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How to Treat Psoriasis Over the Counter

How to Treat Psoriasis Over the Counter


Psoriasis causes skin cells to build up rapidly, forming silvery plaques with red borders. These plaques may cover one or more small portions or large areas of the affected person's skin. Psoriasis sufferers may also experience blisters that ooze pus on the palms of their hands or the soles of their feet, itching, joint pain and sometimes pitted or discolored toenails as well. There's no known cure for this chronic disease that comes and goes, but there are a number of non-prescription remedies and lifestyle changes you can try that may bring relief.

Step 1

Use over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen to help reduce your inflammation or pain. Over-the-counter creams that contain hydrocortisone and salicylic acid may help reduce your symptoms as well.

Step 2

Apply over-the-counter topical ointments such as coal tar ointment, capsaicin (cayenne pepper) cream, aloe vera and petroleum jelly. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, these treatments may help relieve some of your psoriasis symptoms.

Step 3

Spend time in the sun--although you should make sure to wear SPF 15 or higher sunscreen to keep from getting burnt, and moderate your time in the sun. Drink plenty of water, too.

Step 4

Consider nutritional supplements like fish oil; they're available without a prescription and may help you combat psoriasis. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking 10 g of fish oil per day, but cautions that you should consult your doctor before taking such a high dose of this supplement.

Step 5

Bathe daily in lukewarm water. Add Epsom salts, oatmeal, Dead Sea salts or a moisturizing bath oil to the bath water and soak in it for at least 15 minutes. Use a light soap with natural fats and moisturizers in it or coal tar soap or shampoo when you wash. You can also purchase shampoos and soaps that have oatmeal and Dead Sea salts in them.

Step 6

Blot yourself dry after bathing and then apply a heavy ointment or oil-based moisturizer right away. Do the same thing before going to bed: Apply moisturizer to the affected areas, cover the moisturized area with plastic wrap for the night, then shower in the morning.

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