Top Natural Treatments for Psoriasis
Moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis affects approximately 7.5 million Americans. Plaque psoriasis can be itchy, uncomfortable, and embarrassing to live with. Though not contagious, confusion about the patches on your skin can make social and work situations difficult as you feel the need to explain over and over about your condition.
Under ordinary circumstances, your skin cells go through a month-long life cycle. New cells are formed deep within your skin over a period of approximately 28-30 days. In a person with psoriasis, however, the entire skin cell replacement process happens in a matter of days, causing a build-up of scaly patches and plaques.
While conventional drug treatments such as Enbrel and Humira can put psoriasis into remission temporarily, they do nothing to treat the underlying cause disease, which is a sensitized immune system. Furthermore, suppressing your immune system for long periods of time can do serious damage to your health.
Top Natural Treatments for Psoriasis
1. Dietary Changes
A highly-processed diet can make your psoriasis worse as it encourages inflammation. The best diet for psoriasis is an anti-inflammatory diet of organic vegetables, fruits, flax seed, beans, poultry, fish, garlic, onions, coconut oil, and butter.
Studies have shown that psoriasis sufferers are often low in natural stores of carotenoids. Carotenoids are vitamin A pro-vitamins that have antioxidant properties. Adding carotenoid-rich foods such as carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, and mangoes can help ease plaque psoriasis symptoms.
Probiotic-rich foods like organic yogurt, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, and fermented vegetables can also ease the inflammatory symptoms of this autoimmune skin disease.
In addition, many psoriasis sufferers have found their condition is triggered by gluten intolerance; an inability to digest the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. A gluten free diet can decrease inflammation and ease sensitized immune response.
Plaque psoriasis is an autoimmune disease and autoimmune disease can often be traced back to poor gut health. Probiotics are live, active cultures that help strengthen gut integrity, improve digestion, decrease inflammation, and crowd out bad bacteria. Since most popular store-bought probiotics contain little-to-no active cultures and are loaded with unnecessary additives, it’s important to select a high-quality probiotic with at least 10 billion colony forming units. Studies have shown that 1-3 months of daily probiotic usage can put psoriasis into remission and prevent recurrence.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar with “the mother” (live, probiotic cultures) is an excellent natural remedy for psoriasis. Try drinking one to two teaspoons mixed in water before each meal every day. You can also use ACV on your skin either in a bath or directly on the psoriasis plaques. Apple cider vinegar restores the pH balance of your skin while cooling inflammation and encouraging moisture retention.
4. Sunlight Therapy
The UVA and UVB rays of natural sunlight have been shown to heal plaque psoriasis naturally. Start with 5-10 minutes of noontime sun exposure daily, taking care to use a natural sunscreen on the rest of your skin to avoid sunburn. Each day, increase your exposure time by 30 seconds as your skin tolerates it. Don’t go over 20 minutes total sun exposure max to avoid sun damage (especially if you have very light skin).
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic in the United States and Canada. It is believed to one of the top contributors to the development of autoimmune disease. Research has shown that those with a genetic predisposition for autoimmune disease are likely to experience autoimmunity with a corresponding vitamin D deficiency.
It is important to get tested for vitamin D deficiency to find out how much you should add to your diet. However, most naturopathic and osteopathic physicians recommend a dosage of 2,000-5,000 IUs per day to optimize levels.
6. Coconut Oil
Organic coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which has strong antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Use it directly on your skin after a bath or shower to moisturize and heal.
7. Dead Sea Salts
The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordering Jordan in the Middle East. The waters of the Dead Sea have an extremely high salt and mineral content. It contains bromide, potassium, calcium, zinc, and many more and has strong detoxifying properties. Taking 3-4 baths in Dead Sea Salts for 20 minutes each time can work wonders in healing your damaged skin and preventing new plaques from forming.
If you have moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis, you have safer, more effective options in treating it than conventional drugs. These natural treatments can help you ease the pain, itch, and embarrassment of psoriasis so you can lead a healthier more productive life.