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Psoriasis is just one of those things; and by those things, we mean one of the many chronic skin conditions without any cure. With that said, don't despair. It can be effectively treated and controlled with holistic care, and part of that is the skincare you use.
When you first notice those red scaly patches and itchy skin, ensure you go see your doctor for a professional diagnosis as there are several types of psoriasis, and for any prescribed treatment you may need. As for skincare, we got you covered. Here we'll go through everything in a snapshot to help you on your journey: what ingredients are good for psoriasis, what should be avoided, scalp psoriasis treatments and our favourite products. Let's go!
What is the major cause of psoriasis?
The best way to get a handle on psoriasis is to identify your triggers. Some of the more common psoriasis triggers include the weather (particularly cold and dry conditions), alcohol, smoking, sunburn and certain medications. General inflammation of the skin won't help either, which is why anti-inflammatory ingredients are such a help. Learning how to avoid or minimize these triggers goes hand-in-hand with treatment.
How can I make my psoriasis go away naturally?
For those that want to supplement their treatment with natural remedies, there are several things that can help prevent or ease symptoms. A humidifier is a good start, particularly if you live in cold or dry climates and if the weather tends to be a trigger. A lukewarm (read: not hot) bath with colloidal oatmeal and olive oil can be soothing when you have itchy skin, as can a diet rich in omega fatty acids and "cooling" foods (cucumber, fennel, mango, watermelon, banana, leafy greens and yoghurt are among them). Some also swear by Indian Gooseberry supplements (aka amla) and turmeric.
What causes psoriasis on scalp?
When psoriasis appears on the scalp, it can often be mistaken as dandruff because of the similar symptoms: itching, flaking and dry skin. But if severe and left untreated, it can lead to temporary hair loss. Firstly, don't itch your psoriasis - yes, it feels so satisfying, but it almost always makes it worse! Secondly, psoriasis can appear on the scalp, face, knees, elbows and almost anywhere on the body, but the triggers are always the same. See your doctor, try and keep a food and activity diary to help determine your triggers, and use suitable hair products (see below).
Ingredients to try and those to avoid
We've listed some of the ingredients to try below. Others not included in that list are olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Epsom salts, sulfur and zinc pyrithione (the latter two for scalp psoriasis). As for those to avoid, it's pretty much the same ingredients that you shouldn't use if you have sensitive or inflamed skin: drying alcohols, dyes, harsh surfactants, fragrances, products with strong acid exfoliant concentrations (anything above 2%) and sulfates.
What are the best products to use for psoriasis?
Generally speaking, dermatologists favour two groups of cosmetics: keratolytics, and emollients. Keratolytics being anything that increases skin cell turnover (i.e. exfoliants) and emollients being moisturizers rich in lipids (i.e. fatty acids). With that said, harsh exfoliants like scrubs and strong acid formulas are most definitely on the avoid list. Rather, we're talking 2% salicylic acid products, mild retinoids and even vitamin C. These soften the keratin in your skin, increasing its ability to retain moisture.
Some of Kanvas Beauty’s favourite psoriasis products are:
SVR Laboratories - Cicavit Skin Repair Accelerator Cream: This ultra-moisturizing, polysaccharide-rich cream works as an intensive healing treatment and speeds up skin repair. Free from drying alcohols, fragrances and other skin irritants, a clinical trial revealed 85% of respondents reported soothed skin, while 80% said it repaired sensitized skin quickly.
SVR Laboratories - Cicavit SOS Anti-Itch Spray: Another SVR goodie, this wonderful spray delivers delicious relief in as little as 30 seconds from itchy and heated skin. The CICAVIT+ SOS Anti-Itch Spray recognises that scratching impedes the skin’s natural repair process. This formula is designed to break this vicious cycle so your skin can start repairing from the first application.
Benton - Aloe BHA Skin Toner: The OG clean K-Beauty brand Benton's Aloe BHA Skin Toner uses two ingredients for psoriasis: it substitutes the water content for pure aloe leaf water, and adds 0.5% salicylic acid.
iUNIK – Tea Tree Relief Toner: iUNIK's Tee Tree Relief Toner uses the anti-inflammatory power of 67% Tea Tree leaf water and 20% cica to calm redness and speed up healing.
Tea Tree Oil What is it: This anti-inflammatory powerhouse is a favourite natural remedy for psoriasis. Proceed carefully if you are using tea-tree oil, because the stuff is strong, and it isn't for everyone. Try using it incorporated into a product such as the ones below, which won't be as drying as pure tea-tree oil. Suggested products:Innersense True Enlightment Scalp Scrub and the COSRX Low pH Good Morning Cleanser.