As a hairdresser I would encounter clients that suffer from psoriasis from time to time. It always seems that they feel really uncomfortable when I mention the condition. Psoriasis not only appears on the scalp but also the face, elbows, back of the legs, feet, knees or other parts of the body.The majority of clients seem to have just accepted the condition and live with the discomfort. It is an auto immune disorders that hasn’t been easy to treat or cure by modern medicine or with complimentary medicine and for most cases only alleviate some of the symptoms. Would essential oils bring any relief or improvement for psoriasis sufferers? Well let’s have a look at my top 5 essential oils for psoriasis.
So what is psoriasis?
The outer layer of the skin is made of dead cells and are replaced by cells from the layer beneath which are replaced by cells made by the third layer. With psoriasis the new cells grows faster than the dead cells that are normally shed off by wear and tear of daily living which resulted in a thick and scaly appearance. Psoriasis may appear in many areas and cause a lot of embarrassing feelings. Psoriasis is not contagious and does not seem to be connected with allergies.
There seem to be a connection between the amount of stress that a person is experiencing and the onset of psoriasis. Many sufferers notice an improvement whilst on holiday.
Aromatherapy is very helpful in stress relieving and cases treated by aroma therapist show improvements.
Certain essential oils can be very helpful to support the body when dealing with psoriasis. Before we have a look at a few of the most beneficial essential oils and how to use them it is important to remember that this is a medical condition and therefor should be discussed with your physician and that essential oils should be use as a complimentary support treatment.
Also worth noting is that most psoriasis sufferers can be very sensitive to almost anything that they put on so do a skin so ALWAYS dilute the oils, do a skin patch first to see if there is a reaction and use less essential oils per carrier oil. I would suggest mixing 5 drops of essential oils in total per 25 ml of carrier oil.
Myrrh essential oil
Myrrh essential oil is very soothing to the cracked skin. Myrrh contains antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that will support the body to restore and heal and regulate cell functions. Myrrh oil is probably one of the best oils to support the immune system.
How to use Myrrh for psoriasis?
You have to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil. A bit more on coconut oil in a moment. Now applying oils to the scalp is a bit tricky.
Geranium essential oil
Geranium is a great essential oil to use for skin health. It contains geraniol which is an anti-aging compound. Geranium is also a very soothing oil and great for stress relief. The chemical compounds in Geranium oil minimizes inflammation and calms the skin. To buy good quality essential oil is really important. I love Rocky Mountain Oils for their quality and am just a big fan of the company as a whole as an aromatherapist. You can order some Geranium essential oils here.
Tea tree essential oil
Tea tree essential oil contains anti- viral, anti – bacterial and anti-fungal properties. All of which is super helpful to prevent infection and support the health of the skin. Tea tree increases the body’s ability to respond to threats which is why it is such a great immune booster. I love Tea tree oil for a few reasons, one being from Australia just like me but honestly it is such a versatile oil and you can probably call it the Swiss Army Knife oil – a must in the essential oil toolbox.
For hair and scalp conditions the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties makes it useful not only to help with psoriasis but also dandruff and to treat lice.
Many skincare products contain tea-tree especially to treat acne. You always have to invest in really good quality essential oils but when you apply oils topically on the face or head I would suggest getting an organic Tea tree essential oil by ordering here.
Lavender essential oil
Lavender essential oil contains anti-inflammatory properties which will sooth the skin and promote new cell regeneration thanks to linalool. Lavender oil is also very sedative and will calm the skin and nervous system. Lavender’s antiseptic qualities make it very useful for acne, boils, eczema, psoriasis and wounds. Lavender is one of my favourite oils and you can ready why here.
Lavender oil is one of the few oils that you can apply neat on the skin however I would still dilute it. For the purpose of psoriasis and acne I would definitely dilute it with a carrier oil. It is also really important to use a good quality Lavender oil preferably an organic oil.
