What Your Doctor Wishes You Knew About Psoriasis
When you have a chronic condition like psoriasis, your relationship with your dermatologist is an important one. While you may go months without seeing your doctor if your psoriasis symptoms are well controlled, a flare or change in your health could mean more frequent visits to discuss treatment options. Here's what your dermatologist wants you to know about managing your psoriasis.
"Take good care of your health," says Dr. Ray Dean. "I wish people knew that heavy alcohol consumption and heavy stress can make your psoriasis worse." Living a healthy, active lifestyle can only help your psoriasis, he says. "Try to get plenty of rest and stay well hydrated."
Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids -- or take supplements containing omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish and in some plants and nut oils. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help reduce your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
It's heartbreaking, but true: there's currently no cure for psoriasis. Dr. Dean has found that he's had to explain that fact time and again to his psoriasis patients. Still, the doctor is encouraged by the ever-increasing treatment options available and the many research advancements that are being made.
"It can take a lot of time to find what fits well for you," Dr. Dean says. "Some people get light therapy but it doesn't work well, and for others, it does." Together with your dermatologist, you can hopefully experiment and find a psoriasis treatment that works well for your skin.
Stay strong and try hard not to let your psoriasis define you or defeat you. This may mean incorporating a regular exercise routine into your life, spending more time with close family members and friends, and/or finding a new hobby or work project. If you're able to find fulfillment in other areas of your life, you won't be down about your psoriasis for too long.