People suffering from psoriasis experience having an itchy and painful skin with patches that either have a white, silvery or red color and a flaky skin. It can be challenging to live with and manage the symptoms of psoriasis as almost anything can trigger a flare-up.
Here are some tips on how psoriasis patients can avoid and treat flare-ups.
Showering and Bathing Habits
Taking a shower or a bath can help improve the lesions of psoriasis as this will soften and hydrate the thick and scaly patches that most psoriasis patients have. However one should only keep it short as soaking your skin in the water for too long will rob the skin of its moisture which then leads to itching and skin flaking. A ten-minute shower or bath time is ideal. Lukewarm water is also recommended.
Hot water is a big No-No as hot water dries out the skin and increases the flow of blood to the skin which causes irritation and further reddening of psoriatic plaques. The use of bar soaps should also be avoided as they tend to dry out the skin easily. A body wash that is non-irritating is recommended. It’s best to consult a dermatologist for non-irritating body wash. An ideal body wash to use is one that has oatmeal proteins as well as lipids as these components soothe the skin and also moisturize those scaly patches.
After taking a shower or bath, it’s highly recommended to immediately lather on moisturizer as this helps seal in moisture therefore reducing flaking. When drying the skin, pat dry instead of rubbing as rubbing can cause irritation. A potent moisturizer is recommended and Argan oil is an excellent choice.This oil is heavily packed with nutrients having moisturizing properties such as Vitamin E, EFAs and Sterols. Argan oil is also easily absorbed by the skin. If you have nut allergies consult your doctor before using this oil as it is extracted from the fruit nuts of the Argan tree.
As mentioned earlier, almost anything can trigger a flare-up and this includes your clothing. Psoriasis is itchy most of the times therefore avoiding fabrics such as wool and synthetic fibers is highly advised. These clothing materials trap heat which causes irritation to an already flamed skin. Opt for loose-fitting clothes made with soft and lightweight materials such as cotton and linen. It’s also important to pay attention to how your clothes are washed. Most people with psoriasis react to strong laundry products such as bleach and fabric softener so avoid using these products.
Regular exercise and eating a healthy diet is important to maintain a healthy weight as a high Body Mass Index is linked to a higher occurrence of psoriasis flare-ups. Alcohol should be avoided as it also triggers flares. It’s also ideal to keep a food journal so that one can keep track of what certain foods can trigger an outbreak. One should also learn how to manage stress as stress can lead to a flare-up.
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