Psoriasis Awareness Month is coming up in August. According to current studies, more than 8 million Americans have psoriasis–an autoimmune disease of the skin. Psoriasis often results in patches of thick, red (inflamed) skin covered with silvery scales. These patches typically occur on the elbows, legs, scalp, lower back, face, palms, and soles of the feet, but they can occur anywhere on the body.
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for psoriasis. Although some people may go years without a flare-up, it is considered a chronic long-term condition. The good news is that there are several available treatment methods, and many of the common psoriasis triggers can be eliminated through lifestyle changes.
Here are 7 simple ways you can help manage your psoriasis:
- Take Regular Baths: Taking a bath, versus a traditional shower, can help remove scales caused by psoriasis and calm inflamed skin. Use lukewarm water along with soothing products such as bath oil, colloidal oatmeal, Epsom salts, or Dead Sea salts. As few as 10 minutes can help.
- Use Moisturizer: After every bath or shower, apply a heavy-ointment-based moisturizer. Depending on the severity of your condition and your skin type, you may need to re-apply several times a day.
- Test Food Sensitivities: An allergist can test for certain food sensitivities that may be causing inflammation that triggers your psoriasis. Common culprits include gluten or dairy. You can also keep a food diary and pay close attention to how you feel and how your skin responds to certain types of food that you eat.
- Take the Right Supplements: Nutrients like fish oil, vitamin D, and probiotics can help you manage psoriasis and prevent flare-ups. Also, consider anti-inflammatory nutrients such as grape seed extract, especially if you are not getting enough of these nutrients through your diet. Before taking any supplements, be sure to check with your doctor to make sure they don’t interfere with other health conditions you may have or medications you’re taking.
- Get Moving: Regular physical exercise is a natural anti-inflammatory. A recent study found that increased physical exercise along with dietary intervention reduced psoriasis severity in systemically treated overweight or obese patients with active psoriasis.
- Reduce Stress: Stress is another known trigger of psoriasis. Although easier said than done, considering psoriasis itself can be a source of stress, it’s important to find ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life. Consider calming techniques such as yoga or meditation to help you relax.
- Eliminate Toxins: Alcohol consumption and tobacco use have both been proven to increase your risk of psoriasis or make symptoms more severe for those who already have it.
Treatment for Psoriasis
Despite your best efforts, psoriasis flare-ups are still likely to occur. The professionals at Blue Ridge Dermatology are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis, as well as support for psoriasis sufferers. As a way of treatment, the team of dermatologists at Blue Ridge Dermatology can work with you to determine your psoriasis triggers, aiding in the reduction of flare-ups. To schedule an appointment, call Blue Ridge Dermatology at (919) 781-1050 today.