What is Psoriasis?
In United States up to 7.5 million people are affected by Psoriasis. Out of that 7.5 million people, about 80% suffer from the Plaque Psoriasis. In this condition red, itchy, thick, flaky patches called plaques form on the skin. Plaque psoriasis can be unpredictable and plaques may appear anywhere on the body, at any time. The most common areas are elbows, knees and shins, scalps and lower back. The intimate areas can be affected too.
One of the most common misconceptions amongst all Psoriasis patients is that they believe that Psoriasis is just a skin disease. But, those plaques that you can see on the surface of the skin is actually the end of the story. The truth is Psoriasis starts underneath your skin. It is a complex, chronic problem that is a result of several factors including genetics, stress, lifestyle and environmental factors, and a weak immune system.
While the exact cause of psoriasis is not known yet as per the research we understand that the immune system gets functional suddenly and then it forgets to switch itself off. During psoriasis, the immune cells perceive they need to make more and more skin cells than normal. As these skin cells are made, they are pushed towards the surface. But, since they don’t have anywhere to go so start building up. That’s when the skin starts getting red and inflamed and starts becoming thick, itchy, and flaky. Since the immune system is not confined to one spot in the body, there’s no predicting where psoriasis may appear. Also, it is believed that psoriasis is a desperate attempt by the body to release all the toxins and cleanse itself.
But, how can essential oils treat psoriasis and the problems linked to the immune system?
Essential oils, generally, used as a complementary therapy to the regular medical regime of a psoriasis patient. While the oils do not directly impact the disease, however, they are extremely beneficial in curbing the triggered immune responses down and controlling other lifestyle factors such as stress, and fatigue.
Natural treatments for Psoriasis:
While conventional treatment is highly popular in today’s world and most people rely on medication and ointments to get rid of psoriasis, however, little do they know that this disease can reoccur if the body is exposed to inappropriate conditions.
Hence, it is extremely important for the patients to treat the root cause along with the medication advised by the doctor to refrain from another psoriasis attack.
a) Anti-inflammatory food: To treat psoriasis from within, you need to follow a healthy diet regime. It is important for you to know the best and worst foods for psoriasis. A psoriasis specific diet can improve symptoms, heal your gut, reduce inflammation and in turn prevent from severe psoriasis issues.
b) Reduce stress: Studies have shown mind-body therapies, prayers, hypnosis, meditation and managing stress levels can help in healing psoriasis naturally.
c) Drink lots of water and exercise: If psoriasis is body’s way to removing toxins, then exercise and drinking water is your way of pacifying the aggravated response of body’s toxin flushing out mechanism.
d) Bathe right: As perplexing as it may sound, but a few simple steps can go a long way in relieving psoriasis. Never bathe with extremely hot water. They leave your skin dry and inflamed. Soak your body in lukewarm water with dead sea salts, oats and epsom salts to remove scales and calm itching. Always moisturize your body after bathing.
e) Try other alternative treatments: While there’s no guarantee that these treatments will do wonders for you, however, when such therapies are implemented with the help of an skilled and experienced practitioners, there are chances that it will lead to improved symptoms and would result in an enhanced overall quality of life. One could try Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Ayurveda’s Panchakarma therapy or Chinese medicines.
f) Including essential oils in your daily regime: As mentioned earlier, essential oils for psoriasis are used in liaison with other treatments. The most important reason behind using essential oils in psoriasis treatment is their direct impact on the various internal reasons that trigger the immune system.
Come, let’s study the impact of various essential oils on your body and understand the process behind selecting the right one for you.
Essential Oils for Psoriasis:
1. Lavender Essential Oil for Psoriasis
Lavender essential oil is amongst the most studied and most versatile natural oils. It is often used for abrasions, acne, abscesses, headaches, eczema, bruises, boils, burns, muscle pain, sores, and sunburns. The oil has calming and anti-inflammatory abilities. These properties are remarkably restorative in nature and help to restore and heal psoriasis ridden skin.
Another added advantage of adding lavender essential oil for treating psoriasis is its stress relieving properties. By alleviating emotional triggers and stress, the oil can help subside the cause behind psoriasis disease. This oil can directly be added to the bath water or applied on the skin to calm itching. You can buy a good quality lavender oil from amazon.
Who should avoid using it? Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid using this oil. Also, people suffering from diabetes should avoid the use of lavender oil.
