14 Natural Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis (2022)

Psoriatic arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory type of arthritis that leads to symptoms like joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.

There’s no cure for psoriatic arthritis, but it is treatable. Following your prescribed treatment plan can help you manage symptoms, preserve joint function, and prevent disease progression.

Outside of treatment, many people look for additional steps they can take to manage their condition and alleviate joint pain and stiffness as well as any related skin symptoms from psoriasis.

These remedies may help you find relief.

Natural and herbal remedies haven’t been shown to cure psoriatic arthritis, but a few may help ease your symptoms.

1. Turmeric (curcumin)

Turmeric is a yellow spice used in a variety of cuisines, especially Indian food. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

You can eat foods with turmeric, such as Indian curries, or make turmeric tea. You can also take turmeric in pill form.

Look for supplements containing curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric. Curcumin has been shown to block cytokines and enzymes that cause inflammation.

A 2016 review of several published studies found evidence supporting the effectiveness of turmeric (roughly 1,000 milligrams per day of curcumin) for improving arthritis symptoms like pain and stiffness.

High doses of turmeric can thin your blood. It’s recommended that you don’t take turmeric or curcumin if:

  • you’re taking a blood thinner like warfarin (Coumadin)
  • you’re having surgery
  • you’re pregnant

2. Capsaicin

Capsaicin is a compound naturally found in spicy peppers. It helps with arthritis pain by creating a numbing effect on pain receptors.

You can buy ointments, gels, and creams containing capsaicin in stores or online. Simply rub this product on the skin near your painful joints.

You can also find capsaicin patches that work for up to 8 hours at a time when applied directly to the skin. You might feel a burning sensation at first, but this should lessen over time.

3. Epsom salts

Soaking affected joints in an Epsom salt bath may help reduce joint pain and inflammation. Magnesium, found in Epsom salts, has been shown to help boost bone density and relieve psoriasis-related skin itch.

4. Fish oil

Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory.

A 2018 study showed that taking a daily fish oil supplement may improve joint tenderness and stiffness enough to help people with psoriatic arthritis reduce their dependence on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Fish oil supplements might also improve heart function and protect against heart disease, according to a 2016 study. This could be an important finding, since people with psoriatic arthritis are at higher risk for heart disease.

(Video) 14 Natural Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis: Turmeric and More

To add more omega-3s to your diet, increase your intake of fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, halibut, and cod, or take a fish oil supplement.

High levels of fish oil can interfere with some medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin), so talk with your doctor before taking a supplement.

Due to potentially dangerous levels of mercury, those who are pregnant or trying to conceive should avoid eating certain fish, such as:

  • shark
  • swordfish
  • king mackerel
  • albacore tuna

5. Ginger

Ginger has not been studied for psoriatic arthritis specifically, but it has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Consider trying ginger tea or topical essential oils diluted in a carrier oil to see if it helps you find relief.

6. Exercise

Regular exercise has many benefits for people with psoriatic arthritis, including:

  • preventing joint stiffness
  • improving muscle strength, which can make daily tasks a little easier
  • reducing stress and improving overall mood
  • maintaining bone density
  • reducing fatigue
  • promoting weight loss, which takes pressure off joints
  • lowering risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes

Low impact exercises are the easiest on painful joints. Swimming, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, walking, and cycling are good options.

Resistance training strengthens the muscles that support painful joints.

A 2018 study found that twice-weekly resistance training sessions improved functional ability, disease activity, and quality of life in people with psoriatic arthritis.

Stretching is another vital part of a psoriatic arthritis exercise plan. It prevents tightness and keeps you limber. Plus, it helps you avoid injuries when you exercise.

Work with a physical therapist or qualified personal trainer to develop an exercise routine that works for you.

7. Quit smoking

There’s an established link between smoking cigarettes and the development of psoriatic arthritis. Smoking can also trigger symptom flares. It’s never too late to quit. If you’re having trouble quitting, talk with your doctor, who can recommend smoking cessation aids that can help.

