Living with psoriasis can be painful physically and mentally, but don’t let it ruin 2020 for you. Our team of psoriasis doctors here at the Miami Center for Dermatology can give you some great tips and tricks for plaque psoriasis treatment.
What is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, rash-like scales that can appear silver or white in color. These scales are thick and patchy, and you can get them anywhere. The most common type of psoriasis that people experience is plaque psoriasis, and most people find this condition falling up on their elbows, lower back, scalp, and knees. It’s not contagious, so if you touch someone with psoriasis, you will not contract it. In fact, scientists and psoriasis doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes psoriasis, but research shows that it’s linked to your body’s immune system. Psoriasis is essentially a condition in which your immune system attacks healthy skin cells, thinking that they are part of an infection. Then, your body responds by forming new skin cells at an unusually rapid rate, building on the surface, and forming a scaly rash. Although kids can develop psoriasis, this skin condition is more common in adults, and usually starts as a few red bumps on your skin. Over time, they can get larger, thicker, and form scales, as well as form into an itchy and uncomfortable rash. You may find that the skin bleeds if you pick or scratch it. Common triggers that make this condition flare-up include emotional stress, drinking alcohol, smoking, having a skin injury or infection, and taking certain medications. Plaque psoriasis treatment should be decided with your dermatologist, but here are some great tips and tricks to soothe your skin and prevent it from getting worse.
A Relaxing Soak in the Tub
Many patients with psoriasis have found that spending short periods soaking in the tub has worked wonders for their red, itchy skin. A daily, 15-minute warm bath with a mild soap is all you need, but you can also put in oil, finely ground oatmeal, Dead Sea salt, or epsom salt. Make sure to keep the water warm, not hot, and use gentle bath products. Your best bet is to go for products that don’t have fragrance or other irritants. Remember not to rub your skin with the towel afterward, as it can make your skin worse. Instead, pat yourself dry gently. After your bath, immediately apply a moisturizer to your skin.
Stop the Itching
We know itching can provide short-term relief, but in the long-term, it will only make your symptoms worse. If itching is your way of coping with stress, find activities that lower your stress, such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises. Make sure to have family and friends around you to support you and calm you, and prioritize rest. You might be surprised how much proper nutrition, getting sleep, and exercise can help with stress management.
Limit Your Drinking and Stop Smoking
Like we mentioned before, smoking can trigger your psoriasis to flare up, as well as drinking alcohol. Limit your intake to one or two drinks a day, and avoid heavy drinking as much as you can. If you’re taking medications as part of your plaque psoriasis treatment, drinking and mixing these drugs can be dangerous. As for smoking, it’s best just to quit all together, so talk to your doctor about the healthiest way for you to quit.
Avoid These Ingredients
There are many ingredients out there that patients with psoriasis have to avoid because their skin is so much more sensitive. Skin care products with deodorant soaps, alcohol, glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, etc. are ones you should stay away from, according to psoriasis doctors. Even certain laundry detergents can irritate your skin, as well as certain fabrics. Avoid clothes made out of wool and mohair.
Use the Sun to Your Advantage
Last but not least, UV light may be able to help you. In small doses, the UV rays in sunlight can slow the growth of the rapidly growing cells that appear as scales on your skin. Getting some sun can even heal psoriasis lesions, so we recommend growing outside in the sun two or three times a week. Make sure to apply sunscreen liberally to your healthy skin, and talk to your doctor before using UV therapy as plaque psoriasis treatment.
For psoriasis doctors and plaque psoriasis treatment, don’t hesitate to give us a call! Our team at the Miami Center for Dermatology is here to help.