Psoriasis: Tips for Managing Day to Day
Psoriasis is a common skin condition, but just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it’s comfortable. Millions of people with psoriasis suffer on a day to day basis with itchy, flaking, and painful skin.
Psoriasis is chronic because it is an autoimmune condition, meaning your immune system causes cells thatnormally fight infection to attack healthy skin cells instead. Your skin can become red, irritated, or even develop rashes and blisters. Your body tries to heal the damage by producing more healthy cells at a faster rate, which is what causes the flaking common with psoriasis.
Without a cure, you might feel discouraged. However, you can reduce the symptoms of psoriasis with a few daily care routines. Here are some tips that can help you manage your psoriasis.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
Even though diet is not directly related to psoriasis, eating healthfully can reduce the levels of inflammation in your body. While more research needs to be done in this area, many people with psoriasis find relief from symptoms by eating a diet that focuses on anti-inflammatory foods.
In general, try to avoid foods that are high in sugars and saturated fats. You might also try going dairy free for a time to see if that helps to reduce your symptoms. Try to replace higher fat meats, such as cold cuts and fatty steaks, with leaner red meat cuts or poultry.
You can also add foods that will help – instead of just cutting out foods that might be harmful. Oily fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids provides protein and nutrients that your body needs. And try to increase your consumption of leafy greens and fresh fruits.
You can also get plant-based sources of omega-3 from nuts and seeds.
Take Targeted Treatments on a Daily Basis
A dermatologist can provide you with creams and medications that are meant to help tone down your body’s production of extra skin cells and reduce your immune response. You might also have prescription steroid medications or vitamin creams that will help reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Don’t skip these treatments. Sometimes, patients focus too much on trying to reduce their symptoms without the help of medications. However, psoriasis is an illness that requires treatment, just like you might get treatment for another sickness.
Change Addictive Habits
There are some habits that can make psoriasis flare-ups more common, including smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Both increase levels of inflammation in your body, which means you experience more break-outs of itchy patches. Talk to your doctor about programs to quit smoking if you need help
Limit alcohol consumption almost entirely, saving drinks for special occasions. Alcohol consumption, especially in men, is strongly associated with the development of psoriatic pustular lesions.
Stress is another trigger for psoriasis. If you have a stressful job or have trouble with anxiety, you might actively work on daily stress reduction habits, including:
- Exercise. Exercise temporarily stresses your body, but as result, your resting stress levels are lower.
- Meditation. Deep breathing and guided relaxation help to lower your heart rate and reduce the levels of stress response hormones in the body.
- Spending time outdoors. Time outside is directly linked to lower stress levels.
You should also try to get adequate amount of sleep each night, as exhaustion is another type of stressor to the body.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Finally, if you are not already at a healthy weight, try to reduce calories to lose weight gradually. Obesity is directly related to increased trouble with psoriasis, and losing weight will help to reduce the formation of red scaly patches, especially in the folds of the skin.
For more information, contact us at East Carolina Dermatology and Skin Surgery, PLLC.