Essential Oils For Psoriasis: Do They Work?

Explore the various benefits of aromatic essential oils for relief from psoriasis.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Priya Gill, MBBCH, MRCP Dr. Priya Gill Dr. Priya GillMBBCH, MRCP facebook_icon
Written by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
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Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes itchy plaques on the skin and makes it scaly and flaky. Multiple triggers like stress, UV exposure, and other environmental factors may cause flare-ups. While this auto-immune condition cannot be treated, many claim that you can use essential oils for psoriasis management. In this article, we discuss the essential oils that may help manage psoriasis and how you can use them. Keep reading to know more.

What Is Psoriasis, And What Are Its Causes?

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes raised itchy plaques, flakes, and scales on the skin. It is not contagious and the cause is unknown.

A survey was conducted by the National Psoriasis Foundation to find out the effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) for psoriasis in 2018. Most respondents were female (68.5%), and the majority were white (84.1%). 41% of respondents used alternative therapies, and those with severe psoriasis were more likely to use them than those with nonsevere psoriasis, and 42.7% would recommend these therapies to others.

However, certain factors can trigger the symptoms and cause flare-ups, which may last for weeks or even months. Here are some of the triggers you should look out for:

  • Stress: Stressful events may cause psoriatic flare-ups and increase the lesions (1). You can relieve stress by trying relaxation techniques and meditation and working with a therapist.
  • Skin Injuries: The Koebner phenomenon states that a skin injury or trauma in patients with psoriasis may trigger new psoriatic lesions and inflammations. For instance, injuries like scratches, incisions, viral infections, and radiation exposure may cause psoriasis flare-ups (2).
  • Medical Conditions: Medical conditions like depression and cardiometabolic syndromes can affect the immune system and cause psoriatic flare-ups. You may experience redness, itchy plaques, lesions, and scaling. Other existing conditions like cardiovascular diseases, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, diabetes, and arthritis may also cause flare-ups (3),(4). Some medications, like beta-blockers, synthetic antimalarials, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), lithium, and tetracyclines, used to treat various conditions may trigger flare-ups(5).
  • Environmental Factors: Extreme weather conditions and factors like humidity and sunlight may cause flare-ups .
  • Other Factors: Certain foods, allergies, alcohol can trigger psoriatic inflammation (6), (3).
protip_icon Did You Know?
Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, LeAnn Rimes, and Cara Delevingne are some of the celebrities who have psoriasis.

Essential oils are common home remedies to manage psoriasis flare-ups. Here are some essential oils that you may try.

Essential Oils That May Help Manage Psoriasis

1. Tea Tree Oil

You Will Need

  • 2-4 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons of any carrier oil

How To Use It

  1. Mix the two oils.
  2. Apply the mixture to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes and wash it off.
  4. Apply it twice a day.

Why It Works

Tea tree oil contains terpinen-4-ol, a compound with anti-inflammatory properties, which may help soothe psoriasis (7).

2. Lavender Oil

You Will Need

  • 4-5 drops of lavender oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1-2 drops of peppermint oil (optional)

How To Use It

  1. Combine the oils.
  2. Apply the blend to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Apply it 2-3 times a day.

Why It Works

Lavender oil contains major phytoconstituents linalool and linalyl acetate, which can soothe psoriatic inflammation (8).

3. Geranium Oil

You Will Need

  • 2-4 drops of geranium oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

How To Use It

  1. Dilute geranium oil with coconut oil.
  2. Apply the mixture to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 30 minutes and wash it off.
  4. Do this twice every day.

Why It Works

Geranium can be used to soothe psoriasis symptoms. A study showed that the anti-inflammatory properties of rose geranium reduced inflammation during psoriasis flare-ups (9), (10) .

4. Peppermint Oil

You Will Need

  • 3-7 drops of peppermint oil
  • 1-3 tablespoons of carrier oil

How To Use It

  1. Mix the two oils.
  2. Apply it over the affected skin.
  3. Leave it on for 30 minutes, and then wash it off.
  4. Apply twice daily.

Why It Works

Peppermint oil can reduce pruritus (itching), a common symptom of psoriasis (11).

5. Chamomile Oil

You Will Need

  • 3-5 drops of chamomile oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons of jojoba oil

How To Use It

  1. Mix the oils.
  2. Dab it over the affected area with your finger or a cotton swab.
  3. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash off.
  4. Apply twice daily.

Why It Works

Chamomile is often used to soothe inflammation and psoriasis flare-ups (12). It also helps relieve stress, a major trigger for psoriasis inflammation.

6. Hemp Seed Oil

You Will Need

  • 2-5 drops of hemp seed oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons of carrier oil

How To Use It

  1. Mix the hemp seed and carrier oils.
  2. Apply the mixture to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash it off.
  4. Do this twice every day.

Why It Works

Hemp seed oil can relieve dryness, inflammation, and itching caused by psoriasis and help soothe the skin (13).

7. Frankincense Oil For Psoriasis

You Will Need

  • 3-5 drops of frankincense oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons of any carrier oil (coconut oil or jojoba oil)

How To Use It

  1. Mix frankincense oil with a carrier oil.
  2. Apply the mixture to the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes and wash it off.
  4. Apply it twice a day.

Why It Works

Frankincense oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that soothe swelling, itchiness, and irritation associated with psoriasis (14).

Essential oils should not be used alone. You have to mix them with carrier oils before applying them to the skin. Here is a list of carrier oils you can use.

