Natural psoriasis treatment
At Lyonsleaf our natural products for psoriasis are increasingly popular. In this in-depth guide, we look at what psoriasis is, its causes, and some natural ways that you can reduce the impact of this damaging skin condition.
What is psoriasis?
Psoriasis, like eczema, is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin to grow on the body. These patches can appear anywhere but are most typically found on the elbows, knees, head, and back. It’s caused by the body producing too many skin cells. These skin cells collect into patches.
About 1.2 million people in the UK live with psoriasis, that’s around 2% of the entire population. It can appear at any time but is most common after 35. Psoriasis affects both men and women equally.
Psoriasis affects each individual differently. For some, it may be a minor irritation, for others a severe life-limiting condition. The condition is chronic, flaring up at times and then dying down.
As well as being uncomfortable, psoriasis can have a significant impact on self-confidence in those who live with it. In some cases, severe psoriasis can cause social isolation, anxiety, and depression.
While our customers are passionate about how effective our natural psoriasis products are, it is important to understand a cream is never going to offer a complete solution for your condition.
We strongly recommend you consult with your GP to understand what is causing your psoriasis. They can advise you what lifestyle changes may be beneficial and what medical treatments may be useful for you.
How is psoriasis treated?
There is no single, effective treatment for psoriasis. The NHS offers three options, depending on the severity of your symptoms:
topical – creams and ointments applied to your skin
phototherapy – your skin is exposed to certain types of ultraviolet light
systemic – oral and injected medications that work throughout the entire body
While effective, the treatments prescribed for psoriasis often have significant side-effects , that can affect both your physical and mental health.
There is an understanding among healthcare professionals that current prescription treatments can cause harmful side-effects in some people. It’s for this reason that leading psoriasis charities recommend using natural remedies alongside drugs.
What triggers psoriasis?
The causes of psoriasis are complex and not entirely understood. While scientists don’t know what causes psoriasis, in many cases it’s triggered by a traumatic or stressful event or incident. There is a strong relationship between psoriasis and stress. The condition also seems to have a genetic component, as it runs in families.
Those with psoriasis can find that their skin is more sensitive and reacts badly to certain triggers, including:
- other chemicals applied to the skin,
- exposure to allergens – including environmental triggers like cold or dry weather, and food allergies,
- materials worn next to the surface of the skin,
- infection with certain bacteria and viruses,
- hormonal changes in women.
How can you tackle psoriasis naturally?
A range of topical treatments, supplements and lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on psoriasis.
Here are some natural remedies for psoriasis that you may find useful:
Maintain a good skin barrier
Dry skin is a real problem for psoriasis sufferers it is the precursor to a damaging cycle of itching and scratching.
Repairing your skin barrier and sealing in moisture can help break the cycle. Quality emollients are the key, emollients fill in the crack in the outer layer that allow moisture to escape causing skin to dry out more - but prevention is better than cure.
To help prevent psoriasis flare-ups, we recommend Lyonsleaf Body Butter, a great day-to-day moisturiser for hands and body and Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm, designed specifically to be used on the face. The Beauty Balm and Body Butter do not contain high levels of soothing herbal extracts or minerals like our calendula products but they are great day-to-day emollient rich moisturisers.
We recommend using the Beauty Balm as a cleanser too by way of the oil cleansing method. It can replace soaps and detergents which strip the natural oils from your face worsening dry skin problems. Of course most of us do want to use soap on our bodies, so we have sourced some natural palm oil free soaps that are gentle and contain moisturising ingredients like Shea Butter. It is possible to oil cleanse with the Body Butter using the oil cleansing method if you are very sensitive to soap.
We also recommend using Lyonsleaf calendula products which are particularly suitable for sore itchy skin. They will improve skin barrier function but are also calming. Most Lyonsleaf moisturising products are available in trial sizes as an option on the product page.
You can learn more about how your skin works on our dedicated page.
Understand skin irritants
People with psoriasis often have sensitive skin that can react to specific triggers. These irritants are personal to you but we find that preservatives and artificial chemicals in skincare seem to often irritate sensitive types
At Lyonsleaf, all of our products are water-free, which means they need no preservatives or emulsifiers. They are a combination of natural oils and waxes, minerals, herbal extracts and nothing else. Judging by our customer reviews thsi seems to work for many psoriasis sufferers.
Skin irritants are not just in skin care products, for more information visit our skin irritants page.
Consider calming herbs
While cosmetic products should never replace prescribed medications, Creams and balms with herbal extracts can be used alongside all current drugs and treatment for psoriasis allowing some customers to rely less on prescription drugs, some of which are not designed for long term use. Really good emollients with calming herbs can be soothing, removing the temptation to itch which can cause damage and further irritation.
Dead Sea salt bath
Adding Dead Sea salt to a bath is widely considered effective at soothing the symptoms of psoriasis. Rich in minerals, many of our Lyonsleaf customers have found that a warm bath enriched with this ancient salt can have a positive effect.
Apple cider vinegar
People have been using apple cider vinegar for centuries to reduce skin irritation and the desire to scratch. It is recommended to use it diluted with water. After application, it should be rinsed off, but the reduction in skin irritation should remain. (Take care, cider vinegar can burn the skin especially if the skin is fragile! You must also take care not to get it in your eyes. Some advice states not to use it on the face, genitals or any sensitive areas )
Diet, nutritional deficiencies and triggers
Making some simple changes to addressing deficiencies in your diet can have a positive impact on your psoriasis. The general advice is reassuringly obvious: eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid processed foods and refined sugars. However, nightshades also seem to affect many psoriasis sufferers. The nightshade family includes potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and aubergines.
Many people with psoriasis have an imbalance or deficiency of essential fatty acids. Vitamin D is particularly implicated and there is growing evidence that and Omega 3 supplement can help reduce psoriasis symptoms. This study finds these supplements promising but discounts evidence for the use of Vitamin B12 and selenium, which are anecdotally recommended.
We also recommend milk thistle and probiotics.
Diet and poor gut health seem to be intrinsically linked with psoriasis and we at Lyonsleaf are convinced that psoriasis is usually gut related. Explore our leaky gut page to understand more about the impact a leaky gut can have on your health and your skin.
It can be challenging to identify what your body needs without professional help. A nutritional therapist or qualified herbalist can help you find an effective diet that could naturally cure psoriasis .
Stress is a well-known trigger for psoriasis. Finding ways to reduce stress can be as effective as many treatments prescribed by the NHS - but it’s not easy.
It’s worth considering whether yoga, meditation, and mindfulness could help you improve your mental health and reduce stress. The health of the body and the mind are closely related. Surprisingly managing your blood sugar by following a Low GI diet is a practical way to improve your ability to handle stress .
If you’re experiencing significant stress and depression, it’s worth considering getting help. You can of course speak to your GP (who is most likely prescribe antidepressants) or if you prefer, book a series of counselling sessions. Here is a useful article on how you can choose the best therapist . It’s written by an expert for everyone.
Understanding yourself can also help you learn how to manage stress. Reading self help books and online self help articles can often help you recognise the traits and habits that create stressful situations or stressful thoughts (we all have some).