Psoriasis, a common chronic skin disease, is characterized by thick, silvery scales and itchy and dry patches on skin that are red in color. Though the exact cause of psoriasis is still unknown, it usually occurs due to a change in the normal life cycle of skin cells. It is believed, to be related to problems with the immune system, precisely the T cells. In people with psoriasis, the T cells attack healthy skin cells by mistake, leading to formation of skin lesions. Factors that may worsen the disease include infections, stress, dry skin, cold weather, smoking and heavy alcohol consumption.
PRACTICAL WAYS TO MANAGE PSORIASIS
Here are some practical ways of managing psoriasis
1 . Nourish Your Skin
-Bathe with care. Do not use hot water or harsh soaps that will deprive your skin of natural oils.
-Keep skin moist. Moisturize your skin well with essential oils, moisturizers and creams.
-Wear a sunscreen if you have to stay in sun for a longer span. Sunburns may worsen the condition.
2 . Eat Healthy
-Include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet.
-These include foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids such as fish, flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, soy beans.
-Add colorful veggies and fruits such as spinach, carrots, bell peppers and blueberries to reduce inflammation.
-Avoid foods such as red meat, processed foods, fatty foods, milk products and foods that are a rich source of arachidonic acids.
3 . Talk To Your Doctor About Sun Exposure
-Exposing your skin to controlled amount of sunlight can significantly improve lesions.
-But remember that too much of sun can trigger or worsen outbreaks and increase the risk of skin cancer.
-Always consult your doctor for advice on sun exposure.
4 . Tackle Triggers
-Try and figure out your triggers and then take steps to minimize their occurrence.
-For example if smoking is causing the flare ups, consider quitting it, if sun exposure makes your lesions worse avoid going out during peak hours or wear protective clothing .
-Since alcohol intake can worsen the symptoms, it is best to restrict your alcohol intake, or give it up altogether.
5 . Try Home Remedies
You can try natural remedies to help in keeping your psoriasis in control. These include
-Epsom salts/ Dead Sea Salts have been found to alleviate itching and burning. Add dead sea salt to warm water and soak for about 15 minutes.
-Vinegar, a strong disinfectant, helps in relieving scalp itch. Dilute vinegar with water in 1:1 ratio and apply on the affected regions.
-Turmeric (in form of supplement or sprinkled on the food) has been found to be effective in controlling the flare-up of the disease.
6 . Stick To Your Treatment Plan
It is important to stick to your medications that have been prescribed by your doctor. These include:
-Light therapy (Phototherapy)
-Oral and injectable medications
7 . Manage Stress
-Psoriasis can take a toll on your mental well being, making you prone to stress, anxiety and even depression.
-Take out time each day to practice yoga or meditation for 10-15 minutes.
-You could also do some deep breathing exercises to help relieve your stress
-You could join a yoga classes or practice some simple yoga postures at home.
-These therapies have a positive influence on coping with psoriasis.