Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition and autoimmune disorder that causes red, crusty, and flaky patches of skin covered with silvery scales. These patches may be sore and itchy. They can appear anywhere on the body but typically occur on the palms, soles of the feet, legs, face, knees, elbows, scalp, and lower back. More than 8 million Americans suffer from psoriasis. There are psoriasis natural treatment options. Symptoms can be mild, severe, or intermittent. Apart from the red patches, the symptoms of psoriasis may include dry, cracked skin that bleeds, thickened or ridged nails, burning, and swollen or stiff joints.
There are several different types of psoriasis, including:
Plaque psoriasis, the most common form
Nail psoriasis, which affects the finger and toe nails
Inverse psoriasis, which causes smooth patches on the skin folds of the breasts, buttocks, and groin
Guttate psoriasis, which primarily affects young children and is usually triggered by a bacterial infection
Psoriatic arthritis, which causes painful joints
Pustular psoriasis, which is a rare form of the disease that causes pus-filled lesions
Erythrodermic psoriasis, which is the least common type of psoriasis that covers the entire body in a red, peeling rash
Underlying Causes and Triggers of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is caused by an increase of skin cells. Normally, skin cells are replaced every 3 to 4 weeks. For people with psoriasis, however, this process only takes 3 to 7 days, which results in a buildup of skin cells. Psoriasis is not very well understood, but experts believe it may be related to a problem with the immune system. In people with psoriasis, the immune system may mistakenly attack healthy skin cells. Why this rapid regeneration of skin cells occurs is unknown. However, experts believe both genetics and environmental factors may play a role in this disease. Anyone can develop psoriasis. However, a family history of psoriasis can increase your risk, particularly if both parents have it.
If you’re predisposed to psoriasis, you may be asymptomatic until an environmental factor triggers the disease.
Some common triggers include:
Cold, dry weather
Fungal or bacterial infection
Heavy alcohol consumption
Medication use, including high blood pressure medication, antimalarial drugs, and lithium
Rapid withdrawal of corticosteroids
Psoriasis Natural Treatments
There is no cure for psoriasis. However, psoriasis natural treatment options exist to provide relief from symptoms and improve the appearance of the skin. Systemic medicines, topical treatments, and phototherapy are commonly used with varying success. Every case is unique, though, and no one method works for every patient.
Natural remedies and home treatments can relieve symptoms when these traditional treatments are ineffective or when you’re looking for a more natural path forward.
Medical Cannabis and CBD Topicals
Medical cannabis is a promising natural treatment option for psoriasis. Studies show that it may slow the progression of skin cell growth, as well as reduce the severity of inflammation in autoimmune disorders. Further, THC is often used to control chronic pain as well as stress, which go hand-in-hand with psoriasis.
Patients with psoriasis are at an increased risk of mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression, which medical cannabis is approved to treat in many states as well.
If you’re interested in trying medical cannabis, you’ll need a medical marijuana card first. Just book an appointment with Heally, and we’ll connect you with a doctor in your state to start the application process.
If psoriasis isn’t a qualifying condition for medical cannabis in your state, consider CBD products, which are legal and available nationwide. Browse the Heally marketplace to check out CBD topicals that may help relieve your symptoms.
The Papa & Barkley CBD Hemp Pain Balm is made from all-natural ingredients with antibacterial and soothing properties. Once applied, an activated warmth is followed by a cooling sensation to relieve aches and pains.
Dip into a hot CBD bath with Mary’s Jane Lavender Epsom Soak. This CBD product contains natural anti-inflammatories and swelling reducers to relieve skin pain and promote wellness.
Extracts from the aloe vera plant can bring relief from skin conditions like psoriasis. It’s known to reduce skin inflammation, itching, redness, and even scaling. In one study, the application of an aloe cream resulted in a significant clearing of psoriatic plaques. Apply the cream several times a day for at least a month to see results or take an oral tablet.
Apart from an oral aloe tablet, consider taking other dietary supplements to ease psoriasis symptoms from the inside out. Omega-3s, vitamin D, Oregon grape, primrose oil, and milk thistle have shown to reduce mild symptoms.
Environmental factors can trigger and worsen your symptoms. Avoiding these triggers can keep your symptoms at bay. For example, prevent dry skin by moisturizing regularly and using a humidifier, particularly during the colder months of the year. If fragrances aggravate your condition, avoid soaps, dyes, detergents, and other chemicals that may inflame psoriasis. Better yet, make natural skin products at home with these easy DIY recipes.
Reducing your consumption of alcohol, and quitting smoking, can also reduce symptoms.
Eliminating or reducing foods that are known to cause inflammation may help reduce the severity and frequency of your symptoms. Red meat, saturated fats, carbs, and refined sugars may all trigger flare-ups and should be avoided.
On the other hand, you should focus on eating a diet full of foods that reduce inflammation, including seeds, nuts, and cold water fish. Incorporate more turmeric into your diet as well, since it’s been found to help minimize flare-ups.
Interested in more natural remedies for psoriasis? Book an appointment to talk to an integrative health doctor online.
Interested in using cannabis as an alternative treatment? Get your cannabis card with a licensed physician.