  • taking caution to prevent skin injuries
  • maintaining a moderate weight
  • understanding and avoiding triggers
  • joining a support group
  • discussing medications with your doctor
  • getting regular exercise
  • discussing phototherapy with your doctor

Bananas are a generally healthy fruit. Both their fruit and peels contain a large amount of compounds and nutrients, making them a good addition to any diet.

However, little scientific data supports the use of bananas or their peels for the management or treatment of psoriasis.

Before trying to rub or apply bananas onto your skin, you should discuss your concerns and reasons for wanting to try this approach with a doctor. They can review your current symptoms and help determine whether bananas or other treatments may work better for your needs.