In part 1 of this 3-part series on how to heal psoriasis naturally, you learned the hidden cause of psoriasis and other autoimmune disorders. In part 2, you discovered how to heal leaky gut syndrome, so you could start healing your psoriasis from the inside out.
In part 3, we will explore some of the best topical natural remedies for psoriasis, so you can ease the itch and discomfort while you wait for your body to respond to your new healing treatment plan.
10 Natural Remedies for Psoriasis
1) Coconut Oil
It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with coconut oil. I use it for just about everything. It’s a great moisturizer, shaving lotion, hair conditioner, and personal lubricant. (Plus, oil pulling helped heal my receding gums when my dentist told me nothing would.)
Raw, unrefined coconut oil contains caprylic acid, lauric acid, and capric acid, all of which have been shown to be antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory.
According to a study published in Dermatitis, coconut oil is effective for atopic dermatitis.
To use coconut oil, dab a small amount on your skin as you would any moisturizer. You can also use coconut oil as a scalp treatment to help loosen psoriasis scales.
Another study, this one published in Pharmaceutical Biology, showed that virgin coconut oil offers “anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain-relieving), and antipyretic (fever-reducing) properties.”
If you’ve had psoriasis for any length of time, you’ve probably already tried oatmeal. However, I’d like to go a step further and suggest that you only use gluten-free oats (organic if possible).
One, gluten can aggravate psoriasis by worsening inflammation, even if it is only used topically. Two, organically-grown oats are far less likely to contain pesticides that could worsen your autoimmune disease over time.
Another good thing about oatmeal for psoriasis is the fact that it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals (selenium, manganese, and iron), which help nourish and heal your damaged skin.
To stop itchiness and discomfort, place a half-cup of dry oats into a small cloth bag (or one leg of a pair of pantyhose you no longer want to wear), knot it at the top, and place the packet into a warm bath.
3) Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a strong anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antiseptic essential oil. It helps exfoliate dry and flaky skin, reduces itching and burning, soothes redness, and helps control the production of excess skin cells.
However, it is important to note that tea tree oil should never be used on its own (undiluted).
You do not want to burn your skin! That said, it is recommended that you take 10 parts olive oil and 1 part tea tree oil and dab it on the affected areas with organic cotton balls.
If you experience anything more than a tingle, add more of the carrier oil. If it still bothers you, skip this natural remedy. There are plenty of others you can use.
Here is an interesting tidbit of information about tea tree oil’s ability to treat psoriasis:
In a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, tea tree oil reduces histamine-induced skin inflammation.
Now, psoriasis is not a histamine-related condition. As we’ve discussed before, it is an autoimmune disease.
However, another study, this one published in Acta Dermato-Venereologica, suggests that “skin mast cells in active psoriasis are functionally hyperreactive.”
So, this makes tea tree oil a potentially twofold natural healing method for psoriasis sufferers due to its anti-inflammatory and histamine-inhibiting abilities.
If you’re not sure about using the essential oil directly (even mixed with a carrier oil), try bathing with tea tree castile soap. Test a small patch of skin first, and, if you’re not sensitive to it, use it as a body wash to help treat that annoying itching and burning feeling.
- Bonus: African Black Soap
In several forums on treating psoriasis, African Black Soap has been mentioned a few times, so I thought it would be worth including here. I can’t find any scientific evidence to back these claims, but if you’re curious, here’s a link where you can try it for yourself.
4) Bentonite Clay
According to Dr. Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, bentonite clay can be an effective remedy in the natural treatment of psoriasis. This clay, when used topically, can help detoxify your body and defend against illness.
Bentonite clay can be combined with warm water and left to dry on the skin as a mask. This will cause the clay to bind to bacteria and toxins that live both on the surface of your skin and within your pores.
Moreover, this soothing clay has been shown to calm skin infections, speed wound healing time, and act as an antibiotic when applied topically.
5) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent natural anti-itch remedy if used properly. Like tea tree oil, do not use apple cider vinegar on your skin without diluting it.
