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Can Goat’s Milk Help With Your Psoriasis?

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on May 11, 2020

You may have heard that soap or lotion made with goat's milk can ease psoriasis symptoms. Or that drinking goat's milk instead of cow's milk could stop your psoriasis from getting worse.

There's no clear scientific evidence that either helps with psoriasis. But you might find that some goat's milk products are useful replacements for others that can trigger psoriasis outbreaks.

As you and your doctor work to manage your psoriasis symptoms, you may need to experiment with different foods, soaps, and lotions. Keep in mind that different people can respond differently to the same product. And no foods or skin products can substitute for your psoriasis medications and your doctor’s care.

Should You Drink Goat's Milk?

For some people, drinking or eating things made with cow's milk seems to make psoriasis symptoms worse. Some believe this is because it increases inflammation. Psoriasis is known as an “inflammatory response” because it irritates and inflames tissues in your body -- in this case, your skin cells.

Some researchers think that goat's milk may help ease inflammation. But much more research is needed. And if you're allergic to cow's milk, you're probably allergic to goat’s milk, too.

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Goat's milk is popular in many countries across the world, particularly in Asia, Africa, and Europe. While it has more fat than cow's milk, it also has more protein.

So if you notice that your psoriasis gets worse after you drink cow’s milk, it probably won't hurt to see whether the same thing happens with goat’s milk.

Goat's Milk Soaps and Lotions

The same goes for soaps and lotions made with goat's milk.

It makes sense that something that contains fat could help keep skin moist. And moisture can help with some of the itching and flaking that come with psoriasis.

But there are lots of goat's milk skin products, made in many different ways. So make sure any you choose are gentle as well as moisturizing.

Also, choose soaps and lotions that are free of perfumes and dyes. These are less likely to worsen your psoriasis. Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure what to use.

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And watch for symptoms of dairy allergies. Some research has found that goat's milk lotion or soap could actually trigger an allergy to goat's milk or other types of dairy.

When you're trying new things for psoriasis, keep in mind that it’s not always clear exactly what triggers an outbreak. It might not be related to your diet or skin products at all. Some common culprits are:

What Does Work?

Common treatments for psoriasis include steroid creams and ointments. These usually work quite well. In addition, since ancient times, doctors have used sunlight to improve psoriasis symptoms. Doctors sometimes prescribe special ultraviolet light therapy boxes if you can’t get enough sun.

For stubborn psoriasis, your doctor might prescribe biologic medications by pill or shot. These work throughout your body to help fix the root cause of your condition: your body’s immune response.

WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology Association: “Psoriasis,” “Lichen Planus,” "8 Ways to Stop Baths and Showers from Worsening Your Psoriasis."

Mary Spraker, MD, dermatologist, The Emory Clinic.

National Psoriasis Foundation: “About Psoriasis,” “Plaque Psoriasis,” "Anti-Inflammatory Diet," "11 must-have lotions under $12."

International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences: "Goat Milk in Human Nutrition and Health -- A Review."

Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders: "Anti-inflammatory and Anti-Allergic Properties of Donkey's and Goat's Milk."

UpToDate: "Management of food allergy: Nutritional issuesManagement of food allergy: Nutritional issues."

Nutrients: "Comparative Nutrient Profiling of Retail Goat and Cow Milk."

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: "Goat's Milk Moisturizer Induces Goat's Cheese Allergic Reaction."

Internal Medicine Journal: "Goat's Milk Allergy Associated with the Use of Goat's Milk Skin Products in Inflammatory Skin Conditions."

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