Symptoms get worse when your skin is dry, so keep it moist with creams and ointments. Thick and oily ones, like petroleum jelly, are usually best. They're better at trapping moisture beneath the skin.
For some people with psoriasis, symptoms worsen with certain weather-related factors, such as: humidity. a drop in temperature. exposure to air conditioned environments.
Do moisturize. Dry skin is more susceptible to outbreaks of psoriasis, so keep your skin well lubricated. After bathing or showering, seal in moisture by applying a generous amount of moisturizing cream or ointment to your skin.
It's good to moisturize throughout the day. While it might be a part of your routine to lotion your body after showering, you should also consider moisturizing your hands after you wash them. Using a moisturizer within 5 minutes of taking a bath or shower helps lock in moisture.
Establish a Treatment Routine
People with psoriasis who establish a daily bathing and moisturizing routine will find that doing so not only minimizes scaling, but also helps alleviate itching and keeps psoriasis patches looking as good as possible.
Avoid harsh skin products, such as those that contain alcohol. Try to prevent sunburn. Although short periods of sun exposure reduce psoriasis in most people, too much sun can damage the skin and cause skin cancer. In addition, sunburns can trigger psoriasis.
“It can make already inflamed skin feel even worse,” says Dr. Unwala. She suggests bathing once a day and limiting baths to no more than 15 minutes and showers to 5 minutes.
An increase in stress levels or living with ongoing, chronic stress can cause your psoriasis to flare up. Psoriasis itself can also be a source of stress. Cold and dry weather. When the temperature drops and the air gets dry, you may see your symptoms of psoriasis worsen.
Psoriasis tends to worsen with weight gain. Flare-ups also can be triggered by certain common medications, like beta blockers used to control high blood pressure or heart rate, or lithium used to treat bipolar disorder. Other triggers include strep throat, injury to the skin, and respiratory infection.
Though it can feel sticky, petroleum jelly can help manage your psoriasis flare. Petroleum jelly is a type of ointment called an emollient, which helps to moisturize, ease itchy skin, and reduce scaly patches and cracked skin. It also helps other topical creams work better by staying on your skin.
Because it can effectively remove scale, salicylic acid is often found in products for scalp psoriasis. Your dermatologist may also include salicylic acid in your treatment plan if you have thick plaque-type psoriasis anywhere on your body.
Taking off the dead skin helps medications and ointments work better. It can also help you feel better about how you look. But you need to do it safely to avoid pain, infection, and bleeding.
Psoriasis patients are increasingly turning to the use of alternative and complementary medicine to manage their psoriasis. Patients often inquire about what dietary supplements may be beneficial, including the use of oral vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils.
Severe psoriasis has been associated with nutritional deficiencies because of an accelerated loss of nutrients, in particular of vitamin D, from the hyperproliferation and desquamation of the epidermal layer of skin [62–64].
There is currently no cure for psoriasis. However, the current treatment options can help reduce the impact of psoriasis and, in many cases, allow a person to achieve remission. At this time, there are several psoriasis treatments to choose from, including topicals, phototherapy, and systemic medications.
Dr. Fernandez says rubbing alcohol is a major product people with a psoriasis flare should avoid. “People might say their psoriasis itches, so they'll rub alcohol on their skin. Even though alcohol may temporarily relieve itching, the end result is it's going to cause more irritation and promote more inflammation.”
Steroid creams or ointments (topical corticosteroids) are commonly used to treat mild to moderate psoriasis in most areas of the body. The treatment works by reducing inflammation. This slows the production of skin cells and reduces itching. Topical corticosteroids range in strength from mild to very strong.
Psoriasis is a skin disease that results from a faulty immune system. Instead of only targeting viruses and bacteria, your immune system turns on healthy tissue. It attacks your skin, which speeds up how quickly your skin cells multiply. Skin usually takes a month to grow and fall off.