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How to use turmeric to ease psoriasis flare-ups

I seem to be no stranger to skin conditions. I remember the beginning when I found my first chicken pox pock mark at the age of 3 and stripped off all my clothes in the middle of the living room during one of my mom’s luncheons. I had the obligatory acne phase growing up, plus a little bout of vitiligo. Now that I’m older I seem to have outgrown those conditions and have grown another lovely little condition, psoriasis. I get plaques on my legs and feet that come and go with the seasons.

I had been living in a humid climate for years and that really calmed down my symptoms. Then last year we moved further west and farther from the bayous of Texas, and I found my symptoms returning again in the desert climes of west-ish Texas. My legs and feet flared up again. I did the usual gamut of lotions and creams. They worked slightly, but I wasn’t getting much relief.

I remembered something I had heard about a while back, that one of the main ingredients for an effective treatment cream was actually turmeric, a spice commonly used in Indian cooking. It has many amazing medicinal properties, including being a potent anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, probably why it is such a widely used and ancient spice. It is also credited with giving India the lowest rate of Alzheimer’s disease on the globe. I figured it was worth a try with my little skin plaque. I decided to see if I could mix up my own cream before trying to find a doctor who would be willing to prescribe it.

It was pretty easy to DIY it. I put together my own salve with coconut oil and turmeric powder I already had on hand. You can find turmeric powder, also known as Haldi, at an Indian grocery store. I have seen it at Whole Foods also.

Every night before bedtime I put a little on my skin plaques (with socks, because the stuff does stain). The symptom relief was great and I actually saw my plaques start to shrink. They softened and got less tender. I can now sit and play on the floor with my kids without wincing in pain five mintutes into “Going on a Bear Hunt.”

I rarely get plaques now. I use a little of the cream when the temperatures start to dip here but otherwise I have been fine.

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Image: Visage/Getty Image

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