Learn how others manage their Psoriasis.
Get tips for diet, exercise, and managing stress
By Multiple Authors
Reading time: 5 minutes
As a skin condition that affects more of the population than you probably ever realized, psoriasis comes in varying levels of severity. Itchy scales are the most common symptom, often irritating patients and making them feel self-conscious. That’s why we’ve prepared a handy care plan you can follow right now to start seeing improvements in your symptoms. Although we can’t promise symptoms will disappear completely, it is possible to limit your symptoms and live a normal day-to-day life. That’s the goal! Getting psoriasis out of your mind so you can focus on the rest of what’s going on.
Don’t Take Hot Showers
Hot water can dry out your skin, making it more likely to crack and bleed. This is why some people with psoriasis find that hot showers or baths make their psoriasis painful, itchy, or even more visible than usual. Turn down the temperature before bathing or showering each morning. This way, you’ll a major exacerbating factor for your symptoms. Moisture, in general, must be managed appropriately since your skin is susceptible and requires extra care. While bathing, using extra skincare products like soaps and oils that are psoriasis-approved is highly recommended.
Protect Your Skin From The Sun
You should always protect your skin from the sun, as it can make psoriasis worse. Use sunscreen with a high SPF (at least 30) and wear protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses when you’re outside. If you do go out in the sun, make sure to reapply your sunscreen every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily—and don’t forget to put it on those hard-to-reach places like your scalp!
Do Your Best To Manage Stress
Stress is a known trigger for psoriasis, although many underrate it. It also worsens the skin condition and can be caused by many things, including work, family issues, and finances. If you’re under a lot of stress, it can help to talk about it with a friend or family member who can offer perspective on your situation. You may also want to consider finding an exercise that helps relieve your stress—for example, walking in nature or lifting weights at the gym. Another way to manage stress is by adopting healthy habits like eating well-balanced meals (including fresh vegetables). Diet is a whole other beast you need to pay attention to, but you can get 90% of the returns by avoiding alcohol, sugar, dairy, and gluten. Taking care of yourself in this way will give you more energy overall, which will reduce stress levels naturally!
Get A Good Night’s Sleep Every Night
Your sleep goal should be to get enough sleep every night so that you wake up feeling refreshed instead of groggy from lack of sleep the night before. You’re probably already familiar with the effects of sleep deprivation, but if not, here’s a quick refresher: lack of sleep leads to anxiety, depression, weight gain, and fatigue. A single night of poor sleep can also make psoriasis worse. So make sure you get at least seven to eight hours each night. If you have trouble sleeping due to psoriasis pain or itchiness (which can happen when your skin flares), try having your partner rub moisturizer on your dry patches before bedtime.
Not exactly a new idea, but exercising can help control psoriasis symptoms and reduce stress, which will help you feel better emotionally and physically. Exercise is good for your heart and lungs, but it’s also beneficial to the skin. In addition to helping with general fitness and weight control, regular exercise can reduce stress and improve sleep quality. This can help combat psoriasis flare-ups. Exercise should take place at least three times a week for 30 minutes per session. Moderate exercise that increases blood flow to the skin (such as walking) is best. Other stress-reducing techniques include pranayama breathing exercises, where one focuses on breathing slowly while counting breaths until they reach ten before exhaling again slowly over time without losing focus. These are great ways for people suffering from depression/anxiety symptoms because they require total concentration without distraction from outside sources such as noise pollution.
Live Your Best Life
Finally, keep your skin clean and moisturized with soap, lotion, or ointment. If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals on your sensitive skin every day though, try washing with baking soda instead. It’ll cleanse without drying out the affected area(s) too much while still being gentle enough without causing irritation or allergic reactions. But most of all, remember the goal is to live freely again. Build these into your life so you can go about your day without thinking about your symptoms. This as an underlying goal, will make you feel way better and create a positive feedback loop with your stress.
I hope you now have a better understanding of all the ways psoriasis can be managed. I know the road to getting better can be tricky and long. However, I think it’s important to remember that you are not alone in this journey. Psoriasis affects millions of people across the world, and there are many resources out there for anyone who wants help or information about their condition. Following an 80/20 rule and focusing on stress, moisture, sun, diet, sleep, and exercise will get you most of the way there. After that, it’s about maintaining consistency. Good luck!