The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define psoriasis as an autoimmune skin disease that is chronic in nature. Put simply, skin cells grow faster than normal, leaving spots on the skin that can appear flaky, red, and inflamed. If left untreated, psoriasis can lead to psoriatic arthritis due to inflammation. There is currently no cure for it psoriasisHowever, there are treatment options available that can manage and relieve symptoms.
“It is commonly understood as an autoimmune disease and as such is not a true skin disease,” he explains Stacy Haase, CEO of EiR NYC. “Rather, it is the outward manifestation of an internal systemic problem. However, they can help alleviate symptoms and calm the presentation. “
If you prefer holistic medicine, you may have used it essential oils treat other diseases; but can it work for psoriasis? Again, nothing can cure the condition, but there is evidence that certain essential oils can provide relief psoriasis. The catch? Not every essential oil claimed to be suitable for skin care has been verified by experts. Here are the essential oils that have been found to work for psoriasis and how to use them.
Related: Everything You Should Know About Psoriasis
Can You Use Essential Oils For Psoriasis?
Dr. Rachel Nazarian, MD, FAAD The Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC quickly points out the biggest myth about essential oils: “They can cure anything and anyone.” When it comes to using essential oils to relieve skin problems, some have proven themselves like using tea tree oil to treat acne. Due to a lack of research and evidence of effectiveness, it should be noted that there aren’t many essential oils that have been shown to help with psoriasis.
“Essential oils are highly concentrated vegetable oils that can offer naturally derived benefits when applied topically,” explains Dr. Nazarian. “Some have been shown to work against acne, such as tea tree oil, clary sage, and juniper oil. Although around 90 different essential oils are recommended for use in dermatological diseases, they have not all been studied and are not scientifically proven. “
This does not mean that you cannot and should not use essential oils. It simply means that you need to do some research to see if the essential oil you are trying to use has actually been studied and has been shown to work. In addition, knowing how to use essential oils is important as in some cases it can be dangerous to apply them directly to your skin from a tube.
Which essential oils help with psoriasis?
If you are hoping to use essential oil for psoriasis, there are a few that have been shown to work and are recommended by experts.
“Lavender oil has evidence that it can be used to treat psoriasis by targeting the cytokines (or markers of inflammation) that are elevated in psoriasis,” confirms Dr. Nazarian.
Carrot seed oil
“Carrot seed oil can be wonderfully helpful because it is cytophylactic, which means it promotes healing, stimulates healthy regrowth of damaged skin tissue, and has antiseptic properties,” notes Haase.
East Indian sandalwood oil
“[This] It has also been shown in clinical studies to reduce the inflammation and thickness of psoriatic plaques on the skin, ”said Dr. Nazarian, “and reduce inflammatory responses and aspects of the hyperactive cell cycle. “
Tea tree oil
“Naturally anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, [this can be used for] The reduction of bacteria, fungi and viruses on the surface of the skin, ”notes Dr. Nazarian, “and it was theoretically believed that they also help with psoriasis because of their anti-inflammatory properties. “
How should you use essential oils for psoriasis?
“Many essential oils can be harmful if used in too high a concentration, if they are not mixed properly, or if they are used at the wrong time,” said Kim Walls, founder of BEB Organic. “The ‘wrong’ time can be a time of day with exposure to light or a time of the month with hormonal balance. Expertise in using essential oils for healing is a specialty and expertise that people can learn for a lifetime because there is so much to learn. When you buy skin care products from brands that employ knowledgeable aromatherapists, chemists, and formulators, you are likely in good hands. “
Essential oils should be handled with caution, especially when applied topically. They should be diluted, but Dr. Nazarian warns you not to do this yourself. Instead, make sure they’re diluted and rated as safe to use on the skin (some essential oils – especially citrus fruits – can be irritating to the skin).
Related: Are Essential Oils Safe To Diffuse?
“Essential oils should normally be contained in what is known as a carrier oil,” adds Haase. “This creates a base and dilutes the essential oil to a level that is effective but doesn’t irritate your skin. Most carrier oils have inherent benefits for softening, healing, etc. so the carrier oil aids in the benefits of the essential oils. “
What Are Other Home Treatment Options For Psoriasis?
If you have psoriasis, a good first step in treatment is to go over the products you already own and make sure they are free of any irritants that can make your symptoms worse. “It is especially important for people with psoriasis to avoid ingredients that can be irritating to sensitive skin, such as harsh detergents, synthetic fragrances and dyes,” explains Walls.
Related: What Is Psoriatic Arthritis?
Aside from essential oils, there are other treatment options depending on where your psoriasis is located. Of course, if you suffer from psoriasis, it is good to see a specialist, as psoriatic arthritis can develop from it. Haase emphasizes that since psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, it should be treated from the inside out and things like diet and hydration should be changed. However, if you’re looking for something more topical to do at home, she recommends soaking as an option.
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“Occasional baths with oatmeal – if possible you want to find colloidal oatmeal, but also simple, organic oatmeal finely ground and put in the bath water – can soothe your skin,” notes Haase. “Oatmeal has been shown to reduce skin swelling and itching. It contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that are healthy for your skin. Rice water can have a similar effect … it contains natural antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin A and flavonoid compounds, which naturally support the growth and defense of plants against plaques. “
Next, read these 5 home remedies for psoriasis.