Sometimes our hands can break our sense of confidence when we suffer from unpleasant conditions like psoriasis. (I see you hiding your hands in your pocket!) When we have any sort of skin problem, we naturally want to try to find that magic cure. Sometimes we find treatments that work and do the trick and other times we are left disappointed because something didn’t have the outcome we were hoping for. Let’s talk about tea tree oil for psoriasis. Is it a good idea?
Psoriasis and Its Symptoms
While more than 8 million Americans suffer from psoriasis, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation, over 125 million people have the condition worldwide.1 It’s a chronic condition where the skin produces an overgrowth of skin cells which build up on top of healthy skin.2 This is what causes the typical symptoms of red and patchy skin that is covered in thick, silver-looking scales.3 The skin is extremely dry, often cracked, bleeding and very itchy. Even worse, psoriasis can also cause swollen joints which adds to the discomfort of the inflamed skin.3 It can show up in many places but the most common places to see a psoriasis outbreak is on the knees, elbows, lower back, face, scalp, feet and hands.2,3 (I can totally understand why your hands are in your pocket.) As if that’s not bad enough, there is no known cure.
It’s no wonder why so many people are trying to find an effective treatment to spare them from the discomfort that psoriasis causes.
What Can Tea Tree Oil Do?
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, comes from the leaves of the tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia which is native to Australia. Tea tree oil is considered an essential oil and has been used for many things such as preventing head lice, treating acne and fungal infections.2 These days you can find tea tree oil practically anywhere. You’ll know it’s in your product by the strong, eucalyptus-like smell. It has a very distinct smell which is why it is used for aromatherapy too. Some people love it while others can’t stand it.
The reason tea tree oil has become such a popular natural remedy for many conditions is because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.2 It helps to fight off unwanted bacteria and some people have found that it helps to soothe irritated and inflamed skin, including the symptoms of psoriasis. Some people use tea tree oil directly on the skin or you can find skin care products that have tea tree oil as an ingredient. If you plan on trying tea tree oil for your psoriasis, remember that essential oils can burn the skin and should always be diluted properly with a skin-friendly oil such as almond oil coconut oil.
Bear in mind that there isn’t any clear scientific research that labels tea tree oil as an effective treatment for psoriasis. I also want to point out that when it comes to trying new remedies, you need to always be careful because you don’t know how your skin will react. Always do your research before trying anything new.
Is There a Safer Option?
While finding new, effective treatments is always exciting, it’s also good to remember that if you have psoriasis, you don’t want to aggravate your skin even more. Using a scientific-backed product like Gloves In A Bottle or Skin MD Natural takes the risk factor out because you know what it can do for your skin. A shielding lotion is formulated for difficult skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema so that it can help protect your skin while helping it to heal. These products are all about using natural ingredients wherever possible and using gentle ingredients that won’t irritate your skin. And one other good point is that Gloves In A Bottle and Skin MD Natural don’t come with the strong pungent smell that tea tree oil has.
If you suffer from psoriasis, it’s always best to use safe products and treatments that you know won’t risk more damage to your skin. The symptoms of psoriasis can be painful and frustrating on their own and the last thing you want to do is risk making that even worse. Without trying to sound like your mom, if you’re thinking of trying using tree oil for psoriasis, be careful when experimenting with new ingredients and if you have any doubts, always talk to your dermatologist first.