Turn To Peer Support And Charities
There are many resources and support groups available online to discuss skin problems and stress. Online communities such as the Patient.info forums or the Talk Psoriasis Support Community are good examples of platforms which can inspire patients to share their stories, and to boost each other’s well-being by connecting, exchanging information, and meeting new friends.
Turning to charities such as Changing Faces, which are doing a lot to raise awareness and to fight stigma, and joining their campaigns, can also be a good option. Interesting resources can also be found on the British Association of Dermatologists website and on Mind & Skin, with a lot of up-to-date information, from podcasts to articles, to guide patients, including with stress management.
But it’s acne awareness which has really increased a lot in recent years, with social media acting as a powerful platform to spread the message. On Instagram and YouTube, there are interesting channels dedicated to talking about acne and the stress it creates. More and more people are posting raw photos of pimples, redness and scars, to show the reality of living with acne, as well as video diaries, testimonials and treatment advice.
Bad Habit Irregular Showering
Sweat, in particular old sweat, attracts bad skin bacteria which then gets into areas of vulnerable skin and causes inflammation and can trigger a psoriasis flare up.
So regular showering is important to skin prone to psoriasis. Skipping a shower until morning after a long day is tempting when tiredness hits and its late but showing off the sweat and bacteria build up from the day will help stave off the risk of a psoriasis flare up.
Showering does not have to involve a lot of soaps or shower gels. In fact, the less washing products used the better. Natural soap is sufficient. The key is to just gently wash off the old or dry sweat. If excessive sweating has taken place such as after exercise then showering a soon as possible afterwards if hugely beneficial.
However regular showering can lead to drier skin so its essential after showering to always get into the habit of applying a non-chemical and psoriasis specific moisturising cream or serum immediately after showering to make sure skin does not become dry.
Problems With The Immune System
Your immune system is your body’s defence against disease and it helps fight infection. One of the main types of cell used by the immune system is called a T-cell.
T-cells normally travel through the body to detect and fight invading germs, such as bacteria. But in people with psoriasis, they start to attack healthy skin cells by mistake.
This causes the deepest layer of skin to produce new skin cells more quickly than usual, triggering the immune system to produce more T-cells.
It’s not known what exactly causes this problem with the immune system, although certain genes and environmental triggers may play a role.
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How Is Psoriasis Treated
There is no cure for psoriasis but there are many treatments that can help to keep it under control.
Mild psoriasis is usually treated with products applied to the skin. These include:
- corticosteroid creams or ointments
- vitamin D preparations
You may also receive ultraviolet light therapy. This can slow down the production of skin cells.
If your psoriasis needs stronger treatment, you may be prescribed oral medicines or injected medicines to reduce the immune response. Two new medicines for severe psoriasis are now subsidised for people with psoriasis in Australia, Tremfya and Ilumya.
The best thing you can do to improve the psoriasis is quite smoking and limit how much alcohol you consume.
You can help manage your psoriasis by:
- taking your prescribed treatment regularly to help prevent flare-ups
- reducing stress
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Are Cosmetic Procedures Safe To Get
Noninvasive cosmetic procedures are more popular now than ever. Injectables like Botox can improve the appearance of wrinkles, while fillers restore lost volume. Lasers can be used to even skin tone and texture, and even eliminate unwanted blood vessels or hair. These procedures are safe for people with psoriasis.
If youre interested in a cosmetic procedure, speak to your doctor about whether its right for you. In some cases, your doctor may want to hold or adjust your medications. Its important that theyre aware of your full medical history and current medications.
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How Medications Can Flare Psoriasis
Your skin is ultimately connected to everything else in your body: nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and immune issues can all show up on your skin.
This is exactly why I recommend pushing your doctor to go beyond a quick glance and scrape and insist on getting lab tests done for your skin conditions.
Because psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, it underscores the importance of looking deeper through a root cause approach. This helps you to find triggers to address what’s driving the autoimmune process.
Interestingly, some scientists are finally calling out to doctors to pay more attention to these medication-psoriasis reactions:
In daily clinical practice, there may be insufficient attention topotential involvement of medication-related causes for psoriasis induction, exacerbation, or treatment-resistance.
Some of the ways medications trigger psoriasis flares are through :
- Allergic or hypersensitivity immune reactions
- Provoking inflammation
- Altering skin cells
- The rebound effect
If you didnt know that some medications have these psoriasis side effects, you are not alone!
Talk About With Someone Whos Opinion You Trust
If for whatever reason you cannot find a good medical practitioner or therapist or simply cannot afford it, then my advice is to open up and discuss how you are feeling with someone whose opinion you trust, be it a family member or friend.
Just by getting your negative thoughts off your chest will help considerably. Just beware that everyone has their own self-interests so be wary of any strange advice from family and friends!
