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Managing Your Psoriasis

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Prioritizing Your Well-Being with Severe Psoriasis

Medically Reviewed By Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI

If you live with psoriasis, you may know that treating the physical symptoms of the condition is important. However, prioritizing your well-being and mental health can have a positive impact on your everyday life.

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Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes dry, flaky, itchy skin. It can range from mild to severe. However, severe psoriasis refers to psoriasis that covers more than 10% of your body and may affect your quality of life.

Psoriasis flare-ups may cause feelings of self-consciousness and frustration. It may be a good idea to practice self-compassion as you learn to navigate how to live with psoriasis.

Finding the right psoriasis treatment may require some time trying out different medications. However, integrating mental health practices as part of your overall psoriasis treatment can make a positive difference.

How to reduce stigmas surrounding psoriasis 

A 2021 research review Trusted Source PubMed Central Highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health Go to source suggested that people living with psoriasis may face discrimination related to their condition, and some people have stigmatizations surrounding psoriasis. Although psoriasis is a common condition, some people may not be familiar with specific medical facts surrounding it.

You can share information with your friends and colleagues. A good starting point may be letting others know that psoriasis isn’t contagious or an infection that spreads. 

If you feel comfortable, you can share more about your own experience with psoriasis, such as how you manage seasonal triggers, skin care recommendations, and dietary changes. Having these conversations may help you create a safe space for yourself and others to ask questions and understand more about psoriasis.

Create a support system

You may feel comfortable leaning on loved ones as your support system while managing emotions related to your psoriasis symptoms.

Try joining an online or in-person support group for psoriasis, where you can get more tailored support. Here, you can exchange stories and experiences with others who can directly relate to you. Some groups can include:

Practice stress management

Stress may often lead to psoriasis flare-ups and make symptoms severe. To help manage stress, you can practice lifestyle changes such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy.

Connect with a licensed mental health professional if you feel overwhelmed with negative emotions. They can help you assess and work through those feelings properly.

Stay up to date on psoriasis information

Empower yourself by learning all you can about psoriasis, its triggers, and the latest treatment options. Stay informed about advancements in psoriasis research and therapies.

Actively participate in conversations with your healthcare team, expressing your concerns and collaborating to develop a personalized treatment plan that aligns with your goals and priorities.

Maintain a balanced lifestyle

The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that people with psoriasis can improve their overall well-being by following a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking.

Consider making an effort to limit or reduce alcohol use, maintain a moderate weight, and get screened for other related conditions. Work with your healthcare team to understand your specific psoriasis symptoms and create a personalized treatment plan.

Takeaway

If you have severe psoriasis, it’s important to remember you can still live an active and healthy day-to-day life. As you work with your doctor to manage physical symptoms, try prioritizing your mental health and well-being.

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  1. Healthy diet and other lifestyle changes that can improve psoriasis. (n.d.). https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/insider/diet
  2. Jankowiak B, et al. (2020). Relationship between self-esteem and stigmatization in psoriasis patients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7507155/
  3. Psoriasis: Causes and triggers. (2022). https://www.psoriasis.org/causes/
  4. Zhang H, et al. (2021). Stigmatization in patients with psoriasis: A mini-review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8634029/

Medical Reviewer: Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI
Last Review Date: 2024 Feb 23
View All Managing Your Psoriasis Articles
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