Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease characterized by patches of abnormal skin, which typically turn red, itchy, and scaly. Although certain medications can help control psoriasis, there are a few simple things you can do to prevent a flare-up. For starters, healthy eating, being stress-free, and following a skin-friendly beauty routine need to be a priority.
In addition to easing the symptoms of psoriasis, these practices also boost your overall health. Here are effective methods that can help ease and prevent psoriasis flare-ups.
1. Keep Your Skin Hydrated
Skin care specialists suggest that people with psoriasis keep their skin well moisturized, especially during the winter months, to prevent scales, soothe dry skin and ease itching. Ensure that you use moisturizers, ointments, creams, and lotions to prevent psoriasis flare-ups. Many products that help treat psoriasis are also effective, although they must be prescribed by a dermatologist. Apply moisturizer on your skin after a shower and after washing your hands.
2. Use A Mild Conditioner
Conditioners can conceal the odor of shampoos and restore the moisture lost when you use shampoos. Use a mild conditioner after shampooing your hair and gently massage your scalp. Various medicated conditioners are designed to specifically reduce itching and restore moisture to your scalp. They also control scaling and flaking. But consult your doctor about ingredients in some products that may aggravate your psoriasis.
3. Practice Meditation
Meditation is a holistic practice that not only benefits your body and mind but also your skin. Research has proven that meditation can ease stress and alleviate anxiety. A 2014 Carnegie Mellon University study observed that 25-minute meditation sessions done for three consecutive days helped decrease stress.1 Stress has a negative effect on your skin by aggravating psoriasis and even causes premature aging of the skin.
4. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Even your weight has an effect in dealing with psoriasis. Experts recommend eating a healthy diet and maintaining an ideal body weight as they have found that people who are obese are at an increased risk for psoriasis and that shedding those pounds may help treat the condition. Being overweight is known to increase the severity of psoriasis and may advance the progression to psoriatic arthritis, which affects about 30 percent of people with skin psoriasis and reduces the impact of medications. For people with psoriasis, weight loss helps in dealing with the skin condition, improves the effects of the medications, and lowers the risk for heart disease.
5. Avoid Harsh Skincare Products
One of the most important things that people with psoriasis must do is avoid using skincare products that contain harmful or harsh chemicals. Bath soaps, shower gels, deodorants, dyes, and scrubs can irritate the skin and aggravate the condition. Instead, use natural products such as Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts, oil or oilated oatmeal, which can help reduce scales as well as sooth any itching.
6. Avoid Direct Sun Exposure
Although the early morning rays of the sun have health benefits, exposure during the hotter part of the day must be avoided. The harmful radiation and UV rays can cause skin damage and irritate your skin further. Even a mild sunburn can cause a psoriasis outbreak. If you must step out in the sun, ensure that you wear clothing that covers your body properly or at least use a sunscreen lotion. Excessive exposure to the sun may render certain drugs ineffective or exacerbate side-effects. Avoid using tanning beds as they increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
7. Resist Eating Junk Foods
Eating right plays a major role in preventing and treating skin conditions such as psoriasis. Junk foods and processed foods that contain additives and preservatives complicate skin problems. Instead, consider eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meat, and fat-free or low-fat dairy, which can improve your skin health and help treat psoriasis. Avoid drinking alcohol since it can lead to a flare-up.
8. Select Suitable Cosmetics
Though certain cosmetic products can worsen psoriasis, people with psoriasis can use makeup as long as it is skin-friendly and is devoid of harsh chemical substances. Ensure that the makeup you buy is labeled as non-comedogenic (skincare product or cosmetic that do not block pores) or non-acnegenic (products that are less likely to cause acne). Hypoallergenic, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and products designed for people with rosacea or sensitive skin can also be used by people with psoriasis.
9. Practice Aerobic Exercises
Exercises make you sweat and sweating is a great way to eliminate the toxins from your body. Research shows that aerobic exercises can alleviate stress and symptoms of psoriasis. One study noted that positive mental effects are felt soon after a sweat session.2 These positive effects include less stress, better mood, and improved brain function. These effects work great on the skin too, resulting in a lesser chance of getting a flare-up.
|↑1||Creswell, J. David, Laura E. Pacilio, Emily K. Lindsay, and Kirk Warren Brown. “Brief mindfulness meditation training alters psychological and neuroendocrine responses to social evaluative stress.” Psychoneuroendocrinology 44 (2014): 1-12.|
|↑2||Basso, Julia C., and Wendy A. Suzuki. “The Effects of Acute Exercise on Mood, Cognition, Neurophysiology, and Neurochemical Pathways: A Review.” Brain Plasticity 2, no. 2 (2017): 127-152.|