Common Home Remedies for Psoriasis

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: January 2024

There are many different ways to manage psoriasis. More serious cases may need prescription drugs or treatments. However, some psoriasis symptoms may be eased with at-home remedies.1

Home remedies for psoriasis do not treat the underlying cause, which is an overactive immune system. But home treatments may help soothe symptoms such as red, itchy, dry, or cracked skin.1

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Over-the-counter treatments

Some treatments for psoriasis are available over the counter (OTC), meaning without a prescription. Some everyday products may also help with psoriasis. Helpful OTC and household products may include:1,2

  • Hydrocortisone cream – This is a steroid cream. It soothes skin irritation and decreases inflammation. Lower concentrations of hydrocortisone cream are available without a prescription.
  • Coal tar shampoo, ointment, or soap – Coal tar reduces inflammation on the skin.
  • Salicylic acid products – These OTC products can reduce inflammation and help soften and remove skin scales.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar may reduce itch caused by scalp psoriasis.
  • Aloe vera – Aloe plant gel or creams that contain aloe may help reduce redness and scaling.
  • Mahonia aquifolium – Topical mahonia products have been shown to help treat mild psoriasis. This is also called Oregon grape extract.

Creams and lotions

Maintaining moisture in your skin can help prevent itchiness and dryness. Moisturizing your skin every day with lotions or creams helps protect it from flares. You can also choose moisturizing cleansers to clean your skin.1,3

Avoid any products with fragrances or too many additives. Apply topical treatments to your skin gently. If you have questions about what products to use, ask your dermatologist.1,3

Bath additives

Some people with psoriasis may find that taking a bath or shower daily helps to soothe and soften the skin. Use lukewarm or warm water. Water that is too hot can irritate the skin. Avoid harsh or heavily scented soaps and foaming shower gels, which also can be irritating.1-3

If you take baths, adding certain substances to the water may help soothe your skin. These include Dead Sea salt or Epsom salts and oatmeal bath products. Soaking for about 15 minutes with 1 of these products may help remove scales and reduce itching.1-3

Lifestyle changes

For people with psoriasis, healthy habits can have an impact on the skin. Steps you can take include:4

  • Quit smoking. Smoking is linked to psoriasis flares. People who quit have been shown to have more time in remission. Quitting also lowers the risk for developing other diseases related to psoriasis, like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
  • Limit alcohol. Drinking less alcohol helps psoriasis treatments work better. Less alcohol intake is also linked to more time in remission.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating healthy can help you feel better overall. And it lowers the risk of developing diseases linked to psoriasis.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. This can help your treatments work more effectively and reduce flares. It also lowers the risk of diseases related to psoriasis.
  • Exercise. Exercising regularly can reduce stress, depression, and anxiety. It also lowers the risk of diseases linked to psoriasis.

Other tips for managing psoriasis

Taking care of your skin can help reduce irritation that leads to a psoriasis flare. Protecting your skin includes:3,4

  • Shielding your skin from the sun
  • Avoiding skin injuries like cuts or bug bites
  • Trying not to scratch your skin
  • Avoiding psoriasis triggers like stress or cold weather

Things to know about home treatments

Before beginning treatment for psoriasis, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes OTC drugs. Your doctor can help you make sure your treatments are safe and do not interact with each other. They can also help you decide which products will work best for you.1-3