Alternative Ways to Treat Psoriasis

You have a lot of options for treating psoriasis. Along with medications, you have some simple alternatives you can try to fight flares and ease your symptoms.

Sunlight

Scientists aren't sure how it helps, but many people say their symptoms get better when they get a little sun on a regular basis.

Just don't overdo it. Sunburns can make patches worse. Ask your doctor how much time you should spend catching rays. And when you go out, put sunscreen on areas that don't have psoriasis. Make sure the screen is SPF 30 or higher and protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Ones with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are less likely to bother your skin.

Alternative Skin Treatments

There are many things you can put on your skin to relieve itching, burning, and redness:

Aloe vera: It soothes skin and may improve psoriasis, although scientists haven't studied it enough to know for sure. Look for creams or gels that have 0.5% aloe. Steer clear of the tablet form. It can be dangerous.

Tea tree oil: It's sometimes added to shampoos and may help scalp psoriasis.

Oat extracts: These can be found in many skin care products. They may ease itching and cut redness. Soaking in an oatmeal bath may also help.

Dead Sea salts or Epsom salts: They can remove scales and relieve itching. Add them to a warm bath and soak for about 15 minutes. Use a lotion or cream to return moisture to your skin afterward.

Diet and Supplements

Some people say certain foods trigger their psoriasis. Scientists don't have much evidence, though, to show how eating habits affect this skin condition.

If you want to see the effect some foods have on your psoriasis, make small changes in your diet. Then keep track of what happens. The best approach is to eat a wide range of healthy foods that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.

Some people have found that supplements, including fish oil, vitamin D, and oregano oil, can help. There's not much evidence, however, that these work. And, the FDA doesn't regulate supplements as closely as they do medications. So check with your doctor before you give them a try. She can let you know if they're safe and explain how they might affect the other drugs you take.

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Ease Your Stress

Stress can trigger a new outbreak and make an existing one worse. These techniques won't replace your medicines, but they might make them work better:

  • Meditation: This focuses your attention to quiet your mind. A few studies suggest it can help with psoriasis when practiced along with traditional treatments.
  • Yoga: People have used yoga to improve their health and relieve stress for thousands of years. If it helps you relax, it's worth a shot.
  • Massage: Be sure to let your masseuse know ahead of time about your psoriasis. Or find one who’s worked with people who have it.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on December 04, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

Canadian Dermatology Association: “Psoriasis.”

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

FDA.

USCF School of Medicine: "Sunblock."

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