Aromatherapy Case Study on Psoriasis
Updated: May 16
The client is a 65-year-old female diagnosed with a sudden onset of psoriasis. The client reported never experiencing psoriasis previously. The rash appeared suddenly and was widespread, covering most of her body. Psoriasis lesions were particularly severe under bilateral breasts and on bilateral legs. She described the rash as being painful, burning, and extremely itchy. She reported that she had not been able to sleep through the night since it began. It should also be noted that there had been no recent changes in diet or lifestyle. The rash began a month before her consultation and had progressively worsened.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder characterized by inflamed, red, raised areas that often develop into silvery scales on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. (Johns Hopkins, 2023). The cause is unknown, and presently, there are no cures. There are many different types of treatments to lessen the severity of flare-ups. The National Library of Medicine defines a flare-up as a transient exacerbation of symptoms of an existing disease or condition (National Library of Medicine, 2023). With psoriasis, you will see the rash very red and rough, often with silver scaly patches instead of mildly pink or not visible at all when you are not in a flare-up. The skin will feel rough, and the areas can be raised. The skin will crack easily, often during bathing, and can become infected. The client was diagnosed via biopsies taken of the rash by a dermatologist.
Her only other medical issue was high blood pressure. She currently takes Metoprolol, a beta blocker, which is metabolized by the CYP2D6 enzyme, and Benazepril, an ACE inhibitor, which is metabolized by the Carboxylesterases enzyme. (Zisaki, Miskovic, Hatzimanikatis 2015). Because of these medications, I chose to avoid Rosemary (Salvia rosmariunus), Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), Sage (Salvia officinalis), Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), and German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) (Dechen, 2021 & Mount Sinai, 2023). While Benazepril is not specifically listed in the report from Mount Sinai due to its classification as an ACE inhibitor, I chose to err on the side of caution and avoid the oils listed regardless.
To improve skin integrity and promote rest, I kept the dilution rates low in my blend. As someone who suffers from psoriasis flare-ups, I understand the importance of using gentle products. By improving skin integrity, the severity of symptoms can be reduced.
The Comforting Psoriasis Blend was approximately 1.35% dilution rate, stored in a 30ml amber glass dropper top bottle, included these carrier oils and essential oils:
15 mls Grapeseed Oil Vitus vinifera
5 mls Calendula Oil Calendula officinalis
5mls Borage Seed Oil Borago officinalis
5mls Jojoba Oil Simmondsia chinensis
Grapeseed Oil Vitus vinifera was used due to its ease of absorption and because it is high in polyunsaturated fat, vitamin E, minerals, and protein (Dechen, 20