8. Massage

Massage is used to relieve muscle tension and reduce stress. A 2016 review of studies found massage helpful for relieving pain and improving strength and movement in people with arthritis.

However, it’s not clear whether massage is more effective than treatments like acupuncture and chiropractic care.

For best results, find a massage therapist who is trained to provide services for people with chronic conditions like psoriatic arthritis.

9. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine in which practitioners place hair-thin needles into various pressure points around the body.

Inserting these needles promotes the release of natural pain relievers like serotonin and endorphins.

A 2014 review of research on using acupuncture for osteoarthritis found that it was helpful for relieving pain and improving movement and quality of life. The use of acupuncture hasn’t been specifically studied for psoriatic arthritis.

If you want to try this technique, see a licensed acupuncturist who has experience treating psoriatic arthritis. It’s important that they use clean needles and do not insert them into areas of skin with active flares.

10. Acupressure

Acupressure is the practice of applying pressure to specific areas on the body. It’s similar to acupuncture without the use of needles, or to massage.

While there’s no evidence to support the use of acupressure for psoriatic arthritis, it has been shown to help knee osteoarthritis. It can help release muscle tension and reduce pain.

(Video) 14 Natural Treatment for Psoriatic Arthritis | Tita TV

If you want to try acupressure, find a therapist who is experienced in providing services for people with chronic conditions like psoriatic arthritis.

The relationship between stress and psoriatic arthritis is cyclical. Living with a chronic condition like psoriatic arthritis is stressful, and stress is a known psoriatic arthritis trigger. Meanwhile, stress can make you more sensitive to symptoms like joint pain.

Finding ways to cope with stress can help.

11. Relaxation techniques

Prioritize making time each day to focus on relaxation. You can try practicing yoga, listening to music, reading a book, or journaling. You may find that these strategies are helpful for managing stress.

12. Sleep

Fatigue is a common issue for people with psoriatic arthritis. Part of the reason for this pervasive tiredness is a lack of sleep.

A 2019 study published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy looked at sleep patterns in people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Study results showed that nearly 60 percent of participants had trouble sleeping and more than 38 percent of participants said they didn’t get quality sleep.

Getting enough sleep is important for preventing fatigue and improving your overall mood and quality of life.

Here are some tips for creating proper sleep hygiene to help ensure a good night’s sleep:

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the day.
  • Exercise during the day.
  • Keep your room dark and cool.
  • Turn off all screens an hour before bedtime.
  • Avoid big meals before bed.
  • Take a relaxing bath or shower before bed.
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

Getting the right treatment for psoriatic arthritis will also help you sleep better.

It may be that another treatable condition, like sleep apnea, is keeping you awake.

If you still aren’t getting enough rest, ask your doctor for recommendations such as a referral to a sleep specialist.

13. Meditation

While researchers haven’t specifically looked into the effect meditation has on psoriatic arthritis, evidence from a 2019 study suggests that mindfulness meditation can help reduce stress. That includes practices such as focusing on breathing and mental relaxation.

14. Warm bath

A warm soak can help soothe achy joints. Just keep it short and watch the water temperature. Long, hot baths can dry out your skin. Keep the water between 92 and 100°F and don’t soak for more than 20 minutes at a time.

In lieu of a bath, using a heating pad can help loosen joints and relax aching muscles. Moist heat from a wet washcloth or warm bath can be especially soothing to sore joints.

On the other hand, using a cold pack can help reduce swelling and pain. Wrap the ice pack in a towel to avoid damaging your skin. You can alternate heat with cold as needed to help with arthritis symptoms.

Psoriatic arthritis affects about 30 percent of people with psoriasis. If you’re also dealing with skin symptoms, these strategies may help you find relief.

15. Apple cider vinegar

Applying apple cider vinegar to your scalp several times a week may help ease the itch of scalp psoriasis. Create a solution with half water and half organic apple cider vinegar to avoid side effects like burning. After applying, wait for it to dry, and then rinse the solution off to prevent skin irritation.

