Essential Oils For Psoriasis: Do They Work?

Written by Anjali Sayee

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 essential oils can help manage the symptoms. 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. 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).

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).

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 (14).

Ayurveda promotes Winsoria oil (a herbal coconut-based oil) to manage psoriasis (15). Coconut oil may help improve inflammation and scales formed on the scalp due to psoriasis (16), (17).

2. Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil helps manage psoriasis symptoms (18). 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 (19). Castor oil can be applied to the skin directly or used as a base with other 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.

To Conclude

Essential oils can be beneficial in managing psoriasis if you are not allergic to them. Psoriasis can make the skin sensitive to most ingredients. It is recommended to consult a doctor before trying home remedies to avoid undesiriable side effects. Since there is no cure for psoriasis, always work with your doctor to avoid flare-ups and ensure proper management of the condition.

Sources

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. Potential Implications of Ayurveda in Psoriasis: a Clinical Case Study
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0975947620301303
  15. 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
  16. Diagnosis and Management of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis in Adults
    https://www.sign.ac.uk/assets/sign121.pdf
  17. Jojoba Oil: Anew Media for Frying Process
    https://juniperpublishers.com/ctbeb/pdf/CTBEB.MS.ID.555952.pdf
  18. 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
  19. Effect of Ricinoleic Acid in Acute and Subchronic Experimental Models of Inflammation
    https://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/mi/2000/360629.pdf

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Anjali Sayee is a writer and an introvert. From studying Aeronautical Engineering and wanting to design her own airplane to writing articles on hairstyles, she has been on quite a journey. She believes that hair is one of the key factors that define a woman’s personality. To quote her, “What’s the first thing they do in the movies to show a personality change? Change the hair – because it has a life of its own.” She’s here to help you find the hairstyle you need. This bookworm is a self-professed Wholocker, a talented drummer, and an amateur photographer.