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Do you suffer from consistently dry and flaky skin? Does it itch and sometimes cause red lesions? If your answer is “yes” it’s quite possible you’re suffering from a skin disease known as psoriasis.

Considered to be one of the most treated skin diseases, psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that causes scaly patches to appear on the skin. The areas of the body that psoriasis affects are the elbows, knees or scalp, however it can appear in more obscure places like the bottoms of the feet and folds of the skin. Beyond the most common symptom of scaly red patches, itchiness can occur which can lead to red sores that are easily infected.

According to recent statistics, 5.5 % of the world’s population suffers from psoriasis. While research can’t conclude what specifically causes the disease, scientists can confirm that genetics and a compromised immune system do play a role in how severe it can be. The disease usually begins to develop between the ages of 15 and 35, however it has been known to appear on infants, though it is very rare. And to put your mind at ease, the disease is not contagious whatsoever.

When it comes to the various types of psoriasis, there are five that dermatologists diagnose on a regular basis. Plaque psoriasis is the most popular and appears as raised scales on the skin that can flake off. It’s often very itchy and painful when left untreated. Guttate psoriasis results in small red lesions that cover the body. This is followed by inverse psoriasis, which appears as shiny red lesions in the folds of the skin. It’s most common in the groin and knee folds. Pustular psoriasis is identified by small white blisters that contain noninfectious puss. This type of psoriasis is found on the hands and feet, with the final type being erythrodermic psoriasis, which is the most severe and triggers a fiery red rash that spreads all over the body.

So how can one treat psoriasis? Well, there are two schools of thought: natural vs. medical. We’ve found 15 different treatments for psoriasis that all have their own unique benefits. Check them out below!

15. Natural: Fish Oil

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Studies have shown that eating a diet rich in omega-3’s can help with psoriasis inflammation, while also boosting your immune system and protecting against heart disease. A couple servings of salmon or tuna on a weekly basis will do the trick or you can take daily fish oil supplements.

14. Medical: Salicylic Acid

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For people suffering from severe psoriasis, which creates a scale-like surface on the skin, a salicylic acid treatment is best. This medication works by breaking down the top layer of the skin, while increasing hydration. This results in the scales beginning to peel off, revealing fresh new skin underneath.

13. Natural: Massage

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According to some who suffer from psoriasis, stress is a big factor when it comes to triggering symptoms. A full body massage has been shown to not only relieve chronic pain, but work the soft tissue so you can relax. However, it’s important to avoid massage oils because they could have skin irritants that trigger your psoriasis symptoms.

12. Medical: Steroids

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Medical steroid creams have been used for years to treat various skin conditions. They often have to be used more than once a day, but are excellent when it comes to immediate relief from the painful itch psoriasis brings with it. Consult with your doctor if you feel a steroid cream could be an effective treatment option.

11. Natural: Yoga

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Another great way to reduce your stress and avoid triggering psoriasis symptoms is by doing yoga. Some studies have shown that yoga has not only relieved the pain from psoriasis, but the itchiness as well. We suggest setting 20 minutes per day aside for yoga. We promise you it will be worth the effort.

10. Medical: Rx Retinoids

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While retinoids are a popular treatment when it comes to acne, they have also been used for psoriasis as well. It’s important to clean and dry the skin before applying the medication with a thin layer over the impacted area. Related to Vitamin A, the retinoids will be absorbed into the skin and begin the healing process.

9. Natural Shark Cartilage

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While this may seem a bit far-fetched, research studies have shown that shark cartilage could relieve the symptoms of plaque psoriasis. However, the regimen is costly and the results have still been inconclusive. Also, depending on how you feel about animal rights, ingesting shark cartilage may seem too cruel when it comes to potential treatments.

8. Medical: Coal Tar Ointments

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Coal tar ointments assist in slowing down the rapid growth of skin cells and help alleviate psoriasis symptoms. However, it’s important to understand that this treatment has its own set of side effects and can sometimes cause folliculitis, which is a rash that affects the hair follicles.

7. Natural: Gluten-Free Diet

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Recent research suggests that people who have celiac disease could be at greater risk for psoriasis. In fact, some people who already suffer from psoriasis could be gluten-sensitive and not even know it. We suggest removing all wheat, barley and rye from your diet to test whether or not a gluten sensitivity could be triggering your symptoms.

6. Medical: Light Therapy

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For people who suffer from persistent cases of psoriasis, light therapy is considered to be one of the more effective treatments. Usually, this entails an ultraviolet B light box, which is sometimes paired with the topical treatment of coal tar. Sunlight can also help with psoriasis, and it’s also free.

5. Natural: Turmeric

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One natural treatment for psoriasis many have found useful is turmeric, which is a member of the ginger family. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, adding this spice to your diet could provide some relief from psoriasis symptoms. You can ingest it via a tea or some mix it with coconut oil and apply it as an ointment directly over the skin.

4. Medical: Methotrexate

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Research has found that the medication methotrexate can clear up psoriasis lesions dramatically. This is due to its potency and the fact it also is used as a chemotherapy drug for cancer. However, it can compromise the immune system, so it’s important to have regular check ups with your doctor while undergoing this treatment.

3. Natural: Water

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While this may seem like an obvious solution, studies have revealed that drinking more water and staying hydrated can prevent your skin from drying out and triggering psoriasis symptoms. Remember, your body is made up of water. So the more you drink, the less likely you’re going to have irritated skin.

2. Medical: Cyclosporine

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Cyclosporine is normally used as a drug to prevent organ rejection for people who have had transplants. However, recent studies have found that it can actually be used to clear up severe psoriasis lesions. Consult with your dermatologist to see if this might be an option. Try it if you have exhausted all other treatment methods.

1. Natural: Dead Sea Salts

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The Dead Sea has been a destination for those struggling with psoriasis for centuries, due to the fact a soak in the salty water has been proven to have skin healing benefits. However, you don’t have to travel all that way just to reap the rewards. Simply add a quarter cup of Dead Sea salts into your bath water and soak for 15 minutes for instant relief.

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