Skip this regimen if you’re experiencing cracked, open wounds or any bleeding.

16. Oregon grape

Mahonia aquifolium, also known as Oregon grape, is a medicinal herb with germ-killing properties.

A 2018 review of studies found that a cream or ointment containing 10 percent Mahonia improved psoriasis symptoms with minimal side effects.

17. Tea tree oil

While no scientific studies have been conducted on the use of this native Australian oil in psoriasis, some people have found success with it.

Believed to have antiseptic qualities, tea tree oil can be applied to skin affected by psoriasis or used in shampoo as a scalp psoriasis remedy. Be sure to spot test before applying liberally, as some people are allergic to tea tree oil.

18. Oats and Dead Sea salts

Applying an oat paste to your skin or bathing in an oatmeal bath may help relieve psoriasis symptoms, though there’s no research to back these claims.

Options like Dead Sea salts have a little more evidence behind them.

The Dead Sea is located in Israel, roughly 1,300 feet below sea level. It’s full of minerals and is very salty.

People have been soaking in the Dead Sea for centuries to improve the appearance of their skin and reduce inflammation.

Soothing a skin condition by bathing in mineral springs is known as balneotherapy. Only a few studies have looked at this remedy for psoriatic arthritis, but results have been promising.

If a trip to the Dead Sea isn’t feasible, you can purchase Dead Sea salts online.

19. Aloe vera

Aloe vera gel is possibly best known for soothing sunburns and helping wounds heal.

One study found that some people who use a cream or gel containing aloe believe it helps relieve some of the redness, swelling, and scaling associated with psoriasis. Still, more research is needed.

The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends creams containing 0.5 percent aloe. You can apply them up to 3 times daily.

20. Moisturizer

Moisturizing your skin is an essential step if you have psoriasis. It can help relieve dry, flaky skin and promote healing. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using heavier creams or ointments as opposed to lotions. Make sure to choose one that’s free of irritants such as chemicals, fragrance, and dyes.

Make sure to moisturize at least once a day — more often if your skin is particularly dry. Always apply after bathing or washing your hands to lock in moisture.

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Eating a healthy diet may help you manage psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis and reduce your risk of related health issues like heart disease. It can also help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, which can help take unnecessary stress off your joints.

There’s no exact diet for psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis, though some recommend an anti-inflammatory dietary approach. In general, focusing on a well-rounded, nutrient-dense diet can help. This involves incorporating a variety of these foods into your eating plan:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • healthy fats
  • protein
  • low fat or nonfat dairy
  • whole grains

Ask your doctor about specific vitamins or nutrients that may be helpful for you.

Research suggests that some people with psoriatic arthritis have a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is especially important for bone health.

Take steps to increase your vitamin D intake through sun exposure and food sources like milk and fortified juice and cereals. Your doctor may recommend a vitamin D supplement.

Your doctor may also recommend working with a dietitian to develop an eating plan that works best for you.

Remember, sticking to your prescribed treatment plan is the best thing you can do to manage psoriatic arthritis symptoms.

Before trying any complementary, alternative, or natural therapies for psoriatic arthritis or psoriasis, be sure to talk with your doctor. Some remedies can cause side effects or interact with your medication.

A combination of the right psoriatic arthritis medications and natural, at-home remedies can help you manage joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, as well as skin symptoms from psoriasis.

Always speak with your doctor before trying natural or alternative therapies, especially if you’re taking medications. Even if a natural remedy improves your symptoms, don’t stop taking your prescribed medication without consulting your doctor first.

FAQs

What herb is good for psoriatic arthritis? ›

Curcumin

Curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, may help relieve arthritis symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory effects, according to a literature review that appeared in the May 2019 issue of Nutrients.

