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Home Remedies For Psoriasis

Updated on June 12, 2011

Living With Psoriasis

Everyone seems to have some sort of skin condition, whether it is an obvious one or not. Acne, dandruff and eczema are the obvious ones that come to mind. Mine is psoriasis. I was diagnosed with it during my awkward teenage years where the appearance of one's skin is a big deal.

Since then it has come and gone but hasn't been as bad as when I was first diagnosed with it. I got it on my scalp and on the sides of my nose on my face. My case is very mild but people can get it all over their body, like their elbows, knees, arms, legs and even genitals.

One of my colleagues had it at work. It was all over his arms and the side of his face and neck. His was more noticeable and at times I think he grew a beard so he could avoid scraping at the area with a razor and also to hide the unsightly appearance.

The Psychological Effect

The physical condition of psoriasis can often be treated or maintained relatively simply when compared to the corresponding psychological repercussions associated with having this skin condition.

When I used to get flare ups, especially on my face, I was always looking down and try to face away from other people when talking to them. I didn't look at them because I didn't want them to look at me. It's embarrassing and the real victim is your self confidence.

At school, children can be teased and called names like "lamington" if flakes from their scalp were noticeable on their collar. Either way, the lower self confidence tends to bring about stress in social situations, which in turn aggravates the condition further. What's worse is knowing that there is no definite cure and that once you've had it, there is every likelihood that it could come back again.

Triggers For Psoriasis

I've found the following to be triggers for psoriasis.

  1. Stress (big one) - regardless of the source, at a basic level, when you're stressed you find yourself itching more and making a tiny flare up much worse.
  2. Alcohol - I'm not a big drinker but I've noticed I can flare up the day after even a couple of drinks the night before.
  3. Diet - indulging in some types of junk foods could make it worse.
  4. Weather - I used to notice that in summer, when I was more exposed to UV light and a little bit sweaty (ie not dry skin) that this condition was not as noticeable.

My Psoriasis Home Remedies

Dealing With Stress

I have found that stress for is by far the most noticeable trigger for a flare up of psoriasis. Annette Noontil ("The Body is the Barometer", see below) explains that everything we think has an effect on our bodies. She associates psoriasis with not casting off certain emotions or not saying your feelings. So one way to reduce the effect of psoriasis may be to find a means of emotional release. I've been known to take up various forms of writing and music to deal with stress.

There are many other approaches you could take, however I've also found that when the stress is attributable to a particular person or situation, it helps to learn to understand people and why they do the things they do. It is important to recognize that worrying about a situation will not change it or fix the problem, so why worry? Similarly, you can't change other people, the only thing you can change is how you feel and react to what people say or do. It's an empowering feeling.

Diet & Supplements

Psoriasis is apparently rare in countries where the diet is low in fat. It is recommended to have a diet, half of which consists of raw foods such as fruits, grains and vegetables. Having a high fiber diet helps to bind toxins in the body and promote their elimination through feces. Literature warns against the saturated fats of meat and dairy products. Fish is very good and many people recommend taking fish oil supplements as well.

I do not conform well to the local culture of drinking alcohol on most weeknights. I've found that beer and wine aggravate the condition for me. Perhaps too much soft drink has a similar effect. Drinking lots of water and keeping the body hydrated internally as well as externally helps to keep psoriasis under control. People have also seen progress by occasionally fasting to cleanse their body. Exercising and keeping fit will also improve your ability to keep psoriasis under control.

Creams, Ointments & Shampoos

I use Nivea moisturizer each morning, especially on the affected areas on the sides of my nose. Try and choose one that is alcohol free and made for sensitive skin. Moisturizing the skin helps preventing it from drying out, keeps it supple and reduces inflammation. It also makes the plaque scales less noticeable. Sometimes the skin may still appear red as soon as you moisturize, but later in the day when you've had a change to be exposed to more sunlight (a must for psoriasis relief) you'll find that you gain the effect you need without the skin drying out and flaking up again that day.

In the early days I tried "Ionil-T Plus". It was a strong coal tar shampoo that just didn't work for me. Everybody's case is different so what works for me might not work for someone else. I recommend Neutrogena's "T/Gel" shampoo and conditioner (see below for link). Not the 2-in-1 product - for some reason that just didn't work the same as the two individual products. It smells relatively nice and seems to keep it all under control.

If she can beat psoriasis, so can you!


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    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Not really, nothing works, if anything make up makes it look worse. I've learnt to live with it and when I don't have a tan (in winter) it isn't very noticeable. Thankfully I didn't have it when I was younger.

    • marcofratelli profile image

      marcofratelli 7 years ago from Australia

      Hi Pamela99!!

      MPG, I new someone at school who had that. I didn't know it at the time, but thinking back that's what it was. Every now and then they'd come to school and I'd notice they'd been to a tanning bed to try and even it out. These kind of skin conditions are horrible for self esteem, especially when they are in a visible location on your body. Can you use some creams or make-up to even the patches in visible locations?

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Marco, I have vitiligo which is pigmentation of my skin (some say Michael Jackson had it). Basically the melanin in my skin is being eaten away and I have white patches in random places on my hands, elbows and legs. Luckily my face has been spared so far. This did affect my self esteem just like psoriasis does but I've learnt to live with it as there is no cure.

      Lamingtons are yummy but I have heard people with psoriasis and dandruff being called that.

      Thanks for your story and good that your condition is under control.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Marco, This is an interesting hub.

    • marcofratelli profile image

      marcofratelli 7 years ago from Australia

      Hey drbj, it's a term I've heard used to tease people with dandruff or similar. The white flakes on a dark collar look like a lamington!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Interesting article, Marco. Thank you.

      I hadn't heard the word, "lamington," before. What precisely does it mean? Just curious.