Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation in the skin. This inflammation causes new skin cells to develop much more quickly than normal. These new cells build up and can lead to itchy, raised or scaly patches on the surface of the skin.
An autoimmune disease, psoriasis is commonly treated with topical treatments (such as lotions, creams or ointments), light therapy, prescription medications or natural and alternative treatments.
Psoriasis symptoms can be uncomfortable, but treatments like cold water immersion can offer relief.
How cold therapy can help psoriasis
Cold therapy is a natural way to manage the symptoms of psoriasis, and dermatologists recommend holding a cold compress against psoriasis patches or replacing hot showers with cold showers. Soaking in cold water is another great option, with many potential benefits for people with psoriasis or other skin conditions.
It soothes itching
Cooling the skin is a time-tested home remedy for itchiness. Cold exposure has a numbing effect on the nerves, which dulls the itch signals to the brain. Submerging up to the shoulders in cold water may offer temporary full-body relief from the itchiness that comes with psoriasis or similar conditions, such as eczema.
It relieves pain and inflammation
Soaking in cold water is a proven way to reduce inflammation and pain so it can be an appealing natural remedy for people living with inflammatory conditions, like psoriasis. For people living with rheumatic diseases such as psoriatic arthritis, cold therapy may help provide relief from stiff, aching joints, according to studies.
It improves mood
Research shows that stress and depression can trigger psoriasis flare-ups, and psoriasis can lead to depression. Cold therapy may help break this cycle: A single cold plunge has been shown to reduce both tension and depression.
How to Use Cold Water Immersion to Treat Psoriasis Or Other Skin Conditions
Cold water immersion is a relatively simple process, but there are some special considerations for people who are using it to manage psoriasis or other skin conditions, such as eczema.
To start, fill your Ice Barrel with water and enough ice to reach your desired temperature. Consider adding Epsom salts, a natural remedy for relieving itching. Submerge to your shoulders and soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Longer soaks can dry out the skin and cause itchiness.
After getting out of the ice bath, remember to apply moisturizer. This helps seal in moisture and protect the skin’s barrier, which both reduces itching and promotes healing.
Talk to Your Doctor About Cold Water Immersion
With its anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties, cold therapy can be a helpful complementary therapy for certain skin conditions. As with any complementary therapy, be sure to talk to your doctor or dermatologist to find out if it’s right for you.
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