Approximately 7.5 million people in the US live with psoriasis, which has been defined as a skin disorder in which skin cells multiply 10x faster than normal, creating raised red patches of skin, or plaque, often covered in white scales. This condition, which is determined by one’s genetic makeup, is not curable, however, it treatment can help.
Once diagnosed, your doctor may prescribe medications as treatment, which often include: steroids, ointments, vitamins and/or immunosuppressive drugs. These have been extremely helpful at helping to manage and alleviate symptoms in patients. In addition to medical help, there are supplementary steps you can take at home to better manage the disorder, such as:
- Healthy Eating
It should not be a secret that what you eat plays a large role in how your immune system works. This is not just limited to eating citrus fruits for Vitamin C, of course; healthy eating includes a wide range of mostly fresh foods that make your body stronger and more equipped to manage itself. Conversely, foods like red meat and fatty, sugary snacks can lead to flare ups and should be avoided.
- Frequent Moisturizing
Combating dry skin with rich, fragrance-free moisturizers can certainly help reduce symptoms of itchiness and a desire to scratch, which can cause bleeding and infection. After cleaning the body, use lotions, creams and/or oils that don’t irritate your skin. Some natural options like coconut and olive oil have been embraced by patients, for the body as well as the scalp.
- Avoiding Hot Water
Speaking of cleaning the body, soaking in the bathtub is another great way to manage psoriasis. However, be sure not to make the water too hot. Though, perhaps, more comfortable for some, hot water dries out the body and can create further irritation. Add sea salt, oil or bath gel to the water for additional soothing.
- Soaking Up the Sun
Don’t be afraid to go outside and expose yourself to a little sunshine. Light therapy is one of the most common treatments for psoriasis, and UVB rays from the sun work just as well. Be sure not to stay out too long to avoid sunburns or further issues. Quick (5-10 mins), daily exposure to the sun is recommended if just starting out. Be sure to put on sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.