How to manage psoriasis?
Treating your psoriasis is critical to good disease management and overall health. Work with your doctor to find a treatment—or treatments—that reduce or eliminate your symptoms. What works for one person with psoriasis might not work for another. So it’s important to know the different treatment options and keep trying until you find the right regimen for you.
Besides the needed treatment therapy, several tips for daily management1 can be taken into account.
- Shower routine
- Limiting showers and baths to ten minutes and using lukewarm water
- Use a non irritating soap, preferably a body wash instead of a bar soap, which can be drying
- Pat dry after a shower, rubbing can irritate the skin
- Applying a moisturizer after a bath or shower helps lock in hydration and minimizes the flaking of psoriatic scales
- What (not) to wear
- Wear looser-fitting, soft clothing made of lightweight natural fibers such as cotton and linen (avoid clothes made with wool and synthetic fibers)
- Avoid bleach and/or fabric softener or run clothes and sheets through an extra rinse cycle
- General health
- Eat nutritiously, exercise, and maintain a healthy body weight (a high BMI (25 or higher) is associated with an increased incidence of psoriatic outbreaks)
- Keeping a food journal could help to look for possible links between specific foods and changes in the condition of your skin (one item proven to aggravate psoriasis is alcohol)
- Do not smoke, as it is known to aggravate psoriasis
- Try and keep the stress level under control (stress hormones may stimulate an already overactive immune system and can increase itching)
- Sun exposure
- Limited sun exposure is shown to suppress inflammation in the skin, however avoid getting sunburned, as a sunburn can worsen existing plaques and trigger new outbreaks. Psoriasis sufferers should always discuss sun exposure with their doctor first