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How do I Relieve Psoriasis Itching?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Feb 17, 2024
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Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes redness, itching, and scaling of the skin. This is a relatively common disorder and tends to run in families. Other than the link suggesting hereditary causes, the exact cause is not known. Treatments for psoriasis itching range from home remedies such as apple cider vinegar to over-the-counter and prescription medications. A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders and is often the type of doctor chosen for treatment of psoriasis itching.

Salicylic acid is frequently used to treat psoriasis itching. This substance is found in a variety of over-the-counter products, such as shampoos, gels, and ointments. The type of product that will be most useful will depend on the area of the body affected by the psoriasis. For instance, if the psoriasis outbreak is on the scalp, a shampoo containing salicylic acid would be the most appropriate treatment method.

Some patients find relief from psoriasis itching by applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the affected area. Petroleum jelly is known to soften and soothe irritated skin and should be applied after the affected area has been washed and patted dry. If using this method before bed, it is often helpful to wrap the area in a soft, breathable cloth after applying the petroleum jelly.

Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy used to treat psoriasis itching. Simply apply the vinegar directly to the itchy areas several times per day as needed. If the psoriasis outbreak is widespread, it may be helpful to add a cup of apple cider vinegar to the bath water.

Many patients find that they have less psoriasis outbreaks by making dietary modifications. This may be a long process of elimination in order to see what works best for each individual patient, but if the psoriasis outbreaks are frequent or severe it may be worth the effort. Foods containing wheat products, known as gluten, are common psoriasis triggers, so eliminating these foods may help some patients. Other potential triggers include soft drinks, alcohol, and sugar.

If the above methods do not provide adequate relief, it may be necessary to see a doctor such as a dermatologist. There are prescription medications available that may have more success in relieving psoriasis itching. The doctor will be able to help the patient develop the most appropriate individualized treatment plan.

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Discussion Comments

By serenesurface — On Jul 19, 2014

@fBoyle-- I have used 1% hydrocortisone cream in the past. It's not something that I use regularly, because there are dangers to regular, long-term use. But when my psoriasis is at its worst with constant debilitating itching, hydrocortisone cream works well.

Other times though, for mild itching, I prefer more natural options like aloe vera gel. Aloe vera gel is very soothing but make sure to get pure aloe vera gel. Some lotions contain aloe vera gel but those don't work too well for the itching.

By fBoyle — On Jul 19, 2014

Is it a good idea to use an over the counter itch cream like hydrocortisone for psoriasis? Does anyone here do this?

By bear78 — On Jul 18, 2014

I've found that taking frequent showers helps relieve my itching. But the trick is to shower with lukewarm water. Hot water makes my itching and irritation worse.

Lukewarm baths are nice too. Sometimes I add some oatmeal or some natural oil, like coconut oil, to the bathwater. Both of these are soothing and help reduce inflammation while moisturizing skin.

Psoriasis is a constant battle and it takes a long time to figure out what works and what doesn't This is one thing that I've found that helps.

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