2. Tea Tree Essential Oil for Psoriasis
One of the best oils to be used while treating psoriasis is the Tea tree oil. This antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal oil is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent and to protect the scratched skin from infection. This oil has multiple benefits and is known for its healing properties on the skin. Moreover, the oil can strengthen the immune system that has been weakened by illness and stress.
In cases of mild psoriasis, you can mix 1 drop of tea tree oil in 5 drops of olive oil and apply on the flaky patches a few times daily. This helps in relieving the itch and softens the plaque.
However, it is highly advised to test if tea tree oil on a small area on your skin. Also, this oil should always be used in limited quantity because of the powerful biochemicals it carries and should always be diluted with a carrier oil.
3. Geranium Essential Oil for Psoriasis
This natural oil is known for improving blood circulation and relieving stress. This is an oil that helps in reducing stretch marks . It also helps in reducing inflammation and promoted regeneration of healthy cells. This oil should always be diluted with carrier oils while topical application.
Who should avoid using it? If you are suffering from high blood pressure or are at the risk of cardiovascular diseases, Geranium oil should be avoided.
4. Pure Coconut Oil For Psoriasis
Pure coconut oil has long been used as an anti-inflammatory agent in Ayurveda. It is highly recommended for scalp psoriasis. Its properties help in reducing the psoriasis pain and it gently moisturizes the skin and psoriasis plaque.
You can ingest virgin coconut oil or alternatively, apply it directly on your skin on the affected area. Usually, when applied individually, coconut oil does not cause any side effects. You can buy this good quality coconut oil from amazon.
5. Helichrysum Essential Oil for Psoriasis
Helichrysum oil is amongst the strongest occurring anti-inflammatories found in nature. This oil is specifically useful for wound healing and in repairing damaged skin cells and tissues. This oil can be topically applied on the affected area after diluting it with carrier oils such as almond oil or jojoba oil.
6. Peppermint Essential Oil for Psoriasis
This essential oil comes in over 600 varieties from over 25 different species. However, oil from any of these plants can be helpful for a psoriasis patient. Peppermint oil has the properties to tackle itching that may have been caused by scabies infection to herpes blisters.
For some patients, there could be a slight chance of allergic reaction. The oil should always be used in small doses and users should be cautious about unusual signs or symptoms after application.
One can apply a drop of peppermint oil topically or alternatively, mix 5 drops of the essential oil to distilled water and spray the mixture on the itchy skin for relief.
7. Cedarwood Essential Oil for Psoriasis
This natural oil is effective in balancing both dry and oily skin problems. The natural extracts in the oil help to cleanse the skin of toxic impurities. Moreover, it is blessed with diuretic properties that make it a valuable oil in treating fluid retention, accumulation of toxins or to treat cellulite. It has strong astringent properties that make sure the skin cells remain tight and function well. You can buy Cedarwood oil from Fab Naturals here.
8. Black Cumin Seed Essential Oil for Psoriasis
Black seed oil is an anthelmintic, anti-inflammatory, and an anti-microbial natural extract. The helps in a variety of skin problems from the ones that have been caused by parasites to psoriasis affected skin. The oil helps in soothing the inflammation, moisturizes the skin, reduces the thickness of scales and fastens the process of skin’s healing.
You can apply the oil topically to the affected area or mix it with a carrier oil like coconut oil to soothe the itch.
Who should avoid it? Anyone suffering from low blood pressure of clotting issues, diabetes should be cautious while using the oil. Pregnant women are also advised to not use the oil.
9. Angelica Essential Oil for Psoriasis
One of the best detoxifying essential oils, Angelica works wonders on the skin. It has strong diuretic properties and supports the cleansing of the body and the skin. It can brighten dull skin, clear cellulite and congestion, improve the functioning of the liver and boost the immune system.
Factors to consider before picking up an essential oil:
As mentioned earlier, essential oils are not the permanent solutions but the reasons reduce the impact of psoriasis in one’s body. For a complete cure, one must sync the natural and conventional treatments for relief.
Each essential oil comes with its own cautions. It is important to do a detailed research before including a specific oil in your psoriasis treatment regime. The oils carry potent ingredients and should be used with care in limited quantities. Make sure your oil does not interact with your medication. You can consult your doctor before picking up the oil for you.
Always make sure to read the details on the labels of the essential oils. Also, test the oil on a small patch of skin before applying it over a larger area.
Note: If in case you experience pain, itching or any other unusual symptom, discontinue using the oil and consult your doctor. Essential oils are usually not recommended for pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers.
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