Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition categorized by itchy, scaly patches on the skin. It’s caused by the immune system “overreacting” and creating new skin cells too fast. Psoriasis isn’t life-threatening, but it can be annoying and uncomfortable since the patches, called plaques, usually form on exposed places like your elbows, knees and scalp.
Even though there is no cure, many treatments exist to ease the symptoms of psoriasis. Here are 5 ways to manage symptoms from the comfort of your home.
1. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a natural remedy for a variety of skin conditions thanks to its antibacterial qualities. And it’s probably the least expensive remedy you can try, since you can pick up a bottle at your local grocery store for about two bucks. If you try it, make sure to dilute it with water first using a one to one ratio (since it can burn sensitive skin), soak a cotton ball in it and apply it to the affected area.
2. Soak It Up
Adding oil, colloidal oatmeal, Epsom salts, or Dead Sea salts to a warm bath can help remove the dry patches of skin and alleviate itching and burning. But be careful: pure hot water can further aggravate your skin condition. It is best to soak in your tub for 15 minutes and then apply a moisturizer or oil to the skin as soon as you finish your bath.
3. Use A Moisturizer
Psoriasis causes your skin to dry and can therefore lead to scratching, itching, and burning which can make the skin condition worse. To prevent these skin-aggravating symptoms, it is important to always keep your skin moist by applying a moisturizer all over your body. Moisturizing the body will prevent dry plaques from making it difficult for you to move and help you maintain your flexibility.
Capsaicin is the natural chemical found in hot peppers that makes them hot — it works by overloading our pain receptors so we feel intense burning initially, but then the itch goes away. Treatment with capsaicin creams may help reduce redness and inflammation and has the potential to reduce the severity of future flare-ups.
Look for a cream that contains .025 to .075 percent capsaicin. It will take approximately a week for the cream to start working, and it is best to keep it away from your eyes and mucous membranes to prevent a burning sensation.
Dry indoor air is associated with dry skin, which is bad news for psoriasis sufferers. Having a humidifier in your bedroom can help to keep your skin moist, especially in the dry winter months.