Tiktok, Reddit, and other online platforms are full of skincare hacks and trends, but it can be hard to sift through what is just a viral trend and what could actually be useful. Here are some of the best trends we’ve seen on social media and online forums that could help to better manage psoriasis symptoms and flare-ups.

1. Avoid Blood Sugar Spikes

There are a plethora of Reddit threads from users who claim that their skin began to clear up once they got their blood sugar under control and/or successfully managed diabetes. As it turns out, the medical science behind this correlation confirms the notion that by managing blood sugar, you could also lessen inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis. One publication in Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity even calls diabetes and psoriasis “two sides of the same prism.”
Researchers explain that diabetes and psoriasis share a specific set of mechanisms that underlie both conditions: genes and epigenetics, inflammation, environment, and insulin resistance. In fact, the relationship between inflammation and insulin resistance is so great that even those who are not diagnosed as diabetic could see an improvement in psoriasis symptoms by avoiding large blood sugar spikes throughout the day.

2. Look into a Vitamin D Deficiency

TikTok is full of videos from both social media influencers and doctors who explain the potential link between a vitamin D deficiency and psoriasis. While the research behind this claim appears to back it up, the jury is still out on whether the tendency to cover up the skin in psoriasis patients limits vitamin D intake from the sun or if a vitamin D deficiency itself contributes to the development of psoriasis. Either way, however, some research suggests that addressing a vitamin D deficiency can also improve psoriasis symptoms.

While vitamin D can be obtained from foods such as fatty fish like trout, tuna, and salmon; egg yolks; cod liver oil; and fortified cereals and juices, it can also be taken as a dietary supplement.

3. Try a Plant-Based Diet

Plant-based diets are very much en vogue on TikTok and other social media platforms right now — and even Kim Kardashian has claimed that her mostly-vegan diet has helped to calm her psoriasis. However, there is some research to suggest that limiting animal products in your diet could help to keep psoriasis symptoms at bay. One recent publication in Clinics in Dermatology cites these potential skin benefits from eating a plant-based diet:

Plant-based diets tend to be lower in saturated fats, which are linked with metabolic diseases. Because psoriasis is believed to be linked with metabolic syndrome, reducing dietary saturated fats may have a positive effect on symptoms.
Plants contain an abundance and variety of protective anti-inflammatory polyphenols.

Many animal-based foods are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6s, while plants contain higher levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3s.

Fiber-rich foods may help to balance the gut microbiome, which has been shown to have a positive effect on psoriasis symptoms.

4. Add Fermented Foods to Your Diet

Speaking of the gut microbiome and skin connection, TikTokers might be onto something with the suggestion to up your intake of fermented foods if you struggle with inflammatory skin conditions. The gut microbiome consists of thousands of species of microorganisms, ideally aiding in digestion, immune support, and protection against “bad” bacteria and germs. However, when the gut microbiome becomes imbalanced, too many of those “bad guys” can take over, leading to inflammation, digestive issues, and even skin problems like psoriasis.

Fermented foods can help to rebalance the gut microbiome by adding the probiotics, or “food,” that those healthy gut bacteria need to thrive. Some common types of fermented foods include sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, miso, and pickled vegetables.

5. Consider a Food Allergy Test

If you have an unknown food sensitivity or allergy, your body releases a protein called IgG, which signals that something foreign has been detected in your body and therefore an immune response is needed to fight it off. While this inflammatory reaction is very helpful in some cases, it’s not so helpful when it is overreacting to certain foods or components of foods. If certain foods you are eating are provoking an immune response regularly, you will likely notice more regular psoriasis flare-ups, too, as inflammatory pathways are being “turned on” throughout your body, including your skin.

Talking to your doctor about taking a food allergy test can help you to identify any foods that could be a potential trigger for chronic inflammation and consequently, psoriasis flares.

6. Supplement with Sea Moss

Celebrities and social media influencers alike have made the claim that taking a popular supplement called Irish sea moss, or simply sea moss, can help to quell psoriasis symptoms like redness, itching, and flaking. While formal studies exploring the link between sea moss and psoriasis are quite limited, sea moss is known to possess strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. There are some studies, however, that do show that consuming seaweed can have a positive impact on inflammatory skin conditions.

7. Try a Dead Sea Salt Soak

Redditors and TikTokers seem to be drawing evidence from a small 1997 study that showed a significant improvement in psoriasis symptoms following a Dead Sea salt soak, compared to soaks in regular salt. However, continued research still seems to point to a potential skin benefit of Dead Sea salt soaks.

Salt taken from the Dead Sea, the world’s saltiest lake, contains much more than just salt (sodium chloride), making it distinct from other salty bodies of water. Dead Sea salt is also rich in bromide, magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which may help to reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. However, Dead Sea salt should not be ingested.

Bottom Line

While you typically have to take TikTok trends with a grain of salt, especially when dealing with medical conditions like psoriasis, the social media platform can be a good place to begin your own research. The tips and tricks listed above do have medical research to back them up and they might actually help to manage your psoriasis symptoms. Of course, these TikTok-inspired tips shouldn’t be used in place of seeking medical advice from your dermatologist. Work closely with him or her for an accurate diagnosis and individualized treatment options.

For more information about how to better manage your psoriasis symptoms or to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced board-certified dermatologists, call our Delray Beach office at (561) 692-6422 or contact us online.