You may have treatments from your doctor for your psoriasis, but flare-ups can still be incredibly frustrating. Psoriasis is a skin disease affecting 2% of the population worldwide.
There is no cure, but there are things you can do to help alleviate symptoms and flare-ups.
See your doctor
If you haven’t already, make an appointment with a dermatologist. Your first line of treatment is a doctor’s intervention.
Dry skin is more susceptible to outbreaks. Skip scented soaps, and after bathing or showering seal in moisture by moisturizing. The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends creams with 0.5% aloe up to three times a day. And pay attention to the colder months, which can be particularly drying.
Take a bath
Turn on soft music and soak in lukewarm water for about 15 minutes. This can loosen scales and help reduce itching. Adding sea salt, oatmeal, bath oil or gel with coal tar in the water can further soothe and moisturize.
Psoriasis lesions often diminish when exposed to ultraviolet light. The trick is to make sure only the affected areas are exposed. Cover unaffected skin with SPF 30 sunscreen and clothing. Limit exposure to 15 minutes and be careful not to burn, which can make things worse.
Stress is a common psoriasis trigger, so prioritize your rest and relaxation. A 2012 study found sleep deprivation can trigger the inflammatory process behind psoriasis. Make sure you get enough sleep, and try destress activities recommended by The American Academy of Dermatology including meditation, deep breathing and yoga.
Chances are you’re thirsty and it’s affecting your skin. Dehydrated skin is miserable, and hydrated skin is happy and can alleviate dry and itchy skin from a flare-up.
Skip the Alcohol
The American Academy of Dermatology reports those with psoriasis who cut back on alcohol show fewer outbreaks, more remissions, reduced risk of fatty liver disease and decreased risk of liver damage from psoriasis meds.
You can enjoy a drink occasionally, just keep it to a minimum and watch for flares.
Avoid scratching or scrubbing your skin harshly. Baby your skin, don’t pick at it. If you see a flare-up, don’t avoid it. Make an appointment with your doctor, especially if you’ve had it under control for a bit.