Psoriasis is an inflammatory disorder of skin. There are numerous types of psoriasis and the symptoms vary from mild to severe, depending on the type.
Some general symptoms for the most common type, plaque psoriasis, include thickened patches or plaques of red, inflamed skin often covered with loose, silvery scales. These patches may be itchy and painful and crack and bleed. The plaques may grow together creating large areas of irritated skin.
Click here to read and learn more about psoriasis
There is no cure for psoriasis. While skin plaques may come and go, psoriasis is always there.
As a skin care company we are not trying to treat the disease, the best we can hope for is to help ease the inflammation and discomfort associated with psoriasis. I wish I could recommend a product that I know would help--unfortunately, there is no one single answer to help psoriasis, not everything works for everyone and what works well for one person might be ineffective for someone else.
While natural skin care will not cure psoriasis, the following products and information may help ease the discomfort and improve the appearance of skin for some people.
MOISTURIZE THE SKIN
One of the most common triggers of a psoriasis outbreak is dry skin. Skin affected by psoriasis is typically very dry and needs moisture—especially in the cold weather.
Moisturizers will not heal psoriasis, but keeping skin well lubricated on a daily basis can be an easy and effective way to help reduce dryness, itching, inflammation and scaling and encourage healing. Dry skin can also lead to scratching which can make the condition worse.
It is important to choose a good natural moisturizer. The base should be made with pure emollient oils and butters. For many, the synthetic ingredients and fragrances in commercial moisturizers can actually exacerbate skin problems.
The type of moisturizer you use depends on how dry your skin is. Generally, products with more oil are more emollient and provide greater long lasting protection.
Dermatologists tend to recommend heavy creams and ointments to lock water into the skin. However, the more oil a product contains, the greasier it feels on the skin initially. Notice I said initially. Where a lotion will absorb in a few seconds, a concentrated cream may take several minutes. However, once absorbed it will no longer feel greasy and you will notice that it needs to be applied much less often.
- Salves or ointments with their rich, thick consistency are good at locking in moisture and great for very dry areas. Look for natural organic salves that contain skin-nourishing oils and skin-healing herbs such as calendula. Apply the salve twice daily directly on the problem areas.
Simple pure body oils, especially those that are infused with skin-soothing herbs, are great for the bath or as all over body moisturizers. Oils are very effective because they lock in moisture. Be sure to use only natural oils. Commercial bath and body oils often contain fragrance oils or perfumes and artificial colors that can irritate skin.
- Creams, like our body butters and balms, are also oil based but may not feel as heavy as a salve. They have more staying power than lotions and are more effective at preventing water from evaporating from your skin. Again, read the ingredient labels carefully.
Stay away from lotions. Not only are they mostly water (notice that water is often the first ingredient) they often contain preservatives and fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin. Although lotions are absorbed more quickly, they do not contain enough emollients to offer long term protection against dryness.
To get the most from your moisturizer, moisturize immediately after a bath or shower while the skin is still moist. It is most important to moisturize during the winter months. The combination of the cold outdoor windy weather and dry heat in buildings will lead to very dry skin. During cold, dry weather, you may need to apply a moisturizer several times a day.
For folks with mild psoriasis, any rich, simple natural moisturizer may be all that is needed. There are some special oils that have been shown to be more helpful.
SEA BUCKTHORN OIL
Sea Buckthorn has been used to treat skin disorders in Eastern medicine for centuries. Uniquely rich in Vitamin C, omega-3 oils, antioxidants (like vitamin E), B vitamins and beta-carotene (which gives the berries their characteristic color), Sea Buckthorn Oil is a powerful skin repairing moisturizer treasured for its regenerative and nourishing properties.
A very emollient and conditioning oil, sea buckthorn has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbiological activity. One of the many moisturizing fatty acids found in Sea Buckthorn is Omega 7, palmitoleic acid. Palmitoleic Acid is a natural component of skin.
Its unique combination of unsaturated and saturated fatty acids, plant sterols and carotenes, and high levels of nutrients make this oil one of the best oils to help heal dry, damaged skin and ease the inflammation that accompanies psoriasis flare-ups. It is important to use unrefined, cold pressed sea buckthorn oil.
