Ice Baths for Eczema and Psoriasis: Soothing Itchy, Inflamed Skin

Timothy Munene Timothy Munene
Ice Baths for Eczema and Psoriasis: Soothing Itchy, Inflamed Skin

Approximately 3% of people worldwide have psoriasis; another study found that over 1% of children have psoriasis and eczema. So, can ice baths provide relief for people with these conditions? Join us as we discuss psoriasis and eczema in detail and how ice baths can soothe inflamed and itchy skin. 

Understanding Psoriasis and Eczema

This autoimmune skin disease triggers a rash with itchy and scaly patches commonly appearing on the trunk, scalp, elbows, and knees. It’s a chronic and incurable disease that can be pretty painful. Due to severe itching, getting proper sleep or concentrating can be difficult.

Psoriasis often presents in cycles that vary from weeks to months before diminishing for some time. To cope with psoriasis and manage the symptoms, you can use creams or change your lifestyle habits.

On the other hand, eczema is a skin condition where the skin dries up, becoming easily irritated and itchy. Eczema may appear as areas of dry and red skin and is commonly found in areas around your elbows, ankles, wrists, and knees. Getting an ice bath or exposing the psoriasis patch to a cold compress can be soothing. 

How Ice Baths Can Help with Psoriasis

An ice bath is a form of cold therapy and an effective way to manage the symptoms of psoriasis. Dermatologists say people with psoriasis should replace hot showers with ice baths or hold a cold compress against psoriasis patches. Ice baths help with the management of psoriasis by:

·       Soothing Itching

Using ice cold water to cool the skin is a proven remedy for itchiness. The cold water numbs the nerves, dulling the itch signals to the brain. Immersing yourself in an ice bath up to the shoulders can calm itchiness from psoriasis or eczema. 

·       Relieves Inflammation and Pain

Taking a dip in ice cold water can reduce pain and inflammation. As a result, people with inflammatory conditions like psoriasis can take advantage of ice baths to get relief. If you suffer from psoriatic arthritis, ice baths can relieve aching and stiff joints. 

·       Improving Mood

Studies suggest that depression and stress can cause psoriasis flare-ups, while psoriasis can result in depression. Cold therapy can come in handy to break this cycle. Engaging in regular ice bathing can reduce depression and tension. 

·       Using Ice Baths for Psoriasis and Eczema

To use an ice bath to relieve psoriasis and eczema symptoms: 

  • First, fill an ice bath with water and sufficient ice to your desired temperature. You can add Epsom salts, a proven natural remedy that relieves itching. Immerse yourself inside up to the shoulders and remain in the bath for up to 10 minutes. 

Remember, prolonged exposure to cold water can cause skiing dryness and itchiness. Always apply moisturizer to seal in moisture and shield the skin’s barrier after leaving the ice bath.  

  • If you’re using ice bathing for the first time, begin with gradual sessions until you get used to extremely cold temperatures. According to some experts, cooling the skin for up to four minutes in an ice bath can reduce inflammation. Still, some studies suggest that the most notable effects of ice bathing occur in the first 30 seconds. Even brief ice bath sessions can relieve eczema and psoriasis patients.  
  • Apart from ice baths, showering at least twice daily can relieve eczema and psoriasis-related skin complications. 

Can Ice Bathing Provide Relief for Eczema and Psoriasis? 

While ice baths can help relieve eczema and psoriasis, experts say you should proceed cautiously. Of course, these skin conditions affect people differently, making it difficult to determine how people react to remedies such as ice bathing.

According to experts, people with eczema and psoriasis who get relief after cold showers are better placed to try cold therapy. Cold therapy enthusiasts opine that ice baths can provide instant relief for itching and pain, helping people with various skin conditions sleep better.

While experts say ice baths can reduce the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis and calm the nerves, research has yet to prove that cold therapy actually heals skin diseases. 

Dos for Eczema and Psoriasis

Besides ice baths, there are various things people with eczema and psoriasis should or shouldn’t do, which include:

·       Consult a Dermatologist

Schedule an appointment with a dermatologist who specializes in eczema and psoriasis. A professional will know the latest developments in managing and treating the conditions. Discuss comprehensive details of your skin condition, including the symptoms and situations that worsen it. Let your dermatologist know about the treatments you may be using, what has worked, and what hasn’t worked for you. 

·       Moisturize

Dry skin is more vulnerable to eczema and psoriasis outbreaks. Ensure your skin is well moisturized. After immersing yourself in an ice bath, consider generously applying moisturizing cream. Choose creams that contain sufficient emollients. Your dermatologist can recommend the best moisturizing cream that suits your condition. 

·       Immerse Yourself in Water

Soak up in warm water to reduce inflammation, itching, and loosen scales resulting from psoriasis. Add bath oil, sea salt, oatmeal, or coal tar-based bath gel to moisturize and soothe the skin. Salt baths are associated with relieving eczema and psoriasis. 

·       Sunbathing

According to experts, exposing yourself to ultraviolet can help alleviate psoriasis lesions. Even though sunbathing is discouraged due to the risk of skin cancer, it can be effective for people with psoriasis. Strive to expose the areas affected by psoriasis and cover unaffected areas with sunscreen or clothing.

Avoid over-exposure to the sun to prevent sunburn, which can worsen the condition. Remember, it may take a few weeks to see improvement. According to doctors, phototherapy is one of the effective methods of treating psoriasis. As a result, your doctor may recommend ultraviolet light therapy at home or the doctor’s office. 

·       Speak to Someone

Managing psoriasis can be physically and emotionally challenging. Speak to your friends, doctor, and family about your feelings regarding the disease. Seek online and in-person support from people with psoriasis to help you cope with the situation. Psoriasis organizations can link you to people struggling with the condition, keeping you updated on research developments and how to participate in fundraising events. 

Other dos for eczema and psoriasis include:

  • Use oil-free, soap-free, and unscented body and hair products
  • Keep your house clean to eliminate allergens
  • Drink sufficient water to keep the skin hydrated

Avoid stress because it can trigger flare-ups. Incorporate counselling, meditation, or exercise in your wellness routine. 

Don’ts for Managing Eczema and Psoriasis

To manage eczema and psoriasis effectively, don’t scrub or scratch the lesions to avoid irritating and worsening them. Don’t pick at scales, as that will trigger bleeding, increasing the risk of infection.

Ask your dermatologist to recommend ointments and creams that can remove the scales gently. Showering in overly hot water or using harsh cleaners can worsen your symptoms. Instead, consider immersing yourself in ice cold water

·       Avoid Stress

Some people with eczema and psoriasis opine that their skin condition worsens when stressed. Avoid stress as much as possible and consider exercising, eating well, and getting sufficient sleep. Try stress management techniques such as meditation and relaxation. 


While ice baths can effectively manage eczema and psoriasis symptoms, you should consult your dermatologist before incorporating them into your wellness routine. Monitor the impact of cold therapy on your skin condition and consult your healthcare provider if the condition worsens.

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