Millions of Americans suffer from psoriasis, a chronic skin condition that happens when your body’s immune system attacks your skin, causing itchy, scaly patches and significant irritation. Though there’s no cure for psoriasis, it can be managed, both with medical therapy and with lifestyle changes.
At Starkey Medical Esthetics, Michele Meinhart, FNP, offers custom-tailored treatment for psoriasis in patients from Salem, Virginia, helping them lead more comfortable lives. Below, learn 11 things you can do to keep psoriasis under control
1. Know your triggers
Psoriasis flare-ups are often triggered by stimuli that can vary from one person to another. Common triggers include cold weather, dry air, skin injuries, bug bites, infections, exposure to pollutants or chemicals, and even some foods. Keeping track of your own symptoms can help you identify triggers, so you can avoid them.
2. Follow a healthy diet
What you eat can also have an impact on skin health. If you have psoriasis, focus on eating nutritious, whole foods, avoiding processed foods and foods high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and refined carbohydrates. Skip fast food and processed foods, too.
3. Stay active
Regular physical activity helps relieve stress and depression that can occur with psoriasis, both of which can also make your symptoms worse. Plus, it helps you maintain a healthy weight, which may reduce your flares, help your medical treatment be more effective, and reduce your risk of other chronic diseases, like high blood pressure and heart disease.
4. Use gentle skincare products
Evaluate any product that has contact with your skin, including soaps and washes, creams, makeup, deodorants, perfumes, and laundry products. Look for products designed specifically to be gentle on your skin.
5. Moisturize regularly
Choose a high-quality moisturizer for sensitive skin, and use it regularly. Apply it before bed and after your shower to help lock in moisture.
6. Limit sun exposure
Sun is a big trigger for lots of people with psoriasis. Use a sunscreen formulated for sensitive skin, and apply it any time you go outdoors. Wear loose-fitting clothing for additional protection, and avoid being in the sun during midday, when its rays are especially intense.
7. Quit smoking
Smoking can make your psoriasis symptoms worse, and it can also limit the effectiveness of your treatment. The website SmokeFree.gov offers tips and support to help you quit.
8. Limit alcohol consumption
Alcohol can act as a trigger to cause flares and make symptoms worse, but it poses other problems, too. People with psoriasis are far more likely to develop liver problems that can be exacerbated by alcohol consumption. It can also affect medications used to treat psoriasis and make it harder for symptoms to go into remission.
9. Use a humidifier
Air conditioning and heating both dry out indoor air, and in Virginia, fall means drier air outdoors, too. Compensate by using a humidifier inside to help put moisture back in the air and avoid overdrying your skin.
10. Skip hot showers and baths
Hot water dries out skin, deleting it of natural oils that serve as a protective barrier. Even though a long, hot shower or bath might feel great, prolonged exposure to hot water can quickly trigger symptoms. Instead, stick to lukewarm water, and limit the time spent in the tub. Tip: Try adding colloidal oatmeal to bathwater to help soothe irritated skin.
11. See your dermatologist regularly
Because it’s a chronic skin condition, psoriasis requires ongoing management to prevent flare-ups and to keep your skin healthy. What’s more, as your skin changes, your treatment needs to change, too. Scheduling regular checkups ensures your treatment remains on track for fewer uncomfortable symptoms.
If you have psoriasis, we can help you manage your symptoms and reduce your flares. To learn more, call 540-389-0909 or book an appointment online at Starkey Medical Esthetics today.