Neem Oil, an excellent moisturizing oil, has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that can help soothe skin and scalp irritation. It is a highly emollient oil that softens and moistens dry cracked skin and can help calm lesions or scaling. It is especially gentle and nourishing when used for itchy, sensitive or dry skin conditions. In hair care, it is used to treat itchy, irritated scalps, dandruff and other scalp problems.
Neem has been used in the treatment acne, psoriasis and eczema. When used regularly in soaps, shampoos or creams, it may help prevent future skin infections that can aggravate or trigger psoriasis symptoms.
TEA TREE OIL
While there have been no studies to prove the effectiveness of tea tree oil on psoriasis, some people find that it is especially helpful for easing psoriasis of the scalp. With its natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal properties, tea tree oil may help soothe and heal infections and inflammatory skin disorders. As psoriasis patients often scratch and cause the patches to bleed, tea tree oil can protect the skin from infection.
Soaking in a warm (not hot) bath for 15 minutes can help loosen scales, reduce the itching and inflammation caused by psoriasis and calm irritated skin. Here are some tips for making the most out of your bathing experience:
- Use warm not hot water. Hot temperatures dry out the skin.
- Add natural bath oil, oatmeal, Epsom salts, sea salts or Dead Sea salt to the warm bath water.
- Gently pat dry skin after a bath or shower. Vigorous rubbing can make irritated skin worse.
- To get the most from a moisturizer, moisturize immediately after a bath or shower.
SOAP AND SHAMPOO
Remember that all soaps and shampoos are not created equal.
Unfortunately, nearly every commercial soap, shower gel and shampoo on the market contains harsh detergents, dyes and fragrance/perfume oils. Commercial soaps not only strip natural oils which dry out skin, the harsh chemicals cause irritation on skin that is already sensitive and inflamed. Use a mild natural soap and shampoo.
If your skin cannot tolerate any type of soap, wash with a bag of skin- healing herbs.
EXFOLIATING THE SKIN
There seems to be a lot of debate as to whether exfoliating scrubs are helpful to psoriasis sufferers. Gentle exfoliation is a way of washing away dead skin to help reduce scaling and encourage healing. However, folks with psoriasis need to be especially careful not to aggravate their already sensitive skin by scrubbing too hard or using harsh products.
Sugar scrubs are great because they exfoliate by both physical and chemical means. The sugar crystals work as little mechanical scrubbers, but sugar also contains glycolic acid. Glycolic acid is an Alpha-hydroxy acid which, when applied to the skin, helps loosen the “glue” that holds the dead skin cells to the surface of the skin and thus helps to facilitate the removal of dead cells.
If you decide to try an exfoliating scrub, here are a few suggestions:
- Use a facial scrub even for the body. Facial scrubs use finer textured sugars and grains that are gentler on sensitive skin
- Be sure the scrub is also made with natural moisturizing oils or butters
- Stay away from commercial scrubs that contain dyes, perfumes or preservatives that can irritate sensitive skin
- Do not use on broken or irritated skin
- Use a very gentle, massaging action—your are not scrubbing!
- If you are seeing a health care professional for your psoriasis, it is always advisable to consult him/her before you start using sugar scrubs or any home remedy for that matter!
Below are some product recommendations based mostly on customer feedback.
FOR THE BATH
- BABY ME! BODY & BATH OIL
A gentle organic oil formulated with calendula infused sunflower oil
- Bath: Add 2 tablespoons to warm bath water.
- Shower: Apply to damp skin after a shower or bath to create an organic lotion that helps dry skin fade away.
- Massage: Warm oil in your hands or place the bottle in warm water and gently massage dry skin away.
- SIMPLY SALT BATH SALTS
An unscented blend of soothing mineral rich sea salt, Dead Sea salt and
epsom salt that enhances the healing and soothing effects of a warm bath
- People with skin problems have traveled to the Dead Sea for thousands of years to experience its healing properties. Some psoriasis suffers have found relief simply swimming in the ocean
- Adding sea salt, Dead Sea salt or Epsom salt to a warm bath water helps soften scales and ease itching
- Pour 3 - 4 heaping tablespoons of salts directly into tub under warm running water
- Note: If you have open sores a salt bath may cause a stinging sensation
- SOOTHE MY SKIN HERBAL BATH TEA
A gentle blend of skin soothing botanicals, oats and Himalayan Pink Sea salt
- Fill muslin bag with 1/2 cup of herbs. Place bag in bath under warm running water. Squeeze bag to release the botanical essence.
