You have a lot of options for treating your psoriasis.Even if you’re taking medications, you might still find yourself looking for other ways to fight flares and ease your symptoms.
There’s far less research on alternative treatments for psoriasis than for drugs, which are closely regulated by the FDA. But if you find one that works for you and doesn’t cause major problems, it could be a great way to make your skin feel better.
Scientists aren’t sure how it helps, but many people say their psoriasis symptoms improve when they get sunlight on a regular basis.
But don’t overdo it. Sunburn can make psoriasis worse. Talk to your doctor about how much time you should spend in the sun. When you head outdoors, protect your unaffected skin with sunscreen. Pick a product that’s SPF 30 or higher and protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Alternative Skin Treatments
There are many treatments you can apply right to your skin to relieve itching, burning, redness, and other symptoms.
- Aloe vera soothes skin and may improve psoriasis, although scientists haven’t studied it enough to know for sure. If you use it, look for creams or gels that have 0.5% aloe. Steer clear of aloe in tablet form, though. It can be dangerous.
- Tea tree oil, which is sometimes added to shampoos, may be helpful for psoriasis on your scalp.
- Oat extracts may ease itching and reduce redness. They’re included in many skin-care products, but soaking in an oatmeal bath may also help.
- Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts can remove scales and relieve itching. You can add them to a warm bath and soak your body for about 15 minutes. Use moisturizer right afterward.
Diet and Supplements
Some people feel that certain foods trigger their psoriasis. Others tout the benefits of a particular diet plan, like a gluten-free diet, to relieve symptoms.
It’s hard to prove – or disprove – these claims. Scientists don’t have much hard evidence on how eating habits affect the condition. But most experts say it’s a good idea to be skeptical.
If you want to change your eating habits, make small changes and see how they affect you. The best approach is to eat a wide range of healthy foods, including lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Some people have found that supplements, including fish oil, shark cartilage, evening primrose oil, milk thistle, vitamin D, and oregano oil, have improved their psoriasis. There’s not much evidence showing these work. And remember, the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements as closely as medications. If you decide to give them a try, make sure your doctor knows you’re taking them.