What is the best thing to take for psoriatic arthritis? ›

NSAIDs. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can relieve pain and reduce inflammation for people with mild psoriatic arthritis. NSAIDs available without a prescription include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve). Stronger NSAIDs are available by prescription.

Is vinegar good for psoriatic arthritis? ›

Applying ACV to affected areas of skin may help treat psoriatic arthritis, says Nicole Avena, PhD, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a visiting professor of health psychology at Princeton University in New Jersey.

What vitamin is good for psoriatic arthritis? ›

Regarding supplements, the Board found some evidence that vitamin D supplementation might help reduce symptoms in people with psoriatic arthritis.

Is Magnesium good for psoriatic arthritis? ›

This study revealed a novel role for dietary magnesium in the regulation of autoimmune arthritis and opens new possibilities for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis with short courses of dietary or drug-induced modulations of magnesium levels.

What is the new drug for psoriatic arthritis? ›

Guselkumab (Tremfya) is the newest biologic drug approved to treat PsA. It's the first biologic to target the immune system protein IL-23. Another IL-23 drug called risankizumab (Skyrizi) is already approved to treat psoriasis and PsA. About a dozen biologics are FDA-approved for psoriatic arthritis.

Can vitamin D help psoriatic arthritis? ›

Dr. Mir points out that there's been some research to suggest that vitamin D treatment may help ease joint pain in certain people with psoriatic arthritis. One such treatment is vitamin D supplements.

Is turmeric good for psoriatic arthritis? ›

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body — meaning it has potential benefits for people with psoriatic arthritis.

What aggravates psoriatic arthritis? ›

Poor Diet. Saturated fats, sugar, alcohol, and simple carbohydrates can add pounds, cause inflammation, and trigger psoriatic arthritis flares. Try to avoid foods such as: Processed meats like hot dogs, sausages, and bacon.

How do you reverse psoriatic arthritis? ›

While there's no way to reverse or cure psoriatic arthritis, there are several things you can do to slow its development. These tend to work best when started earlier rather than later. You may want to consider seeing a rheumatologist as well. This is a type of doctor that focuses on autoimmune conditions.

What drinks are good for arthritis? ›

Best Drinks for Arthritis
  • Tea. Tea is one of the most-studied drinks when it comes to its benefits for arthritis patients. ...
  • Coffee. Research shows coffee also has antioxidant polyphenols. ...
  • Milk. ...
  • Juices. ...
  • Smoothies. ...
  • Alcohol. ...
  • Water.

What heals psoriasis naturally? ›

Here are eight home remedies that have shown some promising results in providing relief for psoriasis symptoms.
  • Salt baths. ...
  • Aloe vera. ...
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. ...
  • Turmeric. ...
  • Oregon grape. ...
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. ...
  • Using a humidifier. ...
  • Stress-relieving activities.

Are Epsom salts good for psoriasis? ›

Epsom salt uses for body psoriasis

According to the NPF, baths with Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts, oil, or oatmeal may help remove psoriasis scales and soothe itchy skin. Remember to take warm, short baths; rinse and pat your skin dry; and follow up with moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.

Can B12 help with psoriatic arthritis? ›

Summary. Pernicious anemia, which is caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency, may occur more often in people with other autoimmune diseases, including psoriatic arthritis. The condition needs to be treated with vitamin B12 to prevent serious complications.

Is zinc good for psoriatic arthritis? ›

Oral zinc sulphate seems to be valuable in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis.

How much vitamin D should I take if I have psoriatic arthritis? ›

Fortunately, there are multiple ways for people with psoriasis to get the recommended daily dose of vitamin D, which according to the American Academy of Dermatology is 600 international units (IU) for people ages 1 through 70 and 800 IU for adults 71 and older.

Is oatmeal good for psoriatic arthritis? ›

The pain and swelling in your joints is caused by inflammation—your body's immune system gone awry. Certain foods have been shown to reduce inflammation, easing joint pain and also lowering your risk for heart disease and obesity. These include: Whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oatmeal.

