Lifestyle Habit in Psoriasis
Living with psoriasis can be challenging, from skin irritation to red scaly patches on the skin, it can cause a considerable amount of physical discomfort and impact your self-confidence. However, there are several positive lifestyle habits that can help you manage this chronic skin condition effectively.
While it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance, here are some psoriasis lifestyle advice and insights to support your journey toward healthier skin and a better quality of life.
1. Mindful Eating for Psoriasis Relief
- One of the most powerful tools in your arsenal against psoriasis is your diet. While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, making mindful food choices can make a significant difference. Researchers and dermatologists often recommend an anti-inflammatory diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Incorporating foods with anti-inflammatory properties, such as fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, can help reduce inflammation associated with psoriasis. These fish are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to have a positive impact on skin health.
- On the flip side, you can also limit or avoid foods that could trigger inflammation. Some people with psoriasis find that cutting back on processed foods, red meat, and sugary snacks can help manage their symptoms.
- Turmeric or Curcumin Supplements are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and contain an active compound called curcumin. Some studies suggest that curcumin supplements can help reduce psoriasis symptoms. However, consult your healthcare provider before adding supplements to your diet.
2. Skincare centred around Psoriasis
- Psoriasis often leads to a buildup of dead skin cells, causing plaques and discomfort. Moisturisers containing salicylic acid can help exfoliate these dead skin cells, promoting smoother and healthier skin. Look for salicylic acid-based moisturisers designed for sensitive or psoriasis-prone skin.
- Opt for thicker emollients and ointments rather than thin lotions. These products create a barrier that locks in moisture and prevents your skin from drying out. Ingredients like petroleum jelly, shea butter, or ceramides can be particularly soothing.
- Psoriasis-prone skin can be extra sensitive to fragrances and additives found in many skincare products. Choose fragrance-free and hypoallergenic options to minimize the risk of irritation.
- Traditional soaps can be harsh on psoriasis-affected skin. Instead, use non-soap cleansers or gentle body washes that are specifically formulated for sensitive skin. These will cleanse without stripping away essential moisture.
- Coal tar has been used for decades to treat psoriasis due to its ability to slow down skin cell growth. Products such as coal tar shampoos and creams can be beneficial in managing psoriasis symptoms.
- Topical corticosteroids are prescription creams or ointments that can help reduce inflammation and itching associated with psoriasis. However, these should always be used under the guidance of a healthcare provider, as prolonged or inappropriate use can lead to side effects.
3. Stay Hydrated
- Hydration is key to maintaining healthy skin and is one of the easiest psoriasis lifestyle advice that can be followed by individuals with psoriasis. Drinking enough water helps keep your skin moisturised, which can alleviate some of the discomfort associated with psoriasis flare-ups.
- While water is the most straightforward way to stay hydrated, herbal teas and water-rich fruits and vegetables, like cucumbers and watermelon, can also contribute to your daily fluid intake.
4. Stress Management and Meditation
- Speaking of stress, managing it is crucial for those with psoriasis. Stress can exacerbate symptoms, making flare-ups more frequent and severe. Incorporating mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, into your psoriasis lifestyle routine can help reduce stress and improve your mental outlook.
5. Regular Exercise
- Engaging in regular physical activity not only benefits your overall health but can also have a positive impact on psoriasis. Exercise promotes better blood circulation, which can help reduce inflammation and support your skin’s healing process.
- Additionally, exercise can be an excellent stress reliever, and stress is known to trigger psoriasis flare-ups in some individuals. Finding an enjoyable physical activity, whether it’s yoga, swimming, or walking, can help you manage stress levels and improve your overall well-being.
6. Specific psoriasis lifestyle habits that can be beneficial for managing psoriasis
- Aloe Vera Topical Applications: Aloe vera gel is a natural moisturiser and has soothing properties. Applying aloe vera gel to psoriasis-affected areas can provide relief from itching and discomfort. Ensure you use pure, fragrance-free aloe vera gel for this purpose.
- Warm Baths with Oatmeal or Epsom Salt: Taking warm baths with added oatmeal or Epsom salt can help soothe psoriasis plaques. These ingredients can provide relief from itching and reduce inflammation. Be sure to follow with gentle patting to dry your skin and immediately apply a moisturiser.
- Probiotics for Gut Health: Some emerging research suggests a connection between gut health and psoriasis. Consuming probiotic-rich foods or supplements may help balance your gut microbiome, potentially reducing psoriasis symptoms. Yoghurt, kefir, and fermented foods are good sources of natural probiotics.
- Avoid Alcohol and Smoking: Alcohol consumption and smoking have been associated with an increased risk of psoriasis and may exacerbate symptoms. Reducing or eliminating alcohol intake and quitting smoking can be a beneficial lifestyle change for psoriasis.
- UV Therapy and Sun Exposure: Controlled exposure to natural sunlight or medical phototherapy sessions can help manage psoriasis. Sunlight contains UVB rays, which can slow down the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation. However, it’s crucial to discuss this with your dermatologist and follow their recommendations for safe sun exposure.
- Petroleum Jelly for Scalp Psoriasis: For those with scalp psoriasis, applying petroleum jelly or a similar emollient to the affected area can help soften plaques and make it easier to remove scales gently. Leave it on overnight and wash your hair in the morning for best results.
Embracing psoriasis lifestyle advice can undoubtedly make a significant difference in managing psoriasis. A holistic approach involving a balanced diet, proper hydration, regular exercise, effective stress management, and a meticulous skincare routine can empower you to take control of your psoriasis and enhance your overall quality of life. However, it’s crucial to stress that consistent adherence to these practices is key to their effectiveness.
Despite your best efforts, if psoriasis symptoms persist or worsen, the wisest course of action is to consult with a healthcare provider. They can provide you with expert guidance and may prescribe medications or treatments tailored to your specific needs.
To locate a dermatologist who specialises in psoriasis treatment near you, you can visit the Skin and Hair Academy’s “Find a Dermatologist” page. Their expertise can play a pivotal role in your journey toward healthier, happier skin.
Remember, you’re not alone in this, and seeking professional help when necessary is a crucial part of managing psoriasis effectively.