Beware of phony psoriasis treatments that seem too good to be true. Some of the ways that you can spot these types of products are by looking at their return policy and seeing if there is deceptive wording or if the company has had complaints about not honoring their return policy with places like the Better Business Bureau.
Another way to spot phony products is in their ingredients. Zinc is a topical treatment that offers some relief for psoriasis sufferers. However, zinc as an oral supplement has not been shown to help with psoriasis symptoms.
Neem Oil is another ingredient that can commonly be found in over the counter psoriasis treatments. Neem Oil is found in many cosmetics and even some insecticides. While it may make plaques appear to look better, it has not been shown to have any positive effect on psoriasis symptoms.
If you’re considering a product and concerned that it’s a scam, pick up the phone. Takeshita suggested talking to your doctor about possible new treatments. If you suspect you’ve been prey to a bogus psoriasis treatment, you can report it to the health care section of your state attorney general’s office for investigation. According to Joe Peters, a spokesman for the New Jersey Attorney General’s office, “the complaints surrounding these products usually include allegations of misrepresentations surrounding a so-called free trial offer, deceptive or useless return policies, unauthorized charges, refusal to accept returns or refund money, and issues with efficacy, such as the product not working as advertised.”
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on the current moment, as it is, with no judgment.
Try this in a seated position similar to how you would try to meditate. Focus on what is happening around you.
Your mind will wander away from the current moment from time to time. When it does, realize that it has wandered away and bring it back to the present.
Don’t get mad at yourself if it keeps happening. Just keep bringing it back to the present.
Mindfulness is designed to change the body’s natural reaction to conditioned responses. It has been shown to assist in lowering pain and has a calming effect on the body.
Psoriasis sufferers can expect to see improvements in pain, itching, and stress.
Meditation is very similar to Mindfulness. With meditation, you focus on your breathing to bring you back to the present.
In a seated position, focus on your breath going in and out. If your mind wanders, slowly bring your concentration back to your next breath.
If your mind keeps wandering just keep bringing it back with your next breath. As you practice this more and more, you’ll get better at keeping yourself in the moment.
Try this 5 minute guided breathing exercise:
Meditation has the same effect on psoriasis sufferers as mindfulness. Many people see improvements in pain, less itching, less stress and fewer breakouts.
Acupressure is an Eastern therapy that has been used for thousands of years in China and other Eastern cultures. It is the process of applying pressure to specific parts of the body in order to relieve pain, stress and increase blood flow.
It is essentially acupuncture without the needles and believed to focus the body’s inner energy.
Western doctors believe that these pressure points simply release endorphins and other chemicals that occur naturally in the body, but most still believe that it is effective.
Sessions last about an hour and it could take several sessions to get the full effects of acupressure.
One of the best parts of acupressure is that there are no real side effects, so feel free to try it if you’re interested. It can only help.
Acupuncture is another Eastern therapy that is similar to acupressure but uses needles to stimulate various points in the body.
Western medicine agrees that acupuncture helps with perceived pain, but they cannot agree if it helps with other types of illnesses. For those of us that have pain from psoriatic arthritis, it’s definitely worth a shot.
Just be sure that you go to a reputable acupuncture clinic as there is a chance for infection and other side effects if done improperly.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils to enhance psychological and physical well-being.
As an alternative medicine, aromatherapy is starting to gain traction in the U.S. and other Western countries.
It’s believed to assist with pain relief, mood enhancement and increased cognitive function. The stress relief alone can have positive effects on psoriasis.
Spa therapy is normally associated with water therapy but can include mud baths and a wide variety of other treatments.
The combination of minerals and warm water that most often come with spa therapy can help relieve the itching of psoriasis and loosen the plaques that come with psoriasis.
Stiff, scarred skin can also benefit from spa therapy.
Massage therapy is a great way to counter the effects of psoriasis.
It relieves stress and osteoarthritis pain. Just the removal of these two things can greatly improve the quality of life for psoriasis sufferers.
By trying these alternative psoriasis therapies, you may be able to get away from the prescription medicines and get back to natural ways to relieve your symptoms. You can also look into phototherapy to treat your psoriasis as another way to ease symptoms and flare-ups.
