In short, psoriasis is an autoimmune disease of the skin. It takes several different forms, and whilst there are numerous treatment options available, the disease can only be managed and minimized with these options.
When speaking of psoriasis in general, think red, inflamed, itchy, swollen, flaky skin. Sometimes it can be so itchy, that a person will scratch it until it bleeds just to try and relieve some of that irritable itching sensation. For some though, it isn’t itchy, but it still affects them, in different ways.
It can make us feel ugly within our own skin, and as a result, it can lead to psychological issues such as depression. It can make us feel embarrassed about our own body, and lead us to feeling lonely and isolated.
Make sure you speak with your doctor or preferred health professional before you start using any treatment options. Discuss the range of options available, and ask how natural therapies, particularly essential oils can help.
Essential Oils and Psoriasis
So, which essential oils can support you with your psoriasis? Many essential oils are cited in aromatherapy textbooks as soothing and calming for the skin, or as anti inflammatory, antipruritic (anti itching for us non tech people), and analgesic – all of which sound great for helping with psoriasis.
The vegetable or carrier oil we use can make a big difference to our skin too. Many of them are great for moisturizing our dry, flaky skin, so it’s important to look at which ones are better for helping our psoriasis.
Essential Oils for Psoriasis
1. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
It really can be used in so many ways, for so many ailments. And it certainly is no slouch in the skin care support department for psoriasis either.
Actually, I’d go as far as to say that this oil is a must for your psoriasis support. Why? Because not only is it calming and relaxing for the mind, it is also calming and relaxing for the skin.
Because it is good for the skin and the mind, it is not only going to assist the physical nature of this disease, but also the psychological ones too. Two for the price of one really.
Add a drop to your current skin care product to help calm that painful, irritated skin. Or add a drop to your diffuser to ease your stress and relax your mind. Need help sleeping? Lavender is a great option.
If you’re not feeling nurtured, place a drop of Lavender on a tissue and inhale the delightful aroma – it will help remind you that in order to feel nurtured by others, you need to nurture yourself.
2. German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Did you know that the chamomile flowers have been used for thousands of years for skin irritations? Well according to Battaglia (2018) they have been used since antiquity (p.218).
Now who are we to argue with history?
Another great reason to use this one is its gentle relaxing and calming effect on the mind. This would support our earlier comments about the psychological effects of psoriasis on mind as well as the skin. Again, another oil that is value for money in terms of its uses.
Add a drop of German chamomile to any unscented facial skin care products to help reduce the redness. When feeling irritable or anxious, a drop in the diffuser helps wonderfully.
3. Sandalwood (Santalum album, Santalum spicatum)
The intoxicating aroma of this oil is produced from the heartwood of the Sandalwood tree. It is a rich yet delicate aroma that you just feel in your heart. You feel a sense of calmness sweep over you. This is also the effect we want for our skin when we use this oil.
With psoriasis making skin dry and flaky, Sandalwood can help moisturize, soothe and calm itchy, inflamed and irritated skin.
When feeling overwhelmed, put a drop of Sandalwood on a tissue or in the diffuser to help escape the business of daily life, and just relax into yourself and your own inner world.
4. Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum, Helichrysum angustifolium )
This is one super interesting oil – not only because of its reported uses, but also because of its name. It is known throughout the aromatherapy industry by differing names so if you are doing further reading on it, make sure you look under each of the names for it as each author calls it something different. So what names does it go by? You’ll find it documented as: Helichrysum, Everlasting or Immortelle.
This unique oil is has a complex aroma – it is slightly fruity, honey, almost tea like. And then there’s a slight curry like smell.
Everlasting and Immortelle, gives us a good indication of what it can be used for – everlasting youth, or the fountain of youth. Which indicates youthful skin.
When it comes to problem skin conditions like psoriasis, this oil is both nourishing and soothing.
5. Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
This popular Australian native oil has been used widely in the cosmetics industry for numerous years especially in commercial pimple and acne treatments.
Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, this could be a handy addition to your psoriasis toolkit.
5 Drops in a tablespoon of vitamin E rich wheat germ oil, used as a night time ointment could help ease some of the symptoms.
There is some scientific research that suggests that Tea Tree has the potential to assist in reducing the effects of psoriasis. This is an exciting development, and one we will watch with interest as more research is conducted.
6. Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
Geranium oil has a balancing effect on the mind, the body and the skin, which is what makes it a wonderful addition to our psoriasis oil list. Plus it smells pretty amazing too. One sniff and you start to feel uplifted and in sync with life.
In most aromatherapy texts, it states that this oil has excellent skin regenerating and anti-inflammatory actions. Sounds great. Best part is that is it useful in both acute and chronic skin conditions.
This balancing and harmony effect also means that it is great for any psychological issues we may develop as a result of our psoriasis. A drop or two in our diffuser or inhaler stick, and we can continue to tackle the day.
Essential Oils For Psoriasis Recipes
Calm Skin Blend
- 5 ml jojoba carrier oil
- 5 ml calendula carrier oil
- 5 ml of rosehip carrier oil
- 2 drops helichrysum
- 2 drops German chamomile
- 2 drops lavender
- 2 drops sandalwood
In a dark glass bottle, add all the oils. Apply the blend to the affected areas of your skin as required. It is best applied to clean but cool skin, so wait a little while after your shower before you apply.
Chill Me Out Massage Blend
- 20 ml sweet almond oil
- 10 ml tamanu oil
- 4 drops sandalwood
- 2 drops tea tree
- 3 drops geranium
- 3 drops lavender
In a medium size jar, blend all the oils. Massage gently into the skin, ensuring even coverage all over your body. You can also take this along to your favourite massage therapist, and get a nice relaxation massage. This will not only help heal the skin but will help heal the mind.
Ahhh Relief – Skin Blend
- 5 ml sweet almond oil
- 5 ml wheatgerm Oil
- 2 drops lavender
- 2 drops frankincense
- 2 drops geranium
- 1 drop patchouli
In a dark glass bottle, add all the oils and blend well. Apply as needed when your skin is feeling hot, red and uncomfortable.
Stop the Itch Scalp Massage Blend
- 4 drops tea tree
- 2 drops lavender
- 10 ml calendula
In a small container, blend the oils. Apply to dry hair, rubbing into the scalp focusing on the areas with the most irritation. Leave on for 15 minutes, wash and clean hair as normal.
Anti Itch Blend
- 2 ml sweet almond oil
- 1 drop lavender
- 1 drop geranium
In a small jar, blend the oils. Rub a couple of drops of the itchy area for instant relief. Apply as needed.
- Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition of the skin
- There is no known cure, but natural therapies can assist in managing the symptoms.
- There are many essential oils that can help calm that irritated, red, flaky skin; and also aid in helping any associated psychological issues like depression or anxiety
- Carrier oils are just as important as essential oils when it comes to skin conditions like psoriasis. Choose ones with essential vitamins and fatty acids that are imperative for great looking skin. Psoriasis can be a difficult condition to manage. Speak with your doctor regularly, making sure you stay on top of any changes in your skin.
- Essential Oils For Dry Skin (How To Use + 3 Powerful Recipes)
- Lavender Essential Oil Benefits (King For A Reason?)
Battaglia, S (2018). The Complete guide to Aromatherapy: Volume One Foundations and Materia Medica; Brisbane, Black Pepper Creative.
Bensouilah, J and Buck, P (2006). Aromadermatology: Aromatherapy in the Treatment and Care of Common Skin Conditions; Oxon, Radcliffe Publishing.
Kusmirek, J (2002). Liquid Sunshine – Vegetable Oils for Aromatherapy; Glastonbury, Floramicus.
Tisserand, R, and Young, R. (2013) Essential Oil Safety, Second Edition; Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.