Is olive oil good for psoriatic arthritis? ›

Extra-virgin olive oil is another must-add to an anti-inflammatory diet. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fat (oleic acid), antioxidants, and oleocanthal, a compound that can lower inflammation and pain similarly to ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).

Is a hot tub good for psoriatic arthritis? ›

Take a Hot Bath

Soaking in warm water can help reduce inflammation and increase circulation to stiff joints, per The Arthritis Foundation. Try starting your day with a warm bath, or dip into the tub for 20 minutes whenever your joints are feeling particularly achy.

What's worse rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis? ›

A study published in 2015 in the journal PLoS One found that the overall pain, joint pain, and fatigue reported by psoriatic arthritis patients was significantly greater than that reported by people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Are they close to curing psoriasis? ›

At this time, there is no cure for psoriasis – not yet, at least. Still, dermatologists have treatments to help their patients achieve the next best thing: clear or near-clear skin and decreased systemic inflammation.

Does psoriatic arthritis show up in blood work? ›

HLA-B27 is a blood test that looks for a genetic marker for psoriatic arthritis — a protein called human leukocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27), which is located on the surface of white blood cells. About 20 percent of people with psoriatic arthritis are positive for HBL-B27, according to CreakyJoints.

What vitamins should I take if I have psoriasis? ›

B vitamins

Biotin (B-7) and B12 have been found to help improve the symptoms of psoriasis.

How can I boost my immune system to fight psoriasis? ›

Include antioxidants in your diet: Studies have found a link between insufficient antioxidant activity and psoriasis. Selenium, vitamin C, and vitamin E are powerful antioxidants that you can try including in your diet through nuts, seeds, germinated microgreens or sprouts, and fresh fruits.

Does sunlight help psoriatic arthritis? ›

Medically supervised ultraviolet light therapy is sometimes used to help treat psoriasis, and most people with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis find that the sun improves their skin's appearance, sometimes dramatically. “Ultraviolet rays are anti-inflammatory and can calm the skin and improve lesions,” says Dr. Gohara.

What spice is good for arthritis pain? ›

Curcumin is the active chemical in turmeric root; it blocks inflammatory cytokines and enzymes in two inflammatory pathways. Several human trials have shown an anti-inflammatory benefit, which can translate to reduced joint pain and swelling. The yellow spice is popular in curries and other Indian dishes.

Does Cinnamon help psoriasis? ›

Some people with psoriasis find condiments and spices to be their enemy. The ones that seem to cause the most trouble for people with psoriasis are pimento, cinnamon, curry, vinegar, mayo, paprika, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup.

Why did I get psoriatic arthritis? ›

Psoriatic arthritis occurs when your body's immune system attacks healthy cells and tissue. The immune response causes inflammation in your joints as well as overproduction of skin cells. It seems likely that both genetic and environmental factors play a role in this immune system response.

What tea is good for psoriatic arthritis? ›

Mikulik says. Instead, drink green tea: It contains compounds that may block the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1, keeping it from damaging cartilage in the joints, according to the Arthritis Foundation.

Why is psoriatic arthritis on the rise? ›

Although genetics appear to play a role in its development, certain environmental triggers can also give rise to PsA, including exposure to smoke, stress, and cold weather. Risk factors for PsA include age and family history.

Can vitamin D help psoriatic arthritis? ›

Dr. Mir points out that there's been some research to suggest that vitamin D treatment may help ease joint pain in certain people with psoriatic arthritis. One such treatment is vitamin D supplements.

Can you reverse psoriatic arthritis? ›

While there's no way to reverse or cure psoriatic arthritis, there are several things you can do to slow its development. These tend to work best when started earlier rather than later. You may want to consider seeing a rheumatologist as well. This is a type of doctor that focuses on autoimmune conditions.

Can turmeric help psoriatic arthritis? ›

According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body — meaning it has potential benefits for people with psoriatic arthritis.

Videos

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