You could further irritate and even damage your skin.
For best results, mix one part apple cider vinegar to three parts water. Dab the mixture onto the affected areas, and leave it on for no more than 10 minutes. Then, rinse it off.
Alternatively, you can use an apple cider vinegar compress. Make a solution of one part apple cider vinegar to three parts tepid water. Soak a clean, white washcloth into the solution and apply the compress to the affected area(s) for one minute.
For best results, use raw, organic apple cider vinegar. If you experience anything more than a mild tingling/burning sensation, increase the amount of water or decrease the amount of vinegar.
If it still bothers you, move on to another remedy.
6) Baking Soda
Baking soda offers quick, soothing relief for itchy psoriasis flares. Its anti-fungal properties may also help increase its effectiveness while keeping your skin clean.
For best results, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with a small amount of tepid water to make a paste, and apply it to the affected areas. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it off.
7) Dead Sea Salt
Dead Sea salt contains healing minerals such bromide, calcium, iodine, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfur, and zinc. For best results, pour a cup of dead sea salt into a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes (or as long as is comfortable for you).
A special note on sulfur: Topical products containing sulfur have been shown to be effective in penetrating thickened skin and supporting skin balance through a process called oxidation. This encourages the exfoliation process and helps normalize your skin’s pH.
If you are allergic to sulfur or sulfa products, do not use Dead Sea salt, Epsom salt, or charcoal.
Many doctors recommend sunlight as a natural healing tool for psoriasis. In order to help clear your psoriasis and protect your skin, sun exposure needs to be spread out over time.
Once you realize something as simple as sunlight can help, it may be tempting to strip to your undies, grab a lawn chair, and bake in the backyard.
it is not a good idea to suddenly expose yourself to hours of sunlight in an attempt to “cure” your psoriasis all at once.
As a matter of fact, if get a sunburn, this can cause an injury that starts a new plaque growth at the site of that injury. Not good.
Instead, expose your skin to the sun gradually, starting with 5 minutes a day, increasing to 10, 15, and then 20. Limit yourself to 20 minutes of direct, unprotected sunlight exposure a day.
You also have the option of using UVB light from an artificial light source, as Dr. Mercola explains in this article.
According to his article, artificial UVB light helps kill off the activated T cells (immune cells) in your skin. This helps slow cell turnover and reduces scaling and inflammation.
As with the sun, UVB light exposure should be gradual and controlled.
9) Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a BIG ONE for a few reasons.
One, millions of people are deficient in this vitamin, and many of those people struggle with one or more chronic diseases. I highly recommend asking your doctor to include a vitamin D test the next time you go for bloodwork.
According to Dr. Amy Myers, immune system and gut health expert, there is a greater prevalence of autoimmune disease (as well as a greater rate of disease progression) among individuals who are deficient in vitamin D.
Having been severely vitamin D deficient myself, I can attest to this personally. About 10 years ago, a doctor told me I had the lowest levels of vitamin D she’d ever seen. I was also incredibly sick. Vitamin D supplementation was one of the things that essentially saved my life.
Studies have linked vitamin D deficiency with lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type I diabetes.
Talk with your doctor. You may only need a vitamin D3 oral supplement to be well on your way to significantly reducing your psoriasis outbreaks!
10) Witch Hazel
Witch hazel has been used for centuries for a wide variety of ailments. It is especially well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Due to this, witch hazel may help reduce itching, pain, redness, and scarring caused by psoriasis.
Important note about witch hazel: When choosing a brand, look for one that contains benzoic acid in place of alcohol, as alcohol can dry the skin and worsen symptoms.
To use witch hazel for psoriasis, pour some onto a gauze pad or small washcloth and press gently into the affected area(s). No need to rinse.
Psoriasis is one of the few autoimmune diseases that manifests itself directly onto the skin. These patches, while completely harmless and non-transferable to others, can cause people who don’t understand to keep their distance.
You don’t have to live like that anymore.
I hope this 3-part series helped, and that you’re now on the right track to healing your psoriasis so it no longer gets in the way of your life!