Forget scented bubbles and luxuriating for an hour in piping-hot water. If you have psoriasis, bathtime is a different story. In fact, the typical advice is to not to take regular baths. “I would shower—once a day—instead of bathing,” says board-certified dermatologist and American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) spokesperson Debra Jaliman, M.D., since overdoing baths could be drying to the skin. Still, Jaliman says baths with the right ingredients are okay to do occasionally—say, once or twice a week—and can even help relieve your dry, flaky, irritated skin by boosting hydration and reducing inflammation. Here are three types of baths to try to help ease those pesky psoriasis symptoms.
Dead Sea Salts Bath
Many people who’ve been able to soak in the Dead Sea, a salt lake between Jordan and Israel located 1,200 feet below sea level, claim their psoriasis symptoms benefited from its well-known therapeutic effects. The Dead Sea is 10 times as salty as the ocean and contains various minerals proven to improve skin health, including potassium, which helps with hydration, and powerful anti-inflammatory agents such as iodine, magnesium, zinc, and bromine.
In a 2005 study published in the International Journal of Dermatology, people with atopic dry skin submerged their arms in water containing five-percent Dead Sea salt for 15 minutes, periodically. After a six-week period, they reported improved skin hydration and reduced skin redness and inflammation.