Castor Oil and Scalp Psoriasis: A Natural Remedy Explored

April 16, 2024

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Psoriasis is an incurable autoimmune condition causing raised, scaly skin plaques. Around 7.5 million Americans battle psoriasis, facing daily physical and emotional distress from the irritation, soreness and embarrassment of lesions. The scalp is a very common trouble spot plagued by thick, dry plaques that flake off noticeably. While standard treatments help control symptoms, some patients have explored natural options like castor oil hoping its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties could alleviate discomfort while restoring flaky areas.

Overview of Troublesome Scalp Psoriasis

Scalp psoriasis manifests as areas of red, itchy and scaly skin across the head under hair-bearing areas. Key signs and symptoms include:

  • Dry, white, skin flakes (dandruff-like) shedding from scalp
  • Itching or burning sensation
  • Red plaques covered with a silver-white scale
  • Sore cracks or lesions bleeding occasionally
  • Hair loss in severe, chronic cases

The delicate facial skin renews itself faster than the rest of the body, making the scalp particularly prone to psoriasis. Managing scalp lesions can prove challenging between hair obstructing topical applications while washing too vigorously or frequently further irritates sensitive areas.

Exploring Castor Oil for Scalp Psoriasis Relief

Castor oil demonstrates natural healing abilities stemming from its unique chemical composition. Castor beans contain very high levels of ricinoleic acid – an anti-inflammatory omega-9 fatty acid making up roughly 90% of the oil. Ricinoleic acid helps treat skin conditions by decreasing inflammation while deeply penetrating to nourish layers.

Castor oil also exhibits antimicrobial properties beneficial for scalp health. Applying it creates a protective moisturizing barrier limiting water loss slowing the development of thick plaques associated with this condition. Its versatility across hair, skin and nail applications with few safety concerns makes castor oil broadly useful.

Using Castor Oil to Soothe Scalp Psoriasis

While not a scalp psoriasis cure itself, castor oil alleviates several key aspects involved in plaque and scale buildup when applied directly to the scalp. Alongside medical treatment, castor oil helps manage scalp psoriasis through:

  • Moisturizing – Counters the chronic dryness and dehydration of lesions
  • Inflammation reduction – Calms the immune-mediated skin irritation
  • Infection prevention – Its antimicrobial activity protects damaged skin
  • Scale-softening – Loosens adherent plaques and crusty areas
  • Boosting other therapies – Improves penetration of other topicals

Gently massaging small amounts of castor oil into thin hair before bed allows its fatty acids to penetrate overnight while avoiding greasiness come morning. Shampooing the next day then washes away softened scale.

Maximizing Castor Oil Efficacy for Scalp Psoriasis

Certain methods using castor oil enhance its ability to moisturize while decreasing plaque thickness, itchiness and scaling. Helpful tips include:

  • Apply oil to damp hair and scalp after washing to boost absorption
  • Warming the oil slightly before applying improves penetration
  • Use rubber-tipped brush afterwards to evenly distribute across scalp
  • Let oil soak minimum 30 minutes then shampoo out thoroughly
  • Repeat 2-3 times weekly for best relief of symptoms

Additionally, choosing certified organic cold-pressed castor oil ensures higher potency than cheaper processed versions with solvents. Combining with other nourishing oils like coconut and olive oil as a scalp mask leverages complementary benefits too.

Castor Oil Role in Holistic Scalp Psoriasis Care

While limited evidence exists proving castor oil conclusively and significantly improves scalp psoriasis, its excellent safety profile and multifactorial mechanisms rendering likely relief makes it a sensible option trying as an adjunct home therapy before considering stronger medical treatments alone carrying greater risks of side effects. Castor oil epitomizes ideal hallmarks of a complementary integrative approach – inexpensive, available, favorable benefit-risk ratio despite uncertatin efficacy data. Trying castor oil certainly creates negligible harm while possibly achieving at least partial improvements many patients would still gladly take.

Conclusion

Seeking adjuvant castor oil therapy seems reasonable for mild scalp psoriasis symptoms before proceeding to more aggressive standard interventions which still fail many patients despite aiming for remission. While not curative itself, castor oil represents a simple soothing all-natural tool harnessing skin-nourishing fatty acids, antimicrobial protection and inflammation calming properties providing additional avenues attacking key drivers of common bothersome scalp psoriasis signs. Especially when customized within holistic multi-pronged regimens, castor oil holds promise better controlling an otherwise frustrating, stressful chronic condition. Given intriguing data on related skin disorders benefiting, hope possibly emerges too for more extensive plaque clearance long term.

Main Takeaways

  • Castor oil reduces scalp psoriasis symptoms – dryness, flaking, itching
  • Ricinoleic acid drives castor oil’s anti-inflammatory effects
  • Applying castor oil helps moisturize, calm and protect damaged areas
  • Massage small amount into damp hair before bed then shampoo out
  • Combines well with scalp psoriasis medications as complementary therapy

Though unproven fully reversing extensive recalcitrant disease, embracing castor oil optimizes expanding therapeutic horizons helping numerous patients enjoy some happier measure of relief lightening their daily burden battling chronic plaque psoriasis of the scalp.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using Castor Oil for Scalp Psoriasis

How often should castor oil be used on the scalp for psoriasis?

Using castor oil for scalp psoriasis 2 to 3 times weekly is recommended for best results. Applying more often risks overuse while less frequent applications reduce benefits. Adjust frequency based on individual response and disease severity.

Does castor oil help nail psoriasis too or just scalp?

Yes, the moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil that ease scalp psoriasis can also help improve nail psoriasis. Gently massaging into the nail beds and cuticles softens built-up debris and allows better penetration of other medicated nail creams or ointments.

Can castor oil remove scalp psoriasis plaques completely?

Castor oil alone likely cannot fully clear dense, thick scalp psoriasis plaques by itself in most moderate to severe cases. But used regularly, castor oil can help loosen adherent scale, reduce new plaque formation alongside medical treatments and ease multiple symptoms.

Does castor oil need to be washed out of hair afterwards?

Yes, while its fatty acids penetrate deeply, leaving castor oil sitting heavily on hair strands or directly on the scalp overnight often leaves residue and oiliness. Gently shampooing the next morning cleans excess oil while scaling up debris loosened overnight.

What’s the best castor oil to buy for scalp psoriasis?

Choose reputable organic cold-pressed hexane-free castor oil which retains the highest levels of moisturizing fatty acids and ricinoleic acid rather than cheaper refined varieties which remove these beneficial skin-nourishing compounds through processing.

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