If you are one of the millions of people living with psoriasis, a chronic autoimmune skin condition, you may be searching for supplemental therapies to add to your treatment regimen. One natural remedy that can be found as both an oral supplement and an ingredient in skin care products is chlorophyll, the natural compound that gives plants their green color.
Several MyPsoriasisTeam members have discussed the potential benefits of chlorophyll. One member asked, "Have you tried chlorophyll for your itchy scalp?"
In this article, we’ll explore whether chlorophyll is a safe and effective way to help treat psoriasis symptoms.
Chlorophyll is a type of pigment found in green plants that is responsible for photosynthesis. Natural chlorophyll is present in a variety of leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and broccoli. Sodium copper chlorophyllin (SCC) is a synthetic mixture of the salts found in chlorophyll. SCC can be found as the active ingredient in most chlorophyll extracts and supplements, including liquid chlorophyll drops, powders, and skin care products.
Researchers have studied chlorophyll for its potential health benefits, which include:
Chlorophyllin supplements have other purported benefits, such as preventing cancer, detoxing the liver, healing wounds, assisting in weight loss, controlling body odor, relieving constipation, and boosting energy. The scientific evidence for these benefits is limited, however. What does the evidence say about chlorophyll and psoriasis?
Although research is limited as to the specific benefits of chlorophyll for psoriasis, other studies have explored the effects of topical chlorophyll for various skin conditions, such as acne.
One small study of 10 young adults with mild to moderate acne found that twice-a-day application of a SCC gel for three weeks improved skin oiliness, blotchiness, and facial pore size and reduced the amount of acne participants had compared to the beginning of the study.
Another small study of women ages 40 years and older with noticeably sun-damaged skin found that eight weeks of twice-daily topical SCC gel application improved the texture and appearance of facial skin.
While the results of these studies are interesting, they’re small in scale and don’t address the impact of chlorophyll on psoriasis. At the moment, placebo-controlled clinical trials are still needed to determine whether chlorophyll is safe or effective for people with psoriasis.
If you choose to use chlorophyll for your psoriasis or other health conditions, there are a few ways to do so. Chlorophyll is available as a dietary supplement (usually as liquid chlorophyll) and can also be found in some skin care products. Often, chlorophyll comes as drops to put into drinks like water and smoothies. Note that researchers haven’t studied exact recommended doses.
SCC can also be purchased in topical ointments and as supplement pills from drugstores and some grocery stores. If you’re considering applying products containing chlorophyll to your skin as a psoriasis remedy, talk to a dermatologist first. They can help make sure it’s safe and won’t interfere with your existing treatment plan.
Chlorophyll is generally considered safe when used in moderation. Researchers at Oregon State University found no major harms associated with the human use of chlorophyll or SCC. Chlorophyll also has no documented drug interactions with other medications or supplements.
As with any supplements, there are some potential risks and side effects associated with chlorophyll’s use. Among them are digestive issues. Some people who consume chlorophyll may experience gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting, when taking chlorophyll supplements.
Additionally, some people may be allergic to chlorophyll, which could cause a range of symptoms, including hives, itching, and difficulty breathing. If you’ve ever experienced an adverse reaction to a product containing chlorophyll, avoid all skin care products and supplements that include it in the future.
No studies have been conducted on the effects of chlorophyll in pregnant people, those who are breastfeeding, or children. If you are considering trying chlorophyll, especially if you fall into one of these populations, it is crucial to consult your primary care doctor or dermatologist beforehand. They can help you determine whether chlorophyll is safe and appropriate for you to use.
Finally, make sure to consider the financial cost of chlorophyll and other supplements when deciding what natural remedies to include in your treatment plan.
Chlorophyll is a natural supplement that has been recently explored for its health benefits, including potential benefits for psoriasis. Currently, however, research is too limited to say whether chlorophyll is safe or effective for people living with psoriasis.
If you are going to consume or use a product that includes chlorophyll, be sure to seek medical advice from your primary care doctor or dermatology provider first. If you do start chlorophyll products, don’t stop taking any of your current psoriasis medications without the approval of your health care team.
MyPsoriasisTeam is the social network for people with psoriatic disease and their loved ones. More than 117,000 members come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their experiences with others who understand life with psoriasis.
Have you ever tried a product with chlorophyll? How has it affected your psoriasis? Share your experience in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.