How Taking a Bath Can Improve Your Psoriasis
Taking daily baths can be beneficial for keeping your skin soft and clean. Keeping your skin clean is important for preventing skin infections, which can easily occur on a psoriatic lesion, and a mild soap can improve itchiness and remove the dead skin cells.
Plus a nice, warm bath after a long day can also help relax your mind and help you sleep better at night.
Tips for the Perfect Bath for Psoriasis
For extra benefits you may want to add oil, finely ground oatmeal or salts. Epsom salt can be found in any pharmacy and contains plenty of minerals with anti-inflammatory effects.
If you opt to add essential oils, a great choice would be lavender oil. It has antibacterial properties, soothes the skin, and relaxes your mind.
Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt and 15 drops of lavender oil to the water in your bathtub, and soak yourself for 15 minutes.
Don’t spend more than 15 minutes in the bathtub, or more than 10 minutes in the shower, as staying in the water for too long can dry out your skin and make it more itchy.
Make sure the water is not too hot, to avoid skin irritation.
After your bath you should gently pat your skin dry – avoid rubbing it with a towel. Next, add a moisturizer to further relieve dryness, itching and irritation. Depending on your skin, you may choose an ointment, lotion or cream.
Avoid creams that contain artificial colors, fragrances and additives. Petroleum jelly is a good choice, and cost-effective, too. Creams with glycerin or shea butter are also great for your skin.
Use the moisturizer after the bath or shower, and then again throughout the day, or when you change the clothes. If the weather is too hot or too cold you may need to apply the cream more often, as the skin gets easily dehydrated.
A Special Bath-Spa Therapy
Balneotherapy has been used for thousands of years to alleviate various medical conditions, from arthritis to skin problems. The Dead Sea is a popular destination for this therapy, as the waters are 10 times more salty than the ocean, and also rich in magnesium, sodium, calcium, and other minerals.
It's easy to take advantage of the benefits of this water without travelling to the Dead Sea. Plenty of spas that do balneotherapy can be found in US, like Des Plaines in Chicago area. The treatment combines water therapy (with high concentrated salts from the Dead Sea) with phototherapy (narrow band UVB light) for psoriasis patients.
According to J. McGinnis, VP of the Des Plaines spa, most people with psoriasis notice up to 90% improvement in skin lesions after 25-30 treatments. It works because the minerals from the salt keep the skin well hydrated and soft while breaking down the psoriasis plaques.
The UV light is applied later and will penetrate better the skin and promote tissue repair.