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Ways To Minimize Stress With Psoriasis
Reduce stress by maximizing your treatment plan and picking up some of these helpful habits:
- Talk to others with psoriasis to get support or advice
- Pick up a hobby you enjoy thats just for you
- Meditate or practice deep breathing
- Start light exercise like yoga or walking
- Spend time with loved ones
- Get enough sleep
Learning To Manage Stress Has Long
Psoriasis will get better or worse, go into remission or flare, but its probably going to be there for the rest of your life, says Petronic-Rosic.
Psoriasis patients should strive to develop healthy coping mechanisms, she says, so theyre not constantly stressing themselves out because they have this disease.
Additional reporting by Beth W. Orenstein.
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Psoriasis Is Not Contagious
Because psoriasis can often look like a rash, many people fear they can spread it to others. But rest easy: Psoriasis is not contagious. The condition is caused by an overactive immune system, so it cant be spread by human contact, explains Alexandra Golant, MD, medical director of the dermatology faculty practice at Mount Sinai and member of the National Psoriasis Foundation.
If youve been resisting physical contact for fear of infecting people, fear notand hug on.
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What You Need To Know About Psoriasis Can Psoriasis Shorten Your Life
Is Your Stomach to Blame?
Who would have thought that a severe psoriasis outbreak could start because of something going wrong inside of your stomach and intestines? Yet, new research developed by psoriasis expert Edgard Cayce shows a distinct link between a leaky gut and a scaly psoriatic episode. According to Cayce, the primary source of psoriasis can be found in the intestinal tract, where toxins are leached into the body. This causes the immune system to react by thickening the skin. At the same time, the skin tries to purge the toxins through its layers, which can cause scabs and sores to form.
Could Arthritis Be the Cuplrit?
The intestines arent the only link to psoriasis found by researchers arthritis seems to also contribute to it. As many as one-third of all psoriasis patients eventually develop some form of psoriatic arthritis. Unlike normal forms of arthritis, those with psoriatic arthritis do not exhibit a rheumatoid factor when their blood is tested. This indicates that the arthritic condition comes solely from either the psoriasis itself or the underlying cause of the skin affliction.
Could a Virus Be the Cause?
Arthritis has been linked to certain virus and so have other auto-immune disorders. This leads some researchers to think that psoriasis too may start with a virus, which is what kicks the immune system into overdrive.
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Lifestyle Changes And Home Remedies
The most important lifestyle change that people with psoriasis can make is to avoid triggers, which might include cold weather, stress, or smoking.
People may also wish to try the following home remedies. While they will not cure psoriasis, they may reduce itching, dryness, and other types of discomfort:
- applying aloe vera gel to reduce redness and itching
- avoiding alcohol and tobacco
Things That Make Your Psoriasis Worse
If you have psoriasis, you know just how frustrating the condition can be. Red, raised patches of skin or painful lesions can appearor worsenat a moment’s notice, and flares can sometimes last for months.
“People with psoriasis have an immune system that’s not following the rules,” says Delphine Lee, MD, PhD, director of the Dermatological Center for Skin Health at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. That unpredictability makes the skin disorder a challenge for patients and doctors alike.
To further complicate matters, everyone has different triggers that can send their psoriasis into a tailspin. That said, here are six of the most common ones. Your skin will thank you for steering clear of them.
When you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, your body signals your immune cells to “fight or take flight.” Inflammation starts up to attack foreign invaders or mop up an infection, even if neither exist. People with psoriasis already have overactive immune systems, so add stress to the mix and suddenly you have a flare-up. “There’s a clear mind-body connection,” says Lee. It’s crucial to learn to manage your emotions, whether through regular exercise, meditation, or speaking to a therapist.
Cold, dry air
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Talk With A Professional Therapist
Did you know that the biggest mistake I ever made when it came to my psoriasis condition was bottling up all the emotions and depression that came with it and never telling anyone?
For 16 years, I put a brave face out to the world but internally I was in a seriously dark place.
The first time in my life where I was covered in psoriasis from head to toe was the worst period of my life. My mental health and physical appearance were in a dreadful state.
I did not understand at that time what my psoriasis triggers were and all I thought about was how I could cope living with psoriasis for the rest of my life. I would easily have traded losing a limb to be rid of my psoriasis back then.
I was at my wits end and had turned myself to acupuncture and herbalists as conventional medicine wasnt working. The acupuncturist I found cleared my psoriasis in 6 weeks but now I fully understand why.
And it wasnt the acupuncture!
He was the first person to talk to me about my condition from a mental viewpoint. He took the time during our 1-hour sessions to listen to how much it was affecting me, why I was feeling stressed and to try and explore the reasons why these were affecting me so much.
He was the first medical practitioner to actually listen to me and not talk down to me.
Since moving to other countries I have tried two other acupuncturists, and while I never got the same results, I did feel super relaxed after each visit so still happy to recommend this as a treatment.
Don’t Be Afraid To Seek Medical Help
Skin problems often go hand in a hand with shame and stigma, especially because these are conditions that are immediately visible. An open relationship with your doctor is the first step to battle the condition and the stress that goes with it. This includes going to see a doctor for the actual condition, but also a mental health professional if the burden of skin problems becomes too much.
