How to Live Well with Psoriasisby Amy Tudor Patient Expert
If you've been diagnosed with psoriasis, your doctor likely told you that it's a chronic, lifelong skin condition. While there's no cure for psoriasis, it is possible to live well despite your skin condition. Here are ways you can control the disease instead of letting it control you.
Identify psoriasis flare up triggers
Find out what triggers cause your psoriasis to flare up. Some common triggers include sunburns, scratches, injury or trauma to skin, stress, smoking, alcohol, cold weather and bacteria or viral infections. Keep a record of the conditions that cause psoriasis outbreaks and make note of any patterns that you can avoid in the future.
Know your medication
Certain kinds of medication have been found to cause psoriasis flare ups in some cases. Consult your doctor before taking Quindex, beta blockers or lithium. He or she can prescribe alternatives that won't worsen your psoriasis.
Find ways to deal with stress
Stress can be a major factor in worsening psoriasis. Try to bring calm into your life when things gets hectic. Make it a priority to find effective ways to relieve stress for you, whether it's taking deep breaths, practicing yoga or exercising regularly.
Deal with depression
Coping with a chronic skin condition can be emotionally draining. Studies have found that people newly diagnosed with psoriasis are at a greater risk for depression. It's okay to try therapy if you're feeling sad, helpless or hopeless.
Join a psoriasis support group
Support groups can be invaluable if you have psoriasis. Talking to others who share your experiences and truly understand what you're going through can be a relief. Check out the National Psoriasis Foundation for a list of support groups in your community.
Find a psoriasis specialist
Seek the best treatment. Finding a doctor who specializes in psoriasis can be a big help in dealing with the condition. It's a good idea to ask your doctor how many psoriasis patients he or she treats to get a good sense of their experience with the disease. The National Psoriasis Foundation and the American Academy of Dermatology have directories of doctors in your area.
Talk to your doctor
Discuss the latest psoriasis treatment options with your doctor. There are new treatments being developed all the time and it's important to stay aware of all of your treatment options.
Always moisturize. It's best to put on lotion immediately after a shower because your skin will retain more moisture. Winter and cold weather dryness can be especially hard for people with psoriasis.
Be aware of other diseases
With psoriasis comes the risk of other co-morbid diseases. Studies have shown that people with psoriasis have a greater risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, depression and high blood pressure when compared to the general population.
Educate yourself about psoriasis
Learn as much as you can about psoriasis. Keep well informed about new medication and therapy options. Ask your doctor every question that comes to mind. Staying up to date and educated will help your treatment.