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Making the Best Choices for Your Psoriasis

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PHYSICIAN VOICES
5 Ways to Prevent Psoriasis Flare-Ups

  • Young African American man checking hair and scalp in bathroom mirror
    Keeping skin psoriasis-free
    Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects the skin, causing red, purple, brown, or gray plaques — depending on the skin tone. These plaques can be itchy, painful, and embarrassing for patients. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available today that can manage psoriasis and keep skin clear, although patients are still susceptible to experiencing periodic flare-ups, or the temporary worsening of symptoms. Every psoriasis patient is unique and may experience flare-up for different reasons, but I have several general tips I share with my patients for keeping their skin clear.
  • Medicine Pill Box Daily Planner
    1. Don’t stop your treatment
    Some patients think that since they’re doing well, they can stop taking their medications or other treatments, and then they have intense flare-ups. Treatment cannot be stopped cold turkey, because patients may have a rebound flare (a flare-up that’s even worse than usual) if they stop their treatment suddenly. Stick with your treatment plan to prevent flare-ups from happening.
  • Young woman applying cream
    2. Keep your skin hydrated
    Most of my patients tend to flare in winter — their skin reacts to the cold, dry air outside and the hot, dry air inside. So I tell patients to be more careful in winter: they should moisturize their skin frequently — it’s best if they do this right after they get out of the shower, while their skin is still moist. I also tell them to use a humidifier as much as they can. I recommend using both a central humidifier and individual humidifiers if possible. 
  • Woman in Warrior Yoga Pose
    3. Reduce stress levels
    We know that a large number of patients flare with stress. I recommend that patients do mindfulness meditation, exercise, yoga, or whatever falls within their belief system that will help them relax and minimize stress. 
  • young-adults-running
    4. Maintain a moderate weight
    Obesity is associated with psoriasis, maintaining a moderate weight can help you avoid severe flare-ups. I recommend my patients lower their intake of carbohydrates and refined sugars to decrease inflammation and promote weight loss. 
  • support group
    5. Find support
    Interacting with other people who have psoriasis is very useful. It’s important to have the support of others who know what you’re going through and who may have advice from their own experiences. I advise my patients to connect with other psoriasis patients through the National Psoriasis Foundation’s website — they can find support group information, as well as content about alternative and complementary treatments, tips and tricks, and more.
5 Ways to Prevent Psoriasis Flare-Ups
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THIS CONTENT DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. This content is provided for informational purposes and reflects the opinions of the author. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional regarding your health. If you think you may have a medical emergency, contact your doctor immediately or call 911.