- The herbal bag may be used as a compress on your temples, neck or other pulse points
- Use as an “herbal washcloth,” with or without soap for sensitive skin
- Although there is no scientific evidence that oats will relieve psoriasis symptoms, oats are considered one of nature's best skin soothers
MOISTURIZERS & SALVES
- SEA BUCKTHORN & ROSEHIPS SALVE
An organic salve made with antioxidant rich, anti-inflammatory and
anti-microbiological Sea Buckthorn oil
- Helps calm inflamed, irritated and flaking skin
- Promotes healing of eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, dermatitis
- Made with organic, unrefined sea buckthorn and rosehips oils
- This salve was voted most helpful by many of customers
- Read more about Sea Buckthorn oil
- SEA BUCKTHORN & TAMANU FACIAL OIL
A combination of two of the most incredible skin repairing and conditioning oils
- Promotes new tissue formation and encourages healthy skin growth to aid in healing skin conditions
- Helpful in treating dry, damaged and inflamed skin
- Although this is a facial oil, many customers have also used it as a spot treatment for irritated patches all over the body
- CALENDULA SALVE
An organic salve made with the healing herbs of Calendula, Chamomile and Lavender
- Helps calm inflamed and flaking skin
- Helps relieve skin irritations, skin rashes and extra dry skin
- Also try our Organic Chickweed Salve--A great organic salve for itchy skin containing the healing herbs of Chickweed and Plantain
- BABY ME! BODY BALM
An organic body balm made with moisturizing oils and butters and soothing botanical infused oils to help protect delicate skin
- Calendula is soothing to sensitive and dry skin
- Gently softens, soothes and moisturizes the most sensitive skin
- Soothes itching and irritation associated with dry skin
- Enriched with organic cocoa and shea butters
- WARMING MUSCLE SALVE
A penetrating organic salve with pain relieving arnica, healing St. John’s Wort
and warming cayenne pepper
- Capsaicin, the substance that gives the cayenne pepper its heat, can help relieve pain and itching by blocking the communication system of sensory nerves
- One study from Germany demonstrated that applying a capsaicin ointment to the skin helped relieved itching and skin lesions in some people with psoriasis
- BE VERY CAREFUL, capsaicin can cause a burning sensation to the skin, which usually improves the longer you use it. Do NOT use on broken skin and avoid contact with eyes, nose, mouth, mucous membranes and other sensitive areas.
- ALL PURPOSE MOISTURIZERS
Rich moisturizers seal in natural moisture to help keep skin hydrated
- We have many types of moisturizers. Click here for a comparison of the different varieties
- Our moisturizers do NOT contain petroleum-based ingredients, harsh preservatives, artificial colors or synthetic scents
- Although there are many essential oils that may help with psoriasis, we suggest starting with unscented varieties
SOAPS & SHAMPOOS
SEA BUCKTHORN & TEA TREE SOAP
A natural soap made with antioxidant-rich Sea Buckthorn oil, anti-inflammatory Tea Tree Oil and soothing botanicals
- Sea Buckthorn and Tea Tree oils have been shown to be helpful as topical remedies to calm inflammatory skin problems
- Organic botanicals of Aloe Vera, Oregon Grape Root, Licorice Root; Chamomile and Turmeric have been found to help with skin irritation
- This is the soap voted most helpful by our customers
NEEM & TEA TREE BODY SOAP AND HAIR SHAMPOO
The healing properties of Organic Neem and Tea Tree Oils with soothing organic botanicals
- Herbal infused oils help heal and soothe dry, irritated skin and scalp
- Neem has been used in the treatment acne, psoriasis and eczema
- This is the shampoo voted most helpful by our customers
DEAD SEA BLACK CLAY SOAP
A natural soap made with Mineral rich Dead Sea Mud and Australian Black Clay
- The fine, natural grain of the mud and clay helps gently slough off dead skin cells
- Australian Black Clay clay helps soothe irritation
Our moisturizing organic natural soap recipes are meticulously
developed to produce a mild, skin-nourishing soap
The content found on this website is for informational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Information and statements regarding health related benefits of certain ingredients are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided is not meant to substitute the advice provided by your personal physician or other medical professional. Do not use the information found within this website to self-diagnose any medical conditions or treat any health problems or diseases. The information provided is not intended to prescribe or be taken as medical advice.