As you age, you might notice that your skin becomes a little less elastic and a little drier. This is quite common. It’s why we get more wrinkles as we get older. Unfortunately, there are also chronic conditions that come with our aging skin as well. One of these conditions is known as psoriasis.
If you’re unaware of psoriasis or the effects that it has on an individual’s skin, that means you must NOT be a part of the nearly 80 million people who has the disease. It’s a long lasting autoimmune disease, which means your immune system attacks a normal part of your body. In this instance, it’s your skin. This disease leaves patches of red, itchy, and scaly skin. It’s uncomfortable and unsightly. Unfortunately, there is no cure for it, but there are plenty of lifestyle choices you can make to keep these attacks under control.
There are 5 different types of psoriasis. However, only one type appears much more frequently than the other four. The most common type, plaque psoriasis, will be the focus of this article. Of all the people who are affected by this skin disease, 90% of them are have plaque psoriasis. It’s the most common and most treatable. Below are some tips to try and prevent flare-ups or control them better when they do occur.
Ways to Prevent Flare-Ups
Reduce Stress – Stress is a major factor when dealing with the strength of our immune system. It can severely weaken it. Also, our bodies tend to have an inflammatory reaction to stress. This will not help your chances in preventing psoriasis. It’s important to reduce the amount stress in all aspects of your life. Yoga and meditation are great ways to help. These two activities promote relaxation of the mind and body. Two key factors when it comes to stress and psoriasis. Not to mention, yoga is great for your muscles and joints!
Prevent Skin Injuries – Injuries to the skin can also cause flare-ups of psoriasis. These injuries can include minor scrapes and scratches, as well as a sunburn. This is due to the Koebner phenomenon, a reaction that causes new psoriasis plaques to form wherever you experience a skin infection or injury. That’s why, if you suffer from psoriasis, it’s a good idea to take precaution when going to do some sort of outdoor activity. Always make sure you’re wearing sunscreen and if you’re going to do some gardening, wear gloves and a long sleeve shirt. This will prevent any minor scraps or other forms of skin irritation from turning into a psoriasis outbreak.
Maintain a Healthy Diet – Being overweight does not help when it comes to psoriasis. There are a lot of health issues that come from being obese. Poor psoriasis management is one of them. There are also certain types of foods that seem to cause inflammation, as well. These include red meats, high-fat foods, processed foods, and refined sugars. It’s unfortunate, but a lot of the easy meals you can prepare quickly are not good for your skin. However, there are foods that you can eat that help prevent psoriasis from flaring-up. These foods are fatty fish, almonds, and leafy vegetables. All of these foods help prevent inflammation which leads to a decreased chance of a flare-up.
Still See Your Doctor
Unfortunately reducing stress, preventing skin injuries, and maintaining a healthy diet will not eliminate