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September 24, 2020
According to the research gate study, about 7.4 million American adults had psoriasis in 2013. Psoriasis is a severe autoimmune skin condition that is characterized by rapid skin cell build-up.
Psoriasis has been associated with several other disorders, including depression, anxiety, psoriatic arthritis, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and type 2 diabetes. This condition may leave you with unsightly scarring that can be corrected with natural psoriasis scar treatment applications in severe cases.
This article handles various psoriasis scar removal methods, but let’s first explore the psoriasis scar formation.
Usually, cell production happens gradually within your skin, with the cells rising steadily towards the surface until they eventually fall off. Skin cells have a lifespan of about a month.
When you have Psoriasis, cells tend to develop rapidly on your skin. This cell production process occurs in a matter of days. As a result, there is little to no time for them to fall off. Therefore, they accumulate on your skin, subsequently leading to scaling that is commonly accompanied by redness and inflammation.
Psoriasis does not always cause scars, but they may appear if the itching is intense, and you scratch the affected area. The scars usually form on joints, including elbows and knees but can occur anywhere on your body, such as the face, neck, scalp, hands, and feet.
One of the best ways to get rid of psoriasis scars is by using topical psoriasis scar treatment applications. These treatments are readily available over-the-counter and come in several different forms, for example, shampoos, bath solutions, tars, foams, and lotions.
The two most essential ingredients, which are approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for treating psoriasis scars, are tar and salicylic acid.
Salicylic acid is a peeling agent or keratolytic agent that works by facilitating the shedding off of the outer layer of your skin. It is an effective treatment for psoriasis scars because it helps to soften and then lift off psoriasis scales, which are responsible for the formation of psoriasis scars.
However, be careful when using salicylic acid as strong preparations can lead to irritation. What’s more, if you apply it over a large area of your skin, your body may absorb too much of it and weaken your hair shafts, which may cause temporary hair loss.
Before using salicylic acid, make sure you are not allergic to it. You can determine this by first applying a small portion on one area of your skin for 3 days.
Stop using the product if you develop any allergic reactions and seek immediate medical help. You can proceed with the work if there are no allergic reactions.
It is also important to note that this treatment is only designed for use on the skin. As such, keep it away from your groin, mouth, nose, eyes, and any broken skin to avoid irritation. In case the medication comes into contact with these areas, flush with cold water for fifteen minutes.
Coal tar is an effective psoriasis treatment, according to PubMed. Tar obtained from wood and coal have been used to treat psoriasis for centuries, and they can also be extremely effective against psoriasis scars. Tar helps by slowing the accelerated production of skin cells associated with psoriasis and reversing the scaling, itching, and inflammation.
Keep in mind that tar may dry, redden, and irritate your skin too. So, you should conduct a test on a small area of your skin beforehand. If you notice some reddening, try applying a moisturizer first.
Tar may also make your skin more vulnerable to sunlight, so remember to regulate your sun exposure, use sunscreen, and wash the product off thoroughly after treatment. It is particularly important to limit your exposure to sunlight when using tar because it stays active for more than 24 hours after application, which increases your risk of sunburn.
Tretinoin (Retin A)
Tretinoin, also called Retin A, is a retinoid cream that can help improve skin discoloration, make the skin smoother, increase skin cell production, and reduce wrinkles’ appearance. Though mostly used to treat acne scars, this cream can also help eliminate psoriasis scars.
However, tretinoin has some side effects, including redness, burning, stinging, skin peeling, skin irritation, allergic reaction, blistering, skin color changes, and abnormal skin dryness.
Keeping your skin hydrated is an essential part of psoriasis scar treatment as it helps reduce itching and redness and accelerate the healing process. Heavy ointments and creams are preferable due to their effectiveness at locking water into your skin.
Skin that is properly moisturized is strong and more efficient at keeping scaling and scarring under control. If you have psoriasis, even the slightest of skin damage can trigger a flare-up in that area (aka the Koebner phenomenon). This is why you should refrain from scrubbing your patches too intensely.
Furthermore, keeping psoriasis scars lubricated helps to soften the scales and keep them partially hidden. The good news is that you can use cooking oils or even shortening if you do not have the budget for commercial moisturizers.
When shopping for a moisturizer, keep an eye on these terms:
Bath solutions can go a long way toward treating psoriasis scars. Simply soaking for 15 minutes in a warm bath can help soften scales and reduce psoriasis scars’ inflammation and itching.
Adding certain ingredients into your bath will enhance the experience and speed up the healing process. Some of the additives you can use include:
As a general rule of thumb, avoid using products that contain harsh chemicals. For instance, Apple cider vinegar may help with itching, but it might sting or irritate your skin if it’s bleeding or cracked. Similarly, tea tree oil may produce an allergic reaction, so make sure you do a small test beforehand if you do decide to use it.
Keratolytics help with psoriasis scars by loosening and removing psoriasis scales, allowing psoriasis treatments to penetrate the skin and reach the psoriatic plaques. The most common ingredients in scale lifters include phenol, lactic acid, urea, and salicylic acid.
You can also use olive oil at home as a scale lifter. Simply leave it on the skin overnight and then wash it out in the morning. Remove the softened scales by combing or brushing.
Specific topical psoriasis scar treatments can be applied through occlusion to enhance their impact. With occlusion, you use the treatment on your psoriasis scars then cover the area with a nylon suit, cotton socks, waterproof dressing, cellophane, or plastic wrap. Occlusion helps to artificially correct and restore the damaged barrier in psoriasis patches.
Itching is common in people with psoriasis, but it can thwart your psoriasis scar treatment efforts because of the irresistible urge to scratch when you have an itch. Scratching promotes inflammation and can worsen your itching, leading to a vicious cycle called the itch-scratch cycle. Besides, scratching can damage your skin and cause more itchy plaques to form, ultimately resulting in infection.
Itching can be triggered by stress. You are more likely to experience a psoriasis flare-up when you are under stress, which stimulates itching. Weather conditions can also be a trigger, especially in hot and dry weather conditions.
Fortunately, there are many FDA-approved substances you can use to treat itching when dealing with psoriasis scars. They include menthol, benzocaine, diphenhydramine hydrochloride (HCl), camphor, hydrocortisone, and calamine. However, be careful when using these ingredients to increase dryness and irritation as a side effect.
Substances such as capsaicin, zinc pyrithione, jojoba, and aloe vera are often used to soothe, moisturize, relieve itching, or remove scaling associated with psoriasis, and can therefore be used to treat psoriasis scars. Watch out for allergic reactions and other side effects and discontinue use if necessary.
Some people also use castederm to ease psoriasis scars. This liquid can be applied to serve as a drying agent on moist psoriasis plaques typically present in people with inverse psoriasis.
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