Carrier Oils To Pair With Essential Oils

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can be used alone or in combination with other essential oils to reduce psoriatic inflammation. Research shows that coconut oil, paired with salicylic acid, coal tar, and other ingredients, can minimize psoriasis symptoms (15).

Ayurveda promotes Winsoria oil (a herbal coconut-based oil) to manage psoriasis (16). Coconut oil may help improve inflammation and scales formed on the scalp due to psoriasis (17), (18).

2. Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil helps manage psoriasis symptoms (19). It also has antifungal properties and can speed up wound healing.

3. Castor Oil for Psoriasis

Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, a compound with anti-inflammatory properties. It may help soothe psoriatic inflammation (20). Castor oil can be applied to the skin directly or used as a base with other essential oils.

protip_icon Quick Tip
If these oils do not suit your skin, olive, almond, and argan oils are some other alternatives you may try for diluting essential oils.

Essential oils are known as potential allergens. You have to be careful while using them to avoid any adverse effects.

Side Effects Of Essential Oils

If you are allergic to essential oils, they may worsen your condition and cause:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Hives
  • Dryness
  • Swelling

Consult a doctor and perform a patch test before using oils and other natural remedies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CBD oil good for psoriasis?

CBD contains anti-inflammatory effects that may aid in treating skin disorders such as psoriasis. However, more research is needed in this regard. Hence, it is recommended to consult with a physician before using it (21).

Is rosemary oil good for psoriasis?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that rosemary’s anti-inflammatory properties may help treat chronic skin disorders such as psoriasis.

Key Takeaways

  • Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin. Factors such as stress, skin injury, and exposure to sunlight may trigger flare-ups.
  • Essential oils such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, or hemp seed oil may help manage flare-ups and inflammation.
  • To avoid any allergic reaction, essential oils should be mixed with carrier oils such as coconut oil or castor oil.

Learn about the use of essential oils in psoriasis. Take a look at this video to learn more about when and how to use these oils effectively to soothe your skin and manage psoriasis symptoms.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes itchy, red patches on the skin. While the exact cause of psoriasis is unknown, certain factors such as stress, medical conditions, or weather changes may aggravate this skin condition. You can use a few essential oils for psoriasis management, such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, or chamomile oil. Since essential oils are not to be applied directly to the skin, dilute them with carrier oils like coconut or castor oil. Finally, you should conduct a patch test before applying an essential oil.

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Psychosomatic Paradigms in Psoriasis: Psoriasis, Stress and Mental Health
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3890931/
  2. Koebner Phenomenon Leading to the Formation of New Psoriatic Lesions: Evidences and Mechanisms
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6893164/
  3. Psoriasis
    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32549-6/fulltext
  4. Diagnosis and Management of Psoriasis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5389757/
  5. Psoriasis: a Review of Existing Therapies and Recent Advances in Treatment
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328138246_Psoriasis_A_Review_of_Existing_Therapies_and_Recent_Advances_in_Treatment
  6. The Burden of Skin Diseases
    https://www.lewin.com/content/dam/Lewin/Resources/Site_Sections/Publications/april2005skindisease.pdf
  7. Critical Role of Environmental Factors in the Pathogenesis of Psoriasis
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1346-8138.13806
  8. Tea Tree Oil as a Novel Anti Psoriasis Weapon
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22473218/
  9. Anti-Psoriatic Effect of Lavandula Angustifolia Essential Oil and Its Major Components Linalool and Linalyl Acetate
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32623016/
  10. Rose Geranium Essential Oil as a Source of New and Safe Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24103319/
  11. Essential Oils Used in Aromatherapy: a Systemic Review
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115001033
  12. Antimicrobial Activity of Selected Essential Oils Against Streptococcus Suis Isolated from Pigs
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/mbo3.613
  13. Current Approaches to the Treatment of Psoriasis
    https://wchh.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/psb.122
  14. Diterpenoids and Triterpenoids From Frankincense Are Excellent Anti-psoriatic Agents: An in silico Approach
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7330179/
  15. Potential Implications of Ayurveda in Psoriasis: a Clinical Case Study
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0975947620301303
  16. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments for Common Skin Diseases: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
    https://www.jaadinternational.org/article/S2666-3287(20)30075-4/pdf
  17. Diagnosis and Management of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis in Adults
    https://www.sign.ac.uk/assets/sign121.pdf
  18. Jojoba Oil: Anew Media for Frying Process
    https://juniperpublishers.com/ctbeb/pdf/CTBEB.MS.ID.555952.pdf
  19. Management of Psoriasis With Aloe Vera Extract in a Hydrophilic Cream: a Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Study.
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1046/j.1365-3156.1996.d01-91.x
  20. Effect of Ricinoleic Acid in Acute and Subchronic Experimental Models of Inflammation
    https://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2000/360629.pdf
  21. Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Skin Health and Disorders
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7736837/
  22. Tea Tree Oil For Psoriasis: Benefits, Uses, And More
  23. Scalp Psoriasis Vs. Dandruff: What Are The Differences?
  24. 13 Best Soaps For Psoriasis Symptoms
  25. 8 Best Homeopathy Treatments For Psoriasis
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Dr. Priya Gill
Dr. Priya GillMBBCH, MRCP
Dr. Priya Gill is a consultant dermatologist in Klang, Malaysia, with over 16 years of experience. She specializes in the management of all medical and surgical dermatology issues and has a special interest in laser therapy and phototherapy.

Read full bio of Dr. Priya Gill