I wish I could understand why moisture in the air dries out my skin. I grew up in the very humid climate of northern Virginia, and struggled with patches of psoriasis on my legs. I used a combination of lotions and medications to combat my skin issues, but the most effective treatment was giving it time. After a few years, I looked down to my knee where the worst of it had been, and was surprised to find that the psoriasis was completely gone. I remember thinking, “That’s funny, I wonder when that happened.” It didn’t resurface and I didn’t have any flare ups for almost a decade.
I have lived in the notoriously rain-soaked Portland Oregon for more than 2 years, and within weeks of moving here my childhood psoriasis came back in full swing. This time it was all over my scalp – with a particularly bad patch on the back of my neck, right under the base of my hairline. It itched like crazy and flaked so bad it would bleed. I was reverting back to my topical medications, T-Gel shampoo, and dandruff-proof conditioners, which certainly helped but only if I used them vigorously. Each time I stopped for more than a week, the skin would flare up again. Eventually the routine wore me down, and I was beginning to feel uncomfortable with the amount of chemicals I was putting on my skin, in my hair, and washing into the water stream. Not that there is anything inherently unsafe about these products, mind you, just that I was curious to see if I could find a more natural solution which would be equally as effective.
I found the perfect blend of natural oils to fight off my psoriasis. Mixing 1 tbsp coconut oil with 2 drops each of frankincense and cedarwood oil proved to be one of the most effective treatments I had ever used. I stored my concoction at room temperature and applied it to the worst spots of my psoriasis 2-4 times a day, and within a few days started noticing results. The skin had gone from white and flaky to red and smooth, and eventually the redness reduced as well.
My favorite thing about this treatment as opposed to more typical medications was that after a few weeks, my psoriasis had all but disappeared. Sure it flares up from time to time. But now whenever it does, I mix my 3 reliable oils and reapply, and it fades after a few small treatments. I am grateful I discovered this combination, and not just because it improved my skin. Because now I can comfortably live in the rainy, humid, beautiful pacific northwest without shedding dandruff all over my black clothes.
I am not a dermatologist, and I do not claim to have found a 100% effective remedy to psoriasis. I am speaking strictly from my experience, and encourage caution to be taken when using essential oils topically. Here is a great source of information on the matter.
Also by Francesca: 8 Things to Do When You’re Broke in a New City
Photo: Milada Vigerova via Unsplash<