Psoriasis is a common and chronic skin condition suffered by millions of Americans, according to American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, or AOCD. Psoriasis causes skin to become thick, red and covered with silver-like scales in certain areas. Skin often becomes dry, cracked, sore or itchy, and psoriasis may eventually lead to blisters in serious cases, according to the Family Doctor website. One way to soothe the effects of psoriasis is with oatmeal bath therapy.
Although psoriasis is categorized as a skin disease, it's related to immune system and white blood cell dysfunction. With psoriasis, the skin automatically tries to "heal a non-existent injury" due to over-stimulated T-cells, according to AOCD. Then the skin grows rapidly, trying to "grow the infection off the skin," explains AOCD.
Likelihood of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is not contagious. However, some people are prone to the skin disorder due to heredity, according to the Family Doctor website. Those with psoriasis may experience periods of remission, but flare-ups are often triggered by lifestyle and other changes, such as stress, new medication, a weakened immune system and related diseases, respiratory infections, weather and other environmental irritants, says Family Doctor.
Symptoms and Relief of Psoriasis
Typical symptoms of psoriasis include itching or burning, and skin often cracks or splits where joints bend. Psoriasis usually occurs on the scalp, elbows, palms, lower back, knees and soles of feet, according to AOCD. However, prescription and nonprescription treatments are available for psoriasis. Home remedies include bath care and soaking, such as oatmeal bath treatments.
Benefits of Oatmeal
Oats calm and repair dry, itchy and inflamed skin. As a natural beauty aid, oats promote overall skin health and radiance, according to Natural News. For psoriasis, soaking in an oatmeal bath relieves parched, rough, painful and sore skin. Oatmeal also helps to remove scales and calms redness, according to Family Doctor. AOCD recommends a medicated over-the-counter product with oatmeal, such as Aveeno colloidal oilated oatmeal.
Natural Oatmeal Bath
Regular oatmeal wrapped in a muslin bag or sock and strained under the tap into a warm bath works best to soothe psoriasis. Herbalist Andrew Chevallier suggests making a decoction out of dried oatmeal seeds or grain for stronger oat herbal care. The soothing moisturizing action of the seeds alleviates itching and nurtures skin.
- American Osteopathic College of Dermatology: Psoriasis
- Family Doctor: Psoriasis
- Natural News: Oats for Beautiful Skin
- "Herbal Remedies"; Andrew Chevallier; 2010