“I would advise all patients to be more open in communicating with their doctor. It is also important to understand that there is not always a ‘cure’ and that recovery of dermatological symptoms can take time to improve. I would also suggest patients enquire about mental health services. Unfortunately, they may have to be patient due to a lack of services and to high demand,” Oates points out.
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Understanding And Dealing With Negative Thoughts
We have considered some of the practical strategies you can use to help you manage anxiety and stress. Now lets look at thinking patterns and how they can affect behaviour and quality of life. We will also look at how negative thought patterns can be identified, challenged and changed. About negative thoughts It is common for people who are anxious or depressed to think in unhelpful and negative ways about their life. This will often affect how they cope with psoriasis. These ways of thinking, or thinking errors, can happen regardless of status and levels of intelligence. The list that follows describes some common thinking errors that people make.
These negative ways of thinking are unhelpful and only lead to low mood and anxiety. Ultimately they can interfere with your daily life. It is therefore important that you try to become aware of these thoughts when they occur and learn how to deal with them. This is not easy. These thoughts can seem automatic and happen without you being aware they are there. It may be useful to spend some time paying special attention to these thoughts.
Can Smoking Trigger Psoriasis
Smoking is well known to be a risk factor for developing psoriasis, says Dr. Fernandez. But he notes that once you have psoriasis, theres no scientific evidence that stopping smoking will make the condition go away. In general, we cannot convincingly tell you that if you stop smoking, your psoriasis will improve There is no study that has really supported that.
Its not out of the realm of possibility, however, that being around cigarette smoke could cause discomfort. If someone comes to see me and says, My psoriasis does well until I go visit my brothers family. He and his wife smoke and my psoriasis flares, were going to take that seriously, says Dr. Fernandez. In that case, were going to recommend avoiding cigarette smoke and see what happens.
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Sneaky Trigger: Falling Temps
Baby, its cold outsideand that cold weather isnt doing good things for your skin. The lack of sunlight can cause patients to flare during the winter months, says Omar Noor, M.D., board-certified dermatologist at Rao Dermatology in New York City. You can try phototherapy, a treatment that uses a specific wavelength of UVB sunlight to improve psoriasis. Insider tip: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! Slathering on lots of lotion and using a humidifier in your home can be a big help to prevent flares.
Following Mentioned Are Some Of The Food That Can Be Helpful For Psoriasis Treatment:
- Fruits and veggies, especially berries, cherries and leafy green
- Sardines, salmon and other fish rich in omega 3 fatty acids
- Antioxidant-rich herbs and spices like cumin, ginger, thyme, and sage
- Heart-healthy sources of fats such as olive oil, seeds, and nuts
- Food containing vitamin D such as oily fish, milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs
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Can Stress Worsen Psoriasis
Can stress worsen psoriasis?
Dermatologist Alexa Boer Kimball, MD, MPH, talks about stress, its effects on psoriasis, and what you can do if psoriasis worsens your psoriasis.
Dermatologist Alexa Boer Kimball, MD, MPH, talks about stress, its effects on psoriasis, and what you can do if stress worsens your psoriasis.
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology
The American Academy of Dermatology gratefully acknowledges the support from Bristol Myers Squibb.
How Can You Measure Inflammation In The Body
While certain foods are known to cause inflammation, not everyone reacts the same way to these foods. Ive had some patients who felt that wheat was making their psoriasis worse. Another patient noticed more flare-ups when she ate nuts, says Wesdock.
Some tests can measure inflammation with biomarkers, which are substances in your blood that spike when your body reacts a certain way to foods such as fats or sugar. For example, a simple test can check for increased levels of C-reactive protein in your blood. The liver makes extra CRP if theres inflammation in your body. Doctors might use this test to determine how likely you are to develop a chronic condition like heart disease.
As you adjust your diet to ease psoriasis symptoms, be sure to work with your psoriasis doctor to monitor symptoms and inflammation levels.
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Concerns About Psoriasis Treatment
Some people worry about how psoriasis treatment might affect their risk of developing COVID-19.
Healthcare professionals often treat moderate to severe cases of psoriasis with systemic therapies, including biologic drugs and other injected or oral medications.
Many systemic treatments affect the immune system, which has raised concerns about how they might affect a persons ability to ward off COVID-19.
Although research remains limited, results from a small 2021 survey of Americans with psoriasis suggest that systemic treatments for psoriasis do not increase the risk or severity of COVID-19. However, some people with psoriasis may still have concerns and experts must perform more research on the topic.
A 2021 global study looking at people with psoriasis who potentially had COVID-19 found that those on biologics had a lower risk of hospitalization than those on nonbiologic drugs.
In the international survey mentioned earlier, 18.5% of people with psoriasis had not taken systemic treatments as prescribed during the pandemic. Many expressed concern about how the treatments might affect their risk of developing COVID-19.
Those who had not followed their prescribed treatment plan were more likely to say their psoriasis had worsened.
In the 2021 survey of American adults with psoriasis, people who took biologics expressed more concern than others that their treatment might raise their risk of developing COVID-19.