Psoriasis affects around 125 million people worldwide, causing red, itchy and flaky skin which can become sore. This condition can be very unpleasant to deal with, thanks to the discomfort of the inflamed, itchy patches. If you’re struggling with psoriasis, there are a few ways to help you cope with the itch.
1. Keep your skin moisturized. Applying moisturizer helps to reduce redness and itching, and aids the skin in healing. A heavy cream or ointment is best to lock in moisture. Go with a rich body cream and apply it morning and night, or whenever you need some itch relief.
2. Remove flakes. A scale softening product will reduce excess skin, and will help to stop the itchy patches from cracking. If you’re buying over the counter, look for products that use salicylic acid, lactic acid, urea or phenol. These products can help remove flakiness and stop the itching from even starting.
3. Avoid hot water. Hot water can irritate the skin, and dry it out faster. Shower in lukewarm water instead and try to limit showers to less than ten minutes. After your shower, apply a rich moisturizer to lock in moisture.
4. Keep cool. Keep your body lotion in the fridge. When the itching is really bad, the cold lotion is very soothing on the skin. You could get the same effect with cold packs.
5. For severe psoriasis, seek prescription help. Your Doctor can help you find the best treatment for you. This could be steroids, antihistamines, phototherapy, anesthetics or even injections like Secukinumab.
6. Stress can be a trigger for the itching, so find ways to manage your stress levels and stay calm. Try meditation. Taking a few minutes to relieve anxiety, pay attention to your breath, and slow your thoughts. Take fifteen minutes to sit quietly, close your eyes and breath slowly. Yoga or Tai Chi can also help you to control your stress and learn better techniques to ease anxiety.
7. Get regular exercise. Exercise increases the production of endorphins, which improve mood and energy. It also helps you to feel less anxious and get better sleep. For these reasons, exercise could help you to be less likely to suffer from psoriasis flare ups. Try and keep up an exercise routine to keep stress levels down and the itchiness at bay.
8. If your self esteem is taking a battering thanks to the unsightly patches, and you’re struggling to keep your stress levels down, consider speaking to a therapist or trying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to learn some new methods of coping.
9. Speak to a loved one. Psoriasis can be upsetting, but talking openly about your worries with a friend or family member can help you to feel more positive.
10. Protect your skin from the sun. Always wear an SPF on any exposed skin, and try to limit direct sun exposure to more than twenty minutes at a time if you’re in the middle of a flare up.
11. Choose clothing in a soft fabric to avoid collars, cuffs and waistbands rubbing and irritating the skin further.
by Contributing Author