Psoriasis Self-Care Tips

May 20, 2012
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Psoriasis medication are often invaluable in controlling symptoms. But there are plenty of natural ways to treat psoriasis, too. Try these eight tips to help manage your psoriasis at home.

Psoriasis Self-Care Tip 1: Keep Skin Moist

Using moisturizer is an important part of self-care for psoriasis. Dry skin makes irritation and itchiness caused by psoriasis worse than it needs to be. A vicious cycle c an result: dry skin can cause itching and scratching, leading to new psoriasis patches developing on the irritated skin.

Psoriasis medication are often invaluable in controlling symptoms. But there are plenty of natural ways to treat psoriasis, too. Try these eight tips to help manage your psoriasis at home.

Psoriasis Self-Care Tip 1: Keep Skin Moist

Using moisturizer is an important part of self-care for psoriasis. Dry skin makes irritation and itchiness caused by psoriasis worse than it needs to be. A vicious cycle c an result: dry skin can cause itching and scratching, leading to new psoriasis patches developing on the irritated skin.

The best way to keep skin moist? Apply thick ointments like petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or heavy skin creams everywhere you can reach. Pat yourself dry and put on ointment immediately after getting out of the shower.

Also, try super-moisturizing areas of skin affected by psoriasis. At bedtime, cover a patch of skin with ointment, and wrap it with a bandage or plastic wrap overnight. In the morning, wash the area gently. Over time, this can reduce scaling.

Psoriasis Self-Care Tip 2: Bathe, but Beware

Bathing can be another important part of psoriasis self-care, yet frequent bathing can also dry skin out, causing problems. A few tips for bathing with psoriasis:

– Avoid hot water, which can irritate skin, use lukewarm water instead.

– Dont towl off, instead pat yourself dry, then apply moisturiser

– Pure water dries skin, add bathing salts, oil, or oilated oatmeal to bathwater to make it more skin-friendly.

Psoriasis Self-Care Tip 3: Stick to the Plan

It can be messy and inconvenient to slather thick goo onto psoriasis patches, day after day. But consistency is key. If you’ve been prescribed topical therapy, making it part of your routine can improve results. Also, topical therapies avoid the potential side effects of pills or injection treatments for psoriasis.

Psoriasis Self-Care Tip 4: Get Some Sun, With Care

The ultraviolet light found in sunlight is a proven treatment for psoriasis, but sunburns can make psoriasis worse. Cover unaffected skin with SPF 30 sunscreen and start with some limited sun exposure. Twenty minutes a day for three days a week can be a good start. Talk to your doctor first, because certain psoriasis medicines aren’t safe with high sun exposure.

Psoriasis Self-Care Tip 5: Quit Smoking

You can add psoriasis to the long list of health conditions made worse by smoking. In one study, people who smoked more than a pack a day were twice as likely to have severe psoriasis as those who smoked half a pack or less. Smoking’s negative effect was even stronger in women with psoriasis.

Experts agree that quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to care for your psoriasis. Don’t forget that quitting smoking also reduces your risk of heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and a host of other health conditions.

Psoriasis Self-Care Tip 6: Drink Moderately, or Not at All

Psoriasis is more common in people who drink alcohol heavily. Men’s psoriasis may be affected more by drinking than women’s. Drinking less may or may not improve psoriasis, but it will improve overall health. More than one drink per day in women, two drinks per day in men, is too much.

Psoriasis Self-Care Tip 7: Consider Diet Changes

In general, there is no solid evidence for any food making psoriasis better or worse. At the same time, many people with psoriasis have claimed improvement after cutting down on certain foods, including sugar, white flour, gluten, and caffeine. There is an association between obesity and psoriasis, and many dermatologists feel a healthy weight can improve psoriasis.

It’s reasonable to experiment by eliminating certain foods, especially less nutritious ones, to see if your own psoriasis improves. And it’s always sensible to maintain a healthy weight by eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and exercising frequently.

Psoriasis Self-Care Tip 8: Tend to Your Mental Health

Self-care for psoriasis includes taking care of your mental health. This may be one of the most important and overlooked aspects of psoriasis self-care.

People with psoriasis often feel frustrated by their condition. Social isolation and loneliness, anxiety, and low self-esteem often go along with psoriasis. Many people with moderate to severe psoriasis change their daily routine or give up things they enjoy, due to embarrassment or physical discomfort caused by psoriasis. And people with psoriasis are more likely to become depressed than other people.

If psoriasis is affecting your mental health, ask for help. Speaking with a therapist such as a psychologist or clinical social worker can help you cope with psoriasis’ impact on your life.

Also, consider joining a support group for people with psoriasis. Talking with other people who understand the challenges of living with psoriasis can really help. Register on Psoriasis Social psoriasis chat and psoriasis forum for assistance with your psoriasis causes.

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