The National Psoriasis Foundation notes that 70 to 90 percent of people with psoriasis experience itching as a primary symptom. Any condition that causes maddening discomfort for millions of people will naturally give rise to dozens of remedies. Some of these solutions are pricy, more are ineffective and a few aren’t even good for you at all. We at Equilac feel that it makes sense to let nature lead the way: The following five natural approaches will help soothe your itchy skin as you work toward healing the underlying disorder.
Relieving the dryness and scaling of psoriasis should be the first step in your daily comfort regimen. If you live in a particularly dry climate, you may want to get a humidifier for your home or office. You can also apply whichever moisturizer makes you feel good, but if you don’t have a favorite, the National Psoriasis Foundation reminds you that olive oil or shortening can be just as effective at preserving your skin's natural moisture. It’s also important to drink plenty of water so your skin will stay hydrated from the inside.
In moderate amounts, direct sunlight is beneficial to your lesions, according to the World Health Organization. Being outdoors also contributes to your emotional wellbeing and encourages you to stay active. You can simulate sunlight, if you live in a darker northern region, by using a physician-approved phototherapy light. It’s important to note that the National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Board does not recommend going to tanning parlors in order to get UVB radiation. The spectrum of light provided by tanning beds varies unpredictably by manufacturer, and some common wavelengths can actually be damaging to your skin. If you do spend time outdoors, be sure to keep close track of your exposure and don’t get overheated. (See next tip.)
3. Keep Cool
While the light rays in sunshine are beneficial, you should protect yourself from getting overheated. Cool baths or showers are widely recommended as an effective therapy for itching psoriasis lesions; you may have to start with tepid water and turn the temperature gradually cooler. Ordinary soap can be drying to the skin, so it's important to use a moisturizing body wash or soak in a soothing Epsom salt solution. Avoid scrubbing your skin while you’re in the shower, since friction can aggravate inflammation. Likewise, when you come out it’s best to let your body air-dry, instead of rubbing yourself down with a towel. A hair dryer on its “cool” setting can speed up that process. Ice packs can also be helpful to numb the nerve endings in problem locations.
Medical research published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology support the value of topical capsaicin for psoriasis treatment. This natural chemical is the component in red peppers that makes them feel hot on your tongue, and its action on your nerve endings can soothe the itching and pain of psoriasis lesions. When you first apply a capsaicin cream, it may feel fiery on your skin, but the researchers note that its long-term effect is to reduce itching, pain, and inflammation.
5. Aloe Vera
A rigorously conducted study published in Tropical Medicine and International Health reports that 83 percent of psoriasis patients treated with aloe vera cream reported significant clearing of psoriasis plaques. The clear gel inside this cactus-like plant has been used as a skin remedy by cultures around the world for centuries. Its soothing properties, which have no side effects, have been found to reduce itching, heal burns and wounds, decrease inflammation and prevent scarring.
While you’re taking steps to improve your daily comfort, it’s essential to also move towards long-term relief. True healing from this complex auto-immune disorder begins from within, and Equilac dietary supplements offer a valuable contribution to your wellness journey.