Psoriasis is more than just a skin condition. This chronic autoimmune disease affects a person’s physical and emotional health. There are strategies that someone who has been diagnosed with psoriasis can use to cope with the disorder and be proactive about living well.
What is Psoriasis?
Someone who has psoriasis will develop patches of dry, red, scaly skin. These crusty patches are covered with silvery scales. Experts believe that there is a hereditary component to the condition, and that it is caused when skin cells are produced too quickly.
Normally this takes up to 28 days to complete. For a person with psoriasis, the process is done in less than seven days. The live and dead skin cells are present on the skin’s surface, which leads to the discoloration of patches of skin on elbows, knees, and the scalp.
Learn to Deal with Stress
Stress can trigger an outbreak of psoriasis, and having red, scaly patches on one’s skin can be a very stressful situation. Women are more likely to find breakouts difficult to deal with than men, since for many of them their self-worth is tied to their appearance.
Identifying stressful situations is the first step to dealing with them effectively. Good coping techniques include learning deep-breathing exercises, taking up yoga, or learning how to meditate.
Being honest about the effect that this skin disease is having on everyday situations is important. People living with psoriasis should make a point of being honest with their doctor about how the outbreaks make them feel.
Choose the Right Clothing When Living with Psoriasis
Getting dressed during a psoriasis breakout is not just about finding an outfit that will hide the red patches effectively. There is an art to finding flattering clothing that does not draw undue attention to the breakouts.
One helpful tip is to avoid choosing outfits with dark, solid colors. While dressing in black is considered quite slimming, it won’t hide psoriasis flakes very well. Dress in outfits with multicolors, stripes, or patterns like herringbone instead.
Avoid tight-fitting clothing that rubs or chafes against the skin. Loose, breathable fabrics are a much better choice, since they are less likely to irritate psoriasis plaques. Wool or some synthetic fabrics may feel scratchy against the skin, and should be avoided during active outbreaks.
Take in Some Sun
Exposing ares of the skin affected by psoriasis to ultraviolet (UV) light for short amounts of time can help to clear them up. The unaffected parts should be treated with sunscreen as normal, and it’s important to check with a doctor before trying this form of therapy.
Avoid Heavily Perfumed Skin Care Products
When looking for soaps and body washes, the simpler the product, the better. Deodorant bars and products that have a heavy scent may smell good, but they can cause irritation. Instead, find products that are hypoallergenic and are less likely to aggravate the skin. A good quality moisturizer can be used in the shower to clean the skin; simply rinse thoroughly and pat dry after bathing.
Managing life after psoriasis can present its own challenges, but with some planning, they can be overcome.
Sophie Eagan is a freelance writer who discovered her interest in medical topics at an early age. She has been writing for the health industry for over five years. One way to cope with psoriasis is to take Tinefcon, a natural supplement; click on this link to learn more.