What Are Common Home Remedies for PsA?

In addition to the treatment options provided by healthcare professionals, many people living with psoriatic arthritis find relief from their symptoms of pain, swelling, and stiffness with various home remedies. While there is not scientific evidence to prove these remedies slow or stop damage from psoriatic arthritis, the way that medical treatment can, home remedies can ease some of the painful symptoms.1

Heat and cold

Many patients with psoriatic arthritis find that hot and cold packs can provide relief to their aching joints. Hot and cold packs can be rotated, using heat for a few minutes before switching to cold, and then repeating.1

Arthritis creams

There are several over-the-counter arthritis creams that provide topical medication through the skin. These creams may include capsaicin, salicylates, arnica, or counterirritants.1,2

  • Capsaicin comes from the chili pepper plant and is the substance that gives the peppers their spiciness. In creams and ointments, capsaicin blocks nerve endings that transmit pain. Products containing capsaicin include Capzasin, Dolorac, and Zostrix.1,2
  • Salicylates are the pain ingredient found in aspirin. Products containing salicylates include Bengay, Myoflex, Sportscreme, and Aspercreme.1,2,3
  • Counterirritants are substances that produce a sensation of hot or cold that may temporarily interrupt the body’s ability to feel localized pain. The ingredients in these creams may include eucalyptus, camphor, or wintergreen oil. Products containing counterirritants include Biofreeze and Icy Hot.1,2

While these products have been tested as safe to be sold over-the-counter, their effectiveness in psoriatic arthritis has not been proven. It is important to wash hands after applying these creams, as the ingredients can cause stinging and burning if the eyes or mucus membranes are touched.1,2

Spa therapy

For centuries, people have touted the health benefits of sea salt and mineral rich waters found in natural springs around the world. Although not scientifically proven, many people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis have found benefit from spa therapy. Spa therapy can include brine baths with sea salts, bathing in mineral springs, light treatments, or drinking the mineral-rich water. Sea salts or Epsom salt can also be used in warm baths at home.1

Supplements

Two of the dietary supplements that are being studied to help people with psoriatic arthritis are tumeric and vitamin D. Tumeric is being studied for its anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, one review found tumeric has the ability to alter tumor necrosis factor (TNF) cytokine expression, which provides clues into its potential for psoriatic arthritis.1

Some research has shown that people with psoriatic arthritis have low levels of vitamin D, but there is not sufficient research to determine if taking vitamin D supplements will improve symptoms from the disease.4

Written by: Emily Downward | Last reviewed: October 2016.
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