Whatever works: Survey reveals patients with psoriasis are willing to try alternative medicine to address symptoms

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(Natural News) People with psoriasis tend to use alternative medicines to treat rashes, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Through a survey distributed by the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF), a team of researchers from the George Washington University‘s School of Medicine and Health Sciences found that people with psoriasis frequently turned to natural medicine and home remedies, like vitamin D supplements and dead sea treatments, when synthetic medications caused harsh side effects.

As a chronic autoinflammatory condition, psoriasis cannot be cured completely. It is also considered a lifelong condition since it does not really go away, even if you hardly experience rash outbreaks. By itself, psoriasis is not life-threatening, but it is closely associated with serious health conditions like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, certain remedies can relieve symptoms of psoriasis, such as the following:


Exposure to sunlight can boost the skin’s supply of vitamin D, which stimulates skin cell growth and repair. However, sunburn is a known trigger of psoriasis, so try to limit sunlight exposure to only five to 10 minutes per day. Avoid indoor tanning beds that can damage the skin and cause skin cancer.

Fatty fish

Eat plenty of fatty fish like salmon, tuna and sardines to increase omega-3 fatty acids intake. As essential macronutrients, omega-3 fatty acids inhibit inflammation and prevent autoimmune diseases. Alternatively, you can eat chia seeds, beans and legumes if you prefer to get your omega-3 fatty acids from non-meat sources.

Chili peppers

Capsaicin, an active compound in chili peppers, acts as a natural analgesic to relieve pain and inflammation. Create a chili paste and apply it to the rash to relieve itchiness and lesions. Capsaicin may sting at first, but your tolerance will improve over time the more you use it.

Fermented foods

Probiotics enhance the body’s anti-inflammatory response, which prevents sudden rash outbreaks. To supply the body with a steady amount of probiotics, eat fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha and sauerkraut.


Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects against rashes thanks to an active compound known as curcumin. As a popular home remedy, turmeric is typically used to treat inflammatory ailments like arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Oregon grape

Oregon grape, a flowering plant, has antioxidant properties that can calm the body’s inflammatory receptors. The stem and leaves of the plant can be ground or distilled to create a topical cream for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. (Related: Oregon grape extract: A natural treatment for psoriasis.

Aloe vera

As a natural antiseptic, aloe vera can deliver fast-acting relief from itchiness and inflammation. For best results, apply fresh aloe vera gel directly to the skin

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has active compounds like acetic acid and catechins that can soothe itchy rashes and kill bacteria. Use only raw apple cider vinegar to maximize its benefits, and do not apply it to cracked or broken skin.

Coconut oil

All-natural moisturizers like coconut oil can heal cracked skin and lock in moisture to prevent dryness. Apply a generous amount of coconut oil thrice a day to control psoriasis symptoms. Alternatively, you can use organic honey, extra-virgin olive oil and sunflower oil. Some people also like to create a paste out of oats to moisturize dry patches of skin.

Proper diet

Diet also influences the severity of psoriasis rashes since certain foods can trigger inflammation. Avoid foods like red meat, processed meats, eggs and wheat. Alcohol is also a known psoriasis trigger, so avoid it as much as possible.

On the other hand, anti-inflammatory foods can improve psoriasis symptoms and lessen the frequency of rash attacks. Eat plenty of antioxidant-rich foods like fruits, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables.

Psoriasis is particularly sensitive to certain triggers, which often results in fresh rashes. One way you can prevent spontaneous “attacks” of psoriasis, in the long run, is to avoid or minimize its triggers, such as stress, cigarette smoke, abrasions and sunburn. You should also strengthen the immune system so you can ward off the common cold, which can also trigger the appearance of psoriasis symptoms.

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