Alternative Ways to Treat Psoriasis

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Diet and Supplements

Some people feel certain foods trigger their psoriasis. Others think a gluten-free diet can help.

It's hard to prove or disprove these claims. Scientists don't have much hard evidence on how eating habits affect the skin condition. But most experts say it's a good idea to be skeptical.

If you want to see how something affects your psoriasis, make small changes and keep track of what happens. 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 condition. There's not much evidence showing these work, though. And remember, the FDA doesn't regulate supplements as closely as medications.

Check with your doctor before you give them a try. She can let you know if they're safe and can explain how they might affect the other drugs you're taking.

Ease Your Stress

It can trigger a new outbreak and make an existing one worse. Zapping stress won't replace your medicines, but it may make them work better. Try these methods:

Meditation: It focuses your attention to quiet your mind. A few studies suggest it can improve psoriasis when practiced along with traditional treatments.

Yoga: People have used it as a stress-buster for thousands of years. If it helps you relax, it's worth a shot.

Massage: It can ease stress, too. Let your masseuse know ahead of time about your psoriasis, or find one who has experience working with the condition.

It makes sense to be both optimistic and skeptical when it comes to alternative treatments for psoriasis. Keep your doctor in the loop about any remedies you try.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on November 15, 2015

Sources

SOURCES:

Canadian Dermatology Association: “Psoriasis.”

National Psoriasis Foundation: "Alternative Approaches to Psoriasis Treatment."

FDA.

USCF School of Medicine: "Sunblock."

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