Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A number of alternative therapies claim to ease the symptoms of psoriasis, including special diets, creams, dietary supplements and herbs. None have definitively been proved effective. But some alternative therapies are deemed generally safe, and they may be helpful to some people in reducing signs and symptoms, such as itching and scaling.

  • Aloe vera. Taken from the leaves of the aloe vera plant, aloe extract cream may reduce redness, scaling, itching and inflammation. You may need to use the cream several times a day for a month or more to see any improvements in your skin.
  • Fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil supplements may reduce inflammation associated with psoriasis, although results from studies are mixed. Taking 3 grams or less of fish oil daily is generally recognized as safe, and you may find it beneficial.
  • Oregon grape. Also known as barberry, topical applications of Oregon grape may reduce inflammation and ease psoriasis symptoms.

If you're considering dietary supplements or other alternative therapy to ease the symptoms of psoriasis, consult your doctor. He or she can help you weigh the pros and cons of specific alternative therapies.

Apr. 11, 2014