Frankincense essential oil
The king of essential oils certainly lives up to its name. Frankincense oil has powerful anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which are all very helpful in combatting psoriasis. Frankincense oil also has anti-microbial properties. It also helps to relieve chronic stress and anxiety and reduce discomfort and support a healthy response to inflammation.
WARNING – people with problems related to blood clotting should not use Frankincense oil before consulting their doctor.
For one of the best organic Frankincense essential oils click here to order.
How to use essential oils for psoriasis?
You have to dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil. Now applying oils to the scalp can be a bit tricky depending on the amount of hair that you have. You want to get the oil on your fingertips really and then stick it sort of under the hair so that you can massage the oil on the scalp.
I would do this treatment at least twice a week and most probably a weekend or evening activity since you have to leave the oil on your scalp either for at least an hour or overnight. If you decide to sleep with the oil then please put a covering over your pillow such as a old cloth or towel to prevent the oil from staining your pillowcase.
If the psoriasis is on your body then applying the cream or oil topically can be much easier and you can do that more often.
Coconut is an effective carrier oil because of the anti-inflammatory properties. It is very gentle and moisturizing. Coconut oil also has antimicrobial properties that can help protect against harmful microorganisms. This is especially important for skin health, as many types of skin infections, including acne, cellulitis, folliculitis and athlete’s foot, are caused by bacteria or fungi. Applying coconut oil directly to the skin may prevent the growth of these microorganisms.
If you either do not like the fragrances of any essential oils or don’t have any essential oil you can use Coconut oil by itself. Now it is okay to use the coconut oil in the pantry for your hair BUT not the other way around. Coconut oil for hair treatments specifically can not be used for cooking. Always read the label. Check out different coconut oils here or below.
Castor oil is also very effective as carrier oil due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Castor oil is high in vitamin E and essential unsaturated fatty acids like omega-6, which stimulate blood circulation on the surface of the skin and helps to soothe flaky, itchy scalp.Castor oil is a very thick oil and I would recommend that you combine it with another carrier oil such as almond or grapeseed oil which is lighter and will make it easier to wash out of the hair after the treatment.
How to wash out oil out of the hair?
Just trying to rinse out the coconut oil or castor oil won't help. You will need to shampoo it out and probably do that twice. If you do struggle getting rid of the oil then you can add a teaspoon of aloe vera gel to your shampoo.
Psoriasis and eczema relief recipe
3 drops of lavender oil
3 drops of frankincense oil
3 drops of myrrh oil
20 ml of a carrier oil such as coconut, castor, or almond
Mix it all together and keep it in a dark glass bottle or container
Apply twice daily by rubbing it on the affected areas
Diffusing essential oils
Diffusing essential oils to calm your nervous system is another method to use to help support the body to fight psoriasis.
When using a diffuser always use a pure single oil not a blend because that will damage your diffuser. Since psoriasis sufferers are already immuno compromised and super sensitive I would recommend using organic essential oils in the diffuser. I am very aware that organic essential oils are more expensive and many of us are on a budget. You can choose a more affordable organic essential oil such as Lavender oil rather which also contains the chemical compounds that can be beneficial for you.
You only need a couple of drops in the diffuser. Also be very aware that some oils such as Tea Tree essential oil can be toxic to your pets if you diffuse it in the house.
General Safety Information
Do not take essential oils internally or apply essential oils undiluted on the skin.
Always use good quality essential oils preferably organic. One of my favorite companies that I use personally is Plant Therapy.
Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil.
Dilute according to body mass. For children you can use a 1 % dilution and for adults 5 %
Pregnant women have to consult with a qualified aromatherapist and or midwife and doctor before using essential oils, especially topically.
If you have liver damage, cancer, suffers from epilepsy or other medical problems and take medicine on a regular basis then you have to use essential oils under the guidance of a trained aromatherapist.
Check whether the essential oil of your choice is safe to use around your pets. Here is a list of essential oils safety for dogs.
Take care of you so that you can take care of those you love