Psoriasis, Avocado Oil and Fish Oil: A Topical Treatment
Psoriasis is a non-contagious, recurring skin disease with symptoms that include patches of rough, dry and scaly skin surrounded by a red, inflamed border. Areas affected often become cracked and painful with severe itching.
Psoriasis can occur in various places on the body and over 6 million people in the USA are believed to be sufferers.
Avocado Oil and Psoriasis
Serious cases of psoriasis should be treated by a healthcare professional who has a thorough understanding of the problem as there may be a variety of underlying causes. While avocado oil may not be a cure, many people report a lessening of the symptoms with regular topical application of avocado oil for psoriasis.
Cold pressed avocado oil like this one I have is considered one of the most skin penetrative of all natural oils and is extremely good at clearing up dry skin.
Although psoriasis is obviously a far more serious problem than dry skin, the deep and long lasting moisturizing properties of avocado oil can help reduce psoriasis symptoms like rough and cracked skin and lessen the irritating itching.
It would also be beneficial for psoriasis sufferers to switch from potentially inflammatory polyunsaturated cooking oils, like safflower, soy, cottonseed and corn oils, to much healthier monounsaturated avocado oil for cooking.
You can use avocado oil as a salad dressing, on steamed vegetables, in any recipe that calls for a rich culinary oil and even as a supplement by taking a teaspoon twice a day with meals for more healthy monounsaturated fats.
Psoriasis, Fish Oil and Omega-3s
The type of fats we consume in our diet are suspected of either contributing to or lessening psoriasis symptoms. There are many reports of positive results for psoriasis sufferers who increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids compared to the far more common omega-6.
The omega-3 fat eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) found in fish oil has been shown to inhibit the metabolism of omega-6 arachidonic acid into pro-inflammatory eicosanoids. It is these inflammatory compounds that are believed to be primarily responsible for changes in the skin leading to psoriasis.
Often suggested dosages for combined EPA and DHA (which may also play a role) for treating psoriasis is 1 to 3 grams daily. That’s not of fish oil itself, but of the combined EPA/DHA that will be listed on the product.
It is necessary to discuss this with your doctor if you are taking important medicine that may be affected by high doses of fish oil.
The fish oil dosage is usually best spread out over the day. At least morning and evening, but ideally divided into three doses taken with each major meal of the day. This helps to keep its anti-inflammatory effect working for longer.
Fish Oil and Avocado Oil as a Topical Psoriasis Treatment
While supplementing with both avocado oil and particularly fish oil can have a beneficial effect on psoriasis symptoms, both these oils have also been reported effective as topical treatments.
Fish oil, applied directly to the skin, has also been shown to be an effective treatment in research studies such as this one entitled: Topical fish oil in psoriasis – a controlled and blind study.
Given the effectiveness of both avocado oil and fish oil independently, I recently suggested trying both of these oils together topically to a friend with psoriasis on her arms and legs.
As I told her and I’ll repeat here, it is very important to patch test this or any new psoriasis treatment for unfavorable reactions on a small, inconspicuous area a day before using it on larger areas.
This topical treatment has apparently proved very effective in reducing her symptoms, particularly decreasing itchiness, as well as improving the appearance of affected areas. It took around a week of application, nightly before bed, for her to notice significant improvement, so I would not expect results overnight.
The method is simple and I’ll share it here, but obviously one person is not much of a sample size. I’d be interested to hear anyone else’s results, but once again stress the importance of patch testing a small area the day before applying fully to check for any negative reactions.
- To use avocado oil and fish oil as a topical treatment for psoriasis, start by pouring equal amounts of each oil into two bowls that you can reach quickly.
- With very clean fingers, start by applying avocado oil first, in gentle circular motions, followed immediately by fish oil over the same area. Work one area at a time, with both the avocado oil followed by the fish oil, before moving onto the next.
- Larger psoriasis patches may be best done in sections as the idea is to blend the penetrative avocado oil with the omega-3 rich fish oil on the skin.
- Be sure to use cold pressed and unrefined avocado oil for the maximum antioxidant content and a highly concentrated fish oil to ensure a high EPA/DHA content.
- After applying the oils wait at least ten minutes before contact with clothing. Alternatively, lightly pat away any excess oil with a damp cloth after a few minutes.
Remember to be gentle at all times when treating psoriasis with avocado oil or any other treatment. Hard rubbing is usually counterproductive and can increase symptoms. I hope this works as effectively for many other people as it has for my friend.
Other Psoriasis Treatments
Psoriasis is a complex disease with a variety of possible contributing factors. Topical treatments can help reduce the symptoms, but to stop it returning you need to address what’s causing the inflammation at a deeper level than just the visible manifestation on the skin.
The Psoriasis Free for Life website has a specific and detailed plan to cure the condition that doesn’t involve prescription medicines or chemical laden lotions.
The program focuses on long term dietary solutions and also includes other effective topical treatments for relieving psoriasis symptoms, like itchiness and scaly skin, while at the same time dealing with the underlying causes.
Photo 1 credit: Monika Betley
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