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
Yoga has helped me a lot in countering my psoriasis symptoms. It eases stress, helps with mobility and can reduce your weight. If you take only one thing from yoga, I hope it’s the deep breathing exercises!
You can try either over the counter or prescription strength antihistamines. Many people get sleepy when taking antihistamines so they’re great if your itching keeps you awake at night!
If you’re worried about getting sleepy during the day, you can try the daytime formula.
The key is trying things until you find what works best for you!