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Can Banana Peel Soothe Psoriasis Itching?

Posted on September 14, 2022
Medically reviewed by
Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D.
Article written by
Marnie Willman

Some people living with psoriasis are interested in trying at-home remedies to help ease symptoms like itching and dry, scaly skin. One natural remedy that some people find helpful involves applying banana peels as part of their skin care regimen.

“I used an oatmeal banana mix, put it on, and it felt like I didn’t even have psoriasis for the rest of the day,” one MyPsoriasisTeam member wrote. However, another member said they “tried banana peel on an affected area today … no improvement.”

Read on to discover what research says about whether banana peels used as a topical solution have any benefits for individuals with psoriasis.

Banana Peel Contains Antioxidants

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin condition that occurs when part of the immune system becomes overactivated, leading to symptoms such as scaly plaques and a rash. Doctors think that an increase in reactive oxygen species — a harmful byproduct of your metabolism — may be involved in developing this autoimmune condition. Reactive oxygen species can cause damage to organs and tissues.

Some studies suggest that a buildup of these reactive oxidative species (a state called oxidative stress) may be responsible for the symptoms and progression of psoriasis.

Because banana peels are very high in antioxidants, some people believe that the peels can neutralize oxidative species and stop these toxic byproducts in their tracks. Banana peels contain more than 40 phenolic compounds identified so far. Phenols are natural antioxidant compounds and have some antimicrobial properties.

Banana Peel Contains Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Psoriasis causes its characteristic redness, scaliness, and swelling because the immune system is essentially too active, leading to inflammation. Some scientists are studying whether banana peels can help reduce inflammation.

In a 2012 study, researchers tested the anti-inflammatory properties of banana peel. The study authors noted that unripe peels had more of an antioxidant effect than ripe ones, although both types led to antioxidant activity.

One Psoriasis Medication Includes Banana Fatty Acids

Coal tar (sold as Exorex) is an FDA-approved medication for treating psoriasis. This mixture of coal tar and a synthetic compound is designed to simulate the fatty acids found in banana peels. Exorex soothes psoriasis itchiness by prompting the skin to shed dead cells on the top layer (which forms the dry skin patches characteristic of psoriasis) and slow the growth of the layer of skin cells underneath.

Some MyPsoriasisTeam members have had success with using Exorex for symptom relief. “I used Exorex and found it really helped,” one member said. Another noted, “I sorted out the flakes by using Exorex.”

Exorex can reduce the symptoms of psoriasis but isn’t for everyone. Talk with your dermatologist before trying any new psoriasis treatments.

A Word of Caution

Rubbing bananas on the skin has gained new popularity because of a viral TikTok video featuring a dermatologist. However, not all dermatologists agree that this strategy is right for everyone with psoriasis, and more studies are needed to evaluate whether it’s effective and safe for people with psoriasis to use in the long term.

If you want to try using banana peels to improve your psoriasis symptoms, ask your doctor about the health benefits before you begin.

Talk With Others Who Understand

MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriasis and their loved ones. On MyPsoriasisTeam, more than 111,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with psoriasis.

Are you living with psoriasis and wondering if banana peel would help your flare-ups? Have you tried using banana peels for your psoriasis? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.
Kevin Berman, M.D., Ph.D. is a dermatologist at the Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Learn more about him here.
Marnie Willman is a Ph.D. candidate in medical microbiology and infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba. Learn more about her here.

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