Psoriasis is a common, chronic skin disease that causes itchy and scaly red patches on the skin, usually on the face, scalp, elbows and knees. While there are many types of psoriasis, the most common is plaque psoriasis.
Psoriasis tends to be cyclical, which means symptoms tend to flare up for a few weeks or months, and then subside. Sometimes, psoriasis even goes into remission.
Doctors and researchers believe the plaque psoriasis is caused by an overreaction of the immune system that causes skin cells to regenerate too quickly. It can also be triggered by infections, dry and cold weather conditions, stress, injury or exposure to certain medications.
While the condition is chronic and there is no cure, there are a variety of treatment options that help manage the symptoms of psoriasis. Here are five treatments that can be done at home:
Phototherapy treatment, also known as ultraviolet (UV) light therapy, is a convenient and effective tool to treat psoriasis at home. The UV light emitted by the device not only reduces the local immune system, but can also slow down the development of thick and scaly skin.
The dosage and intensity of phototherapy is similar to what you would receive from a doctor’s office. However, at-home models are much more cost effective. Your dermatologist can help you select a modern, affordable handheld device and recommend a weekly treatment plan based on your unique health profile.
A heavy cream can go a long way in managing your psoriasis at home. A good rule of thumb is to look for something that is thick and is sold in a jar or tube. High-quality moisturizers lock water into your skin and can encourage healing while reducing redness.
The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends certain over-the-counter products to people with the condition. You can look for the NPF seal of recognition on products at your local pharmacy.
A little bit of sunbathing can work wonders for those with psoriasis, too. The sun naturally emits ultraviolet rays, which can help manage psoriasis flare-ups.
Sun exposure should be kept to a minimum and you should always be sure to apply an SPF to unaffected parts of your body.
Try an Epsom Salt Soak
Epsom salts, which are sold at pharmacies and grocery stores, may help remove scaly patches of skin. Add the salts to a warm bath and emerge your skin. 10 or 15 minutes in an epsom salt bath can go a long way in helping you alleviate some of the side effects of psoriasis.
Relax and Unwind
Because stress can cause psoriasis flare-ups, rest and relaxation are a vital part of any at-home treatment plan for the condition.
The good news about relaxation is that it is completely customizable. Participating in yoga, gardening, painting, or reading a book can all help you decompress.
Talk to your dermatologist about how you can best treat your psoriasis at home. Phototherapy, combined with other at-home therapies can go a long way in mitigating the negative side effects of psoriasis.