Understanding Psoriasis -- Treatment

Continued

Aloe vera. Preliminary research suggests that topical cream from the aloe vera plant may improve symptoms of psoriasis. One study showed that topical aloe vera was more effective than placebo. This product is of only minimal benefit, at best.

Fish oil.Fish oil may be helpful for psoriasis when taken orally. Research has suggested that taking daily oral fish oil supplements containing 1.8 to 3.6 grams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) may bring some improvement.

Dead Sea salts. Bath solutions, such as Dead Sea salts, oil, oilated oatmeal, or Epsom salts can help psoriasis by removing scales and easing itching. To try Dead Sea salts and other bath solutions, mix them in the bath as directed, then soak in the tub for about 15 minutes. As soon as you get out of the tub, apply a moisturizer to the skin. Don't expect a lot of improvement, however.

Cayenne. Cayenne peppers have been used medicinally for thousands of years. Capsaicin, the ingredient in peppers that gives them their heat, is also the active ingredient in many pain-relieving gels and creams. In one study, applying capsaicin cream to the skin relieved itching and skin lesions in people with psoriasis. Capsaicin can cause a burning sensation to the skin, which improves the longer you use it. It's important to wash your hands immediately after rubbing in capsaicin and not touch your eyes or mouth while you have capsaicin on your hands.

Diet. Diet therapies are of almost no benefit in the treatment of psoriasis. Starvation has been shown to be associated with fewer symptoms, but this is hardly practical.

While natural remedies may play a role in psoriasis treatment, it's important to know that they, too, can have risks. You should never begin a new treatment -- even a natural one -- or stop a treatment prescribed by your doctor without first speaking with your doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on April 16, 2015

Sources

SOURCES:

National Psoriasis Foundation: "Over-the-counter (OTC) Topicals."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Psoriasis -- Treatment."

University of Michigan Health System: "Psoriasis Topic Overview."

University of Maryland Medical Center: "Aloe."

University of Michigan Health System: "Psoriasis."

National Psoriasis Foundation: "Complementary approaches: natural elements."

National Cancer Institute: "Dictionary of Cancer Terms: Turmeric."

Kurd, S.K. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, April 2008.

 

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