If you suffer from psoriasis, know that you are not alone. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, about 7.5 million Americans have this skin condition. Psoriasis does not just look unsightly; it can also be itchy and painful. Certain factors can increase your risk of this skin condition, including obesity, smoking and bacterial infections. Although there is currently no cure for psoriasis, you can manage it. Here are eight effective tips for dealing with psoriasis:
Use A Moisturizer Every Day
When you have psoriasis, it is even more important to apply a moisturizer to your skin every day. If you do not moisturize your skin often, it can lead to more dryness, soreness and itching. It is important to use a thick moisturizer that does not contain any perfumes or dyes. Also, apply the moisturizer right after you get done taking a shower or bath so that it can soak deeper into your skin.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress can actually trigger psoriasis outbreaks, so it is vital to keep your anxiety levels under control. For example, it may be helpful to start out each morning with meditation or deep breathing exercises. It is also very important to exercise on a regular basis, eat a wholesome diet and get plenty of rest. If you still feel very stressed, you should think about talking to a professional.
Turn on the Humidifier
When the temperatures drop below freezing, it can get really dry in your house, increasing the risk of flare-ups. If you put a humidifier in your bedroom and living room, you can add moisture to the air and keep your psoriasis under control.
Watch What Foods You Eat
Certain foods can lead to flare-ups, so it is important to pay careful attention to what you eat. For example, high-fat dairy products can increase inflammation, making your psoriasis worse, according to Everyday Health. If you still want to eat dairy, you should choose low-fat versions. Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, reduce inflammation, so they are great for your psoriasis. It is a good idea to eat two servings of fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna or herring, every week.
Keep Your Nails Short
If you are likely to scratch your psoriasis flare-ups, you should keep your nails short. Longer nails can cause damage to the skin, worsening your psoriasis.
Be Careful When Showering
Long, hot showers can be so comforting in the winter, but they will not do your psoriasis any favors. To prevent your skin from drying out, use lukewarm water and do not shower for more than 10 minutes. It is also a good idea to use a gentle soap that is made for those with sensitive skin.
Get Some Sunlight
Exposing your skin to the some sun can actually be beneficial to your psoriasis, according to Everyday Health. However, too much sunlight can lead to flare-ups and sunburn, so you have to be careful. Remember to put on sunscreen before you leave the house and wear protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat and a long-sleeved shirt.
If you suffer from psoriasis, it is especially important to not smoke, as it can make the condition worse. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, nicotine can affect skin cell growth and increase inflammation. If you can't quit the habit on your own, ask your doctor for advice.
If you follow these helpful tips, you should be able to keep your psoriasis under control. However, if you still get flare-ups often, you should see a dermatologist soon. A professional dermatologist, such as those at Billings Clinic, can prescribe the right medication for you.