Don’t Try Baking Soda for Psoriasis Until You’ve Read This

When your skin is raw, red and itchy, you’re willing to try just about anything to make it stop. Which often leads to browsing the Internet for many weird and wonderful concoctions all claiming to be the answer to our flaky, scaly, irritated skin prayers.

Somewhere along your Google-ing journey, you’ll inevitably come across baking soda as the perfect psoriasis cure. And that’s not all – this apparently magical white powder you normally use to scour pots and pans is also being lauded as a home remedy for everything from whiter teeth to acne and blackheads.

 

And certainly, using baking soda as a treatment for psoriasis is definitely not the weirdest thing we have come across when searching for tried and tested home remedies, but does it actually work? Even more importantly – is it safe?

Let’s find out…

Does Baking Soda for Psoriasis Work?

In short, yes it does. In fact, as it turns out, little old baking soda has a whole bunch of uses apart from being one of the key ingredients in cakes (another reason to love it surely?). From making DIY deodorant to washing your hair, baking soda is one multi-talented powder.

But before you excitedly throw away the entire contents of your bathroom and simply replace them with one giant tub of the stuff, be warned. As a home remedy for psoriasis, baking soda definitely has its limits.

Yes, it does help relieve the itchiness. Yes, it definitely reduces redness. But baking soda is not a long-term solution and it is certainly not a cure for psoriasis. Used incorrectly, baking soda can actually damage your skin more than it helps your psoriasis.

The Drawbacks of Using Baking Soda for Psoriasis

The main risk of using baking soda for psoriasis all comes down to pH. You see, your skin is naturally slightly acidic, ranging somewhere between 4.5 to 6.5 (the pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with 0 being very acidic, 7 being neutral, and 14 being very alkaline). This natural acidity is called the “acid mantle” and it is super useful because this slightly acidic pH makes it difficult for fungi, bacteria, and yeast to survive on your skin.

When baking soda is mixed with water, it has a pH of around 8, which is alkaline. This is not good news for your skin’s overall health since using alkaline products can damage your skin by disrupting its acid mantle and changing the bacterial flora composition as well as the enzyme activity on your skin.

The damage gets even worse if you decide to take advantage of baking soda’s grainy nature to exfoliate your psoriasis flakes off. You’re not only disrupting the acid mantle, but further drying out and damaging your skin. The last thing you want to do is treat your delicate skin to a scrubbing with this stuff – it can leave you with tiny scratches that are not worth the temporary psoriasis relief you get.

So does this mean that baking soda should not be used for psoriasis? Not necessarily. Just don’t use the stuff to scour and scrub your skin with. And use it sparingly to relieve itchiness, redness, and scales every once in a blue moon while tackling the root cause of your psoriasis from the inside out.

If you want to give baking soda a try without aggravating your skin, we’ve listed the best ways to use it below!

How to Use Baking Soda for Psoriasis

Take a Baking Soda Bath

Add about a cup of baking soda to a warm bath and soak for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off your skin.

Baking soda baths help improve your psoriasis, but it does take time. The redness goes down pretty quickly, but it might be a month or two before your psoriasis patches return to your normal skin shade.

Keep in mind that baking soda is not preventative so there is no guarantee psoriasis patches won’t flare up again in the future although continuing to take regular baking soda baths could help with this.

Oh, did we mention it stings? So you might want to think twice before dipping your sensitive bits into a great vat of the stuff – a good reason to keep it to just a cup of baking soda, rather than a whole tub.

Make a Baking Soda Paste

This is a paste recommended in Healing Psoriasis by John O. A. Pagano, which we highly recommend. Here’s what he says about it…

“Rubbing a paste made from castor oil combined with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) into thick, scaly heels or other heavily encrusted lesions has shown remarkable results in most patients. If the skin is cracked, however, this combination may provide to be somewhat caustic and should not be used until the skin has healed over. In such cases, plain castor oil without the baking soda is used instead. “

This paste is pretty wonderful for loosening scales and the castor oil’s moisturizing aspect counteracts baking soda’s drying-out-ness (word?).

To use it, simply make a paste that’s about 1/3 baking soda and 2/3 castor oil, mix it together and apply it to your plaque areas. You can leave this on for about half an hour, wrapping it in saran wrap so it doesn’t get everywhere. Gently brush it off with a moist towel when you’re done.

 

 

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