Overview of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder that affects your skin. Psoriasis speeds up the life cycle of the skin cells in the body, causing the cells to grow rapidly on the skin’s surface. These extra skin cells start forming scales and thick, red patches that are painful and itchy. Psoriasis is a chronic disease and tends to come and go. The primary goal of psoriasis treatment is to stop the skin cells from growing so rapidly. There is no cure for psoriasis, but therapy helps you manage your symptoms.
Living with psoriasis is a challenging condition as it becomes difficult to feel comfortable in your own skin when it is breaking out like this. The common symptoms of psoriasis, such as blotchiness and dryness, prove to be painful and embarrassing.(1)
It is usually observed that people with psoriasis feel too embarrassed to step out of the house and prefer staying inside instead of being social.
However, psoriasis does not need to take over your life. Here are some simple beauty tricks that will help you get relief from your psoriasis symptoms, especially during a flare-up.
Beauty Tricks for Alleviating Psoriasis
Importance of Moisturization
The most important thing to remember when you have psoriasis is to moisturize daily. Keeping your skin well moisturized is the most effective way of managing psoriasis. There are many types of moisturizing lotions, creams, and even ointments available in the market that are effective at treating dry and itchy skin.
Creams, ointments, and lotions are useful for treating mild to moderate psoriasis. Some of the major reasons for using moisturizers are:(2)
- They help soften the area, allowing the other medications you are taking for psoriasis to enter the inner layers of skin.
- They allow you to apply your other medications directly to the affected area.
- They help alleviate cracking and dryness, reducing the discomfort and also lower the risk of infection.
- Creams, lotions, and other topical ointments are usually recommended as the first treatment for people who have mild psoriasis because these moisturizers help reduce the itching scaling, and discomfort commonly associated with the condition.
You can use both prescription and over-the-counter moisturizers for mild psoriasis. Many people prefer to use lotions, but creams and ointments will prove to be less irritating and also more effective. This is because certain ingredients such as topical calcineurin inhibitor and tazarotene are only found in ointments and creams.
Warm Baths Will Be Comforting
Warm baths will prove to be hugely comforting for relieving psoriasis symptoms such as itchiness and dry skin.
Also, use a mild soap for avoiding skin irritation. It is okay to include oatmeal, bath oil, or even Epsom salts for adding a luxury factor to your bath.
It is essential to avoid taking hot showers as they will only dry out your skin further. Also, once you finish taking a bath, try to gently pat your skin dry rather than rubbing the towel all over your body as that can chafe your skin increasing your irritation.(3)
When you are taking a bath or removing your makeup, it is essential to scrub lightly so that it does not cause irritation to your skin. Opt for using a soft washcloth instead of abrasive options like loofahs. A loofah can make your psoriasis symptoms even worse.
Also, use gentle and chemical-free beauty products whenever possible. If there are any sensitive patches of psoriasis on your skin, then avoid scratching, picking, or rubbing that patch of skin, even if it alleviates the discomfort temporarily. It will only make things worse afterward.
Exposure to Sunlight
People with psoriasis will benefit greatly from exposing their skin to some sunlight. You should try to spend at least 15 to 20 minutes in the sun every day. However, don’t overdo it also as sunburns can sometimes trigger a psoriasis flare-up.
Exposing your psoriasis affected area to regular and controlled periods of sunlight will help you manage your symptoms and also improve your overall sense of well-being.(4)
In the winter months, when the symptoms tend to be worse due to the dry climate, and there is also fewer hours of sunlight available, your doctor might recommend that you undergo some phototherapy sessions that will act as a substitute to UV light.
Make Changes To Your Diet
Making certain healthy changes to your diet will help you immensely in managing the symptoms of psoriasis. Even though researchers are yet to establish a strong link between diet and psoriasis, many people who have psoriasis have gone ahead to witness many positive changes from adopting an anti-inflammatory diet.
Some of the best foods to reduce inflammation in psoriasis include those that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and colorful fruits and vegetables. Here are some of the best anti-inflammatory foods:(5)
- Green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and collards
- Nuts and seeds like walnuts and almonds, and pumpkin seeds
- Fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, and sardines
- Fruits such as mangoes, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and oranges
At the same time, you need to also try to avoid foods that are known to boost inflammation in the body. These include:
- Soda and any other sugar-sweetened beverages
- French fries and other fried foods
- Refined carbohydrates such as pastries and white bread
- Red meat including in burgers and steaks and processed meat such as sausage and hot dogs
- Margarine, lard, and shortening
You should also avoid dairy products and nightshade vegetables such as peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.
The most important tip for managing and taking control of your psoriasis is to be comfortable and confident in your skin. Sometimes you will experience a flare-up of the disease that will make you feel immensely self-conscious. However, hold your head high and show the world that you are in control of your life, and you will not let a condition such as psoriasis to determine your self-worth.
Also, keep your social circle and family informed about your condition because this would make you comfortable around the people who you are with for the maximum amount of time. This will also finish off any need of having to cover up your psoriasis.
- Psoriasis.org. (2019). National Psoriasis Foundation – About Psoriasis. [online] Available at: https://www.psoriasis.org/about-psoriasis [Accessed 22 Aug. 2019].
wikiHow. (2019). How to Choose a Moisturizer for Psoriasis. [online] Available at: https://www.wikihow.com/Choose-a-Moisturizer-for-Psoriasis [Accessed 22 Aug. 2019].
- Aad.org. (2019). 8 ways to stop baths and showers from worsening your psoriasis | American Academy of Dermatology. [online] Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/scaly-skin/psoriasis/tips-for-managing-psoriasis/8-ways-to-stop-baths-and-showers-from-worsening-psoriasis [Accessed 22 Aug. 2019].
- ScienceDaily. (2019). Summer sun good for psoriasis sufferers says Gottlieb dermatologist. [online] Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130806165930.htm [Accessed 22 Aug. 2019].
- Publishing, H. (2019). Foods that fight inflammation – Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation [Accessed 22 Aug. 2019].
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