Psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes the appearance of red, flaky, itchy patches of skin, usually covered with white scales. There are many manifestations of psoriasis from mild to severe. In the past, severe psoriasis was an incredibly difficult skin condition to manage with a great impact on self-esteem and quality of life. However, there are now very powerful psoriasis medications that are safe and work well. If you have severe psoriasis- we recommend that you find a dermatologist near you. (Look for a board-certified dermatologist at AAD.org)
If you have mild psoriasis and you want to treat psoriasis at home, read on to learn more about psoriasis and some of the remedies available to ease this inflammatory skin condition.
What is the Main Cause of Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is caused when something triggers the immune system. We don’t know exactly what causes this immune response, but stress, injury, certain medications and infections like strep throat can trigger it.
It may be possible that genetics also plays a role in psoriasis, but scientists have not been able to find any specific genes that cause psoriasis - and you may get it even if you do not have a family history.
There are seven different types of psoriasis, the most common of which is plaque psoriasis (also known as psoriasis vulgaris), which affects approximately 80-90% of people with psoriasis.
What’s the Difference Between Psoriasis and Eczema?
As mentioned, there are different kinds of psoriasis, but in general, psoriasis is a thick plaque that feels raised on the skin. The skin over the plaque is usually light pink and covered with silver scales.
Eczema, on the other hand, is usually a flat patch of skin that starts out dry and itchy. It can turn pink and become scaled, but the scales are not as thick as those seen in psoriasis. The best way to tell the difference in eczema versus psoriasis is where on the body it is located.
Psoriasis more commonly appears on the extensor part (the bony part) of the knees or elbows, while eczema appears in the crease behind the knees or elbows. Psoriasis is also common on the face, scalp and lower back. Eczema tends to appear behind the ears, on top of the hands or wrists, or around the ankles.
Does Diet Help Psoriasis?
Diet can absolutely have an impact on the appearance of your skin, and therefore the severity of your psoriasis. Anti-inflammatory foods like salmon, flaxseed oil and argan oil are ideal. The oils in salmon and flaxseed oil (particularly omega 3 fatty acids) are well-known to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Argan oil has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that benefit the skin and aid wound healing.
Are There Any Home Remedies for Psoriasis?
If you search the internet, you’ll likely find dozens of examples of home remedies to ‘treat’ psoriasis, but unfortunately, none of them work. Psoriasis is a skin disease of the immune system, so it requires more targeted treatments with medicated psoriasis creams, psoriasis cleansers, or prescription medications.
However, milk compresses might help to ease the itch, and oils like argan oil and safflower oil can help dryness, but you need a psoriasis medication to actually treat psoriasis.
There are so many new, effective prescription medications available for psoriasis including oral medications, injectable medications, and topical psoriasis creams with steroids or Vitamin D. We highly recommend that you see your dermatologist.
What are the Best Skin Care Products to Use for Psoriasis?
It is essential to follow your dermatologist’s recommendation on the best medications to use for your psoriasis. However, for dermatologist recommendations for psoriasis skincare such as psoriasis cleansers, psoriasis moisturizers, and psoriasis creams read more in our Psoriasis Skin Care Routine blog.