Many people find the itching associated with psoriasis to be worse than any other symptom. This article covers how to get rid of the itch of psoriasis and find some relief!
Somewhere between 70 and 90% of all psoriasis patients suffer from itching. You’re not alone, my psoriasis sometimes itches but I keep it in check with over the counter cream. Prior to that it would itch pretty much non stop.
The Effect of Psoriasis Itching
The itching isn’t only a minor side effect! It stops people from sleeping, reduces the overall quality of life and scratching only irritates the area more and can even lead to infection.
Itching in the armpit, groin, backside and other areas can be really embarrassing. For some people, it’s one of the leading reasons for embarrassment in public areas.
This embarrassment leads to stress, which aggravates both psoriasis and itching which in turn just makes the embarrassment even greater. It can become a vicious cycle.
Stopping the Itch
There are a number of over the counter and prescription medications that can help with itching. You can also try homeopathic cures.
Stopping scratching is one of the most important ways you can limit the itching. It can be difficult but it’s really something we need to strive for. If you have a combination burning and itching, like I do, it can be even worse.
While scratching can help the itching feel better in the short term, in the long term it only makes the symptoms worse.
Keeping your skin moisturized can help with the itching and speed healing. Many people use thick petroleum-based moisturizers and cooking oil or even shortening.
Many people are like me and can’t simply slather the area with greasy moisturizers. For those people, I suggest a moisturizer that absorbs well and is purposely designed for psoriasis.
Remove the Scales
Softening and removing the scales can greatly lessen the itching effect. Creams with Salicylic acid do a good job of loosening the scales. Creams that have lactic acid or urea in them are also a good option.
Cold and Warm Water Can Help
Cold water can be soothing, especially if your psoriasis is in a difficult area to reach like your back. Others have good luck with warm (or even hot) water. Just do what works for you and try to keep hot showers or soaking for a limited amount of time.
Apple Cider Vinegar Works
For hands and feet, you can soak in straight apple cider vinegar. It works well but make sure you don’t soak for too long and don’t have any cracks in your skin…it does not feel good!
You can dilute the apple cider vinegar and put it on your scalp. It’s suggested that you don’t keep the vinegar on your scalp for more than 10 minutes at a time and only a couple times a week. This will keep it from drying out the rest of your scalp.
Capsaicin is the ingredient in chili peppers that causes the heat. You can find over the counter creams that contain capsaicin. The application of these creams can block the nerves that transmit pain signals to the brain.
Try Plastic Wrap
Wrapping an area with plastic wrap after you apply a cream can help keep the cream in place. This is a really good method to use at night.
Make sure your doctor approves this before you do it with any prescription meds.
Acupuncture Can Help
Psoriasis itching has shown to be very responsive to acupuncture. Holistic medicine like acupuncture isn’t always accepted by the mainstream medical community, but it very often has benefits that are hard to explain.
Acupuncture can also help stop the pain, and limit stress!
Yoga for psoriasis has been shown to help some people keep their outbreaks in check.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone since yoga combines stretching, deep breathing, strengthening exercises and meditation all into one activity.
The end result for many people that both suffer from psoriasis and do yoga is increased strength and mobility, weight loss, lower stress levels and more blood flow to the skin. All of these are things that can limit the severity of psoriasis outbreaks and flare-ups.
Where do you find a yoga teacher to help you explore yoga for psoriasis?
This is a question that many people have. If you’re not really familiar with yoga as a form of medical treatment then it can be difficult to find a teacher that specializes in that field.
The Yoga Alliance Directory is one place to find a teacher in your area. YouTube and other videos are also a great way to get professional instruction in your own home.
Some places that may provide pain focused yoga classes in your area are hospitals, the YMCA, and local medical centers.
How long will you have to dedicate to yoga a day?
Somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes a day seems to be recommended by most people. More hardcore yoga instructors recommend going for longer to see the most benefit.
I would suggest not looking at it as “How long do I have to do this for?” but instead see it as getting to relax for 15-30 minutes at a time. As you learn to focus on yourself and ease your stress and tension, yoga becomes very relaxing and enjoyable for most people.
Where should you start if you’re new to yoga?
Don’t let some of the crazy yoga moves you’ve seen people doing in the past intimidate you.
You don’t ever have to do those unless you decide it’s something that you want to do.
You can get the full stress relieving and flexibility benefits from yoga by just doing simple exercises.
Deep breathing exercises are a great place to begin. These breathing exercises relieve stress and are one of the keys to entering a meditative state.
You can begin by finding a quiet place. Then sit on the floor with your legs crossed, back upright, and arms relaxed on your knees. Breathe in as deeply as you can, pause for a second, and exhale all of the air out of your lungs.
Do this for 5-10 minutes. If you’re finding that your mind won’t calm down or you can’t relax then you can try this. Think to yourself “my body is relaxing” as you inhale. As you exhale think “my body is relaxed.”
I find talking to myself like that really helps me relax and is one of the best yoga techniques for psoriasis relief.
Child’s Pose is another relaxation pose. It also stretches and lengthens the spine which can help relieve back pain.
Start by sitting back on your heels. Then, lean forward until your torso is on your thighs and forehead touches the floor.
From here, lay your arms along your sides and breath evenly, feeling your spine and lower back release and any tension washing away.
You can stay in this pose for up to several minutes. It’s normally used as a counter for backbend style stretching.
Just going online will let you quickly find some poses that you can try at home.
Just be sure that you’re not going to aggravate any preexisting injuries by doing yoga for psoriasis.
With any exercise routine, it’s always best to talk to your doctor before trying this for the first time.
I don’t like to say that yoga can cure psoriasis since that’s just not true. What yoga for psoriasis can do is drastically increase your mobility and help lessen the symptoms you experience.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Like most things, this will take some time before you see and changes to your psoriasis. Just stick with it and you should see results from incorporating yoga into your life.
On the surface, each of these changes is easy. I only say that they can also be difficult because changing the way that we live is easier said than done.
Don’t let that get you down! With some self-control and support, anyone can make these changes.
Lifestyle Changes You Can Make To Manage Psoriasis Flare-Ups
Avoiding stress can go a long way to manage psoriasis symptoms.
Easier said than done huh? It can be hard, but if you find ways to reduce your stress, then you’re less likely to have psoriasis flare-ups.
Doing yoga for 10-15 minutes a day or taking time out of your busy life to listen to relaxing music are both great ways to help yourself relax and relieve stress.
You can even try meditation or tai chi.
Exercise is very important in helping to manage psoriasis and keep flare-ups at bay. It also helps those of us with psoriatic arthritis from getting stiff and losing mobility.
Exercise increases blood flow to the skin and reduces your weight, risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This is especially important for psoriasis sufferers as we’re at an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Your exercises don’t even have to be that intense to be beneficial. Walk around when commercials come on, stand up at your desk for 5 minutes every hour or take the stairs rather than the elevator.
The key is to move more than you are right now. Do a little more each day and you’ll start seeing results in more ways than just decreased flare-ups.
Several studies have been done that show a direct link between smoking and the occurrences of psoriasis flare-ups. Smokers are also more likely to have psoriasis show up in the first place.
It isn’t completely clear what it is in cigarettes that amplifies psoriasis symptoms, but smoking weakens the immune system and alters cell growth. Both of which are not good for psoriasis patients.
Limit Your Drinking
Consuming alcohol is a contributing factor in more frequent flare-ups and also increases the intensity of psoriasis symptoms. Anything more than one drink a day is probably going to have negative effects on your attempts to manage psoriasis symptoms.
Alcohol can cause dry skin and attack the body’s immune system. It also adds a ton of empty calories to your diet that can quickly lead to weight gain.
Excessive drinking also makes many oral medications less effective. This means that other types of medications you may be taking for your psoriasis could not work as well, or at all!
You also need to be careful because drinking can damage your liver, a pretty common side of effect of some medications prescribed for psoriasis.
Change Your Diet
This is the most difficult for me! I quit smoking, quit drinking and work out pretty regularly, but changing what I eat is always a struggle for me.
Increased weight has been found to directly correspond to the severity of psoriasis symptoms and the frequency of outbreaks. A balanced diet is the number one thing that can keep your weight down.
Certain foods can increase inflammation in the body. Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease so avoiding these can help a lot. Stay away from the following foods if you can:
Fatty Red Meats (the best kind!)
Foods that reduce inflammation are flax seeds, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, fruits, and vegetables. Adding them to your diet in place of other things that cause inflammation can help a lot.
Gluten-free diets also help manage psoriasis symptoms in about 25% of cases. There seems to be a connection between Celiac disease and the genetic pathway that leads to psoriasis. It could be worth a try if nothing else seems to be working.
Many of these lifestyle choices feed off of one another in a negative way and should be avoided if possible. It’s just something that you and I need to do in order to manage our psoriasis.
By making these changes in your life, and combining them with the best psoriasis cream on the market, you can drastically decrease the number and severity of your psoriasis flare-ups.
As someone with psoriasis, I can personally attest to the physical and psychological effect that it has on you.
These home remedies are some things that you can try to help treat your psoriasis when it flares up.
Try exposing your psoriasis to 5-10 minutes of direct sunlight per day. The Sun’s UVB rays have been proven to help with psoriasis symptoms.
Don’t think using a tanning bed is a good substitute. They produce mostly UVA rays, which increase skin damage and can cause psoriasis symptoms to get even worse.
Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the body and boost the immune system.
Take fish oil pills as recommended by the manufacturer.
Soaking in water is a great way to help soothe inflamed skin and also helps soften and loosen up the plaques that many of deal with.
I find that taking a warm (not hot) shower works best for me, but swimming and taking a bath are also good options. After drying off, make sure you put a moisturizer on the area that’s affected. This replaces the moisture in the skin that’s lost while you’re soaking.
Use Oils or Salts in Your Bath
Adding Epsom Salt to your bath can help bring down the swelling you may be experiencing.
The addition of some olive oil, mineral oil or vegetable oil to your bath can help loosen the plaques even more than just taking a bath alone.
Warm olive oil can also be used to loosen plaques on your scalp. Just rub it in before shampooing to help break them free.
Stop the Itching With Baking Soda
Add 1 cup of baking soda to 2 gallons of water. Applying this solution can help limit any itching. I haven’t had any luck with this, but quite a few others seem to find that it works for them.
Over the counter cortisone cream can sometimes help with itching. Make sure the cream contains 1% cortisone and apply it as directed on the package.
It’s said to be especially helpful in relieving the itching of facial psoriasis.
One study found that adding probiotics to your diet can help with psoriasis symptoms.
It found that having healthy bacteria in your body can boost the immune system, thus helping to manage psoriasis.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has a lot of different uses when it comes to home remedies and this is another one. Add one cup of apple cider vinegar to one gallon of water and soak the area that’s affected.
For psoriasis of the nails, you can pour it directly into a bowl and soak your hands or feet.
Alternatively, you could soak a cloth and apply the solution to your psoriasis. This should help alleviate some of the inflammation. It can also help prevent an infection if you have any broken skin.
Aloe is another home remedy that has a ton of uses. It’s been used for the treatment of burns and other skin injuries for centuries.
You can simply buy pure aloe in a bottle and apply it as needed. It should help with itching and prevent cracking.
Salicylic acid is one of the common ingredients in over the counter psoriasis treatments.
Shampoos, creams, and ointments with salicylic acid in them will prevent itching and help loosen any plaques.
There are a lot of home remedies for psoriasis that can help those of us that suffer from it. Some are better than others, and none of them work for everybody.
The one thing that really helps me is this final home remedy tip.
Over the counter moisturizers can help immensely in the treatment of psoriasis.
Keeping the skin moisturized prevents cracking and bleeding. It also helps prevent inflammation and can make plaques less noticeable.
People suggest very heavy moisturizers a lot when talking about psoriasis. They can work but having my hands covered (where my psoriasis is) in thick grease just isn’t something I can do. I know a lot of people have similar problems due to the location of their psoriasis.