Do Home Remedies Work for Psoriasis?
DIY home remedies have long been used to treat psoriasis symptoms. But do they actually work? Featured Dermatologist Dr Ch’ng Chin Chwen busts some myths and lets us in on the secrets behind these old wives tales. Click on each image below to find out if they can help you manage your psoriasis symptoms better.
Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a disinfectant and may help relieve an itchy scalp. Try this remedy at home by diluting it with water at a 1:1 ratio and apply the mixture to your scalp several times a week. Skip this remedy if your scalp is cracked or bleeding to avoid further irritation.
While more studies are needed to determine its real efficacy, this commonly found ingredient reduces redness, scaling and is a great skin moisturizer. Apply 0.5% aloe plant gel three times a day to the affected areas to see results.
Oats is known as one of nature’s best skin soothers. In recent years, studies have shown that colloidal oatmeal which is a common ingredient in over-the-counter moisturizers, binds to the skin and provides a protective barrier against irritants. It holds moisture against the skin, allowing it to act as an emollient to relieve the itch of dry skin.
While curcumin found in turmeric has long been touted for its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, taking it by itself does not result in the said health benefits due to its poor absorption in our digestive systems.
However, piperine (found in black pepper) combined with curcumin has shown to increase its bioavailability (another term for absorption) by 2000%! While curcumin has been proven to be safe in the management of psoriasis, some side effects such as diarrhoea, headaches, rashes or yellow stools have been noted.
Did you know, psoriasis is less common in populations who include cold-water fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines that contain omega-3 fatty acids in their diets? To date, research is mixed on the efficacy of fish oil in reducing symptoms. Fish oil taken orally doesn’t seem to show benefits. Moreover, its side effects such as leaving a fishy aftertaste, heartburn and nausea can be unpleasant to deal with.
1 National Psoriasis Foundation. Herbal and natural remedies. Available from https://www.psoriasis.org/treating-psoriasis/complementary-and-alternative/herbal-remedies. Last accessed March 13, 2019.
2 DermNetNZ. Oatmeal. Available from https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/oatmeal/. Last accessed March 13, 2019.
3 Hewlings S, Kalman D. Curcumin: A review of its effects on human health. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/. Last accessed March 13, 2019.
4 National Psoriasis Foundation. Natural therapies for psoriatic disease. Available from https://www.psoriasis.org/advance/natural-therapies. Last accessed March 13, 2019.