Psoriasis causes red, scaly patches of skin called plaques. Plaques usually appear on the elbows, knees, and scalp, but they can develop anywhere on the body.
Before using home remedies, it may be a good idea to speak to a doctor. Home remedies tend to work best when people use them alongside medical treatment.
Getting a little sunshine every day can help, but too much sun can make symptoms worse.
Using home remedies either alone or in combination with medical treatment may improve psoriasis symptoms.
However, some home remedies may interact with medications, so anyone who is thinking about using any of them should talk to a doctor first.
It is also important to monitor psoriasis symptoms to ensure that the remedies are not causing them to get worse.
1. Exposure to sunlight
Exposure to sunlight can sometimes improve the appearance of the skin when a person has psoriasis. People should expose their skin gradually and for brief periods.
The National Psoriasis Foundation recommend starting with 5 to 10 minutes of midday sun exposure once a day.
It is essential to cover healthy skin with sunscreen and clothing so that only the affected areas get exposure to the sun. If their skin tolerates it, an individual can slowly increase sun exposure in increments of 30 seconds each day.
If a person gets sunburnt, they should avoid any further sun exposure. They should also talk to a doctor because sunburn can make psoriasis worse.
It is the sun’s UVB rays that are beneficial for psoriasis symptoms rather than the UVA rays. Sun and indoor tanning beds mostly emit UVA rays.
People who use indoor tanning beds have a higher chance of skin damage. Using them can also increase the risk of a type of skin cancer called melanoma by 59 percent.
Many experts, including the National Psoriasis Foundation and the American Academy of Dermatology, do not recommend the use of commercial tanning beds.
Some medications can also make the skin more sensitive to the sun.
People should ask their doctor before trying sun exposure as a home remedy. Those with a family history of skin cancer may need to stay out of the sun and seek other treatments.
2. Fish oil or omega-3 fats
Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids, which fish and fish oil supplements often contain, can reduce inflammation and improve autoimmune diseases.
A 2014 meta-analysis found “moderate evidence” that fish oils might help people with psoriasis, which is both inflammatory and autoimmune.
However, the extent of this benefit may depend on the type of fish oil, the dosage, and the type of psoriasis.
Omega-3 fatty acids appear to be the most effective component of the oil.
It is possible that some people may experience side effects when using fish oil. Potential side effects include:
- a fishy taste in the mouth
People who take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), have a higher risk of bleeding if they also take omega-3 supplements.
People should follow dosage instructions carefully to avoid possible stomach discomfort. As fish oil supplements can interact with some medications, people should talk to a doctor before taking them.
Ideally, it is better to consume fish that contain omega-3 rather than taking supplements.
Omega-3 supplements are widely available to purchase online and in stores.
Capsaicin is a component of red peppers, and it has demonstrated the ability to fight inflammation. Even though the following examples of experimental research are relatively old, these are the most recent studies in this area. Both show that capsaicin can improve psoriasis symptoms.
In 1986, in a study that featured in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 44 people with moderate-to-severe symptoms applied a topical capsaicin cream for 6 weeks.
Nearly half of the group noted burning, stinging, itching, and redness on first applying the cream, but this stopped or vastly decreased as they continued using it. The researchers suggested that capsaicin might be a useful treatment for psoriasis.
In 1993, another study investigated the use of substance P, a component of capsaicin, for pruritic psoriasis. The 98 participants who used the cream four times a day for 6 weeks reported more significant improvements in skin thickness, scaling, redness, and itching than those in the placebogroup.
However, some participants reported side effects, including a stinging sensation in the area where they applied the cream.
There appears to be little additional research to support these findings.
Capsaicin creams are available online as well as in pharmacies and health food stores as well as online.