Psoriasis is a common chronic skin condition that causes formation scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful. A slew of powerful medications can help control psoriasis, but the best bet against this condition may be a few simple lifestyle changes. Here’s how to take control over your psoriasis by making smart choices in your daily life:
Staying in shape
Obesity increases the risk of psoriasis and losing weight helps improve its symptoms. Being overweight may also make psoriasis severe and speed progression to psoriatic arthritis reducing the effectiveness of medications. Losing weight can make the condition easier to handle and reduce risk for heart diseases.
Changing your diet
Certain food causes the skin to react, while others can help it calm down. As a general rule, trim acidic triggers like caffeine, sugar, white flour and red meat among others from diet as they can promote inflammation. Stick to anti-inflammatory food to avoid skin irritation. Spinach, pineapple, walnuts, and sweet potatoes are some top picks. Probiotics help immensely as well. Also, one must stay hydrated, as dehydration can worsen symptoms.
Avoid harsh soaps:
Deodorant soaps as well as scrubs can worsen psoriasis. Also avoid products that contain chemicals, fragrances and dyes. Instead, some widely available natural bath products can actually help.
Be mindful of the weather:
The symptoms of psoriasis often develop or become worse due to the weather. Common psoriasis is triggered due to excessive exposure to sunlight and cold temperatures. Wear a hat, loose fitting clothes and use sunscreen when spending time outside in summer and use a moisturiser in winter to prevent scales, soothe dry skin and ease itching.
There is a clear link between psoriasis and stress, with up to 78 per cent of people with psoriasis believing stress aggravates their condition. It can be a vicious circle with psoriasis outbreak adding to stress levels. Long walks and physical exercise are good ways to ease stress. A massage or spa treatment to moisturise skin, reduce stress and muscle tension may help reduce outbreaks too.
Practicing good hygiene:
Infections are known to trigger psoriasis because they put stress on the immune system, causing an inflammatory reaction. Strep throat in particular is associated with the onset of psoriasis symptoms, especially in children. However, psoriasis flare-ups may occur after an earache, tonsillitis, or a respiratory or skin infection. Make sure to wash hands often throughout the day. It is also important to clean wound properly and to keep it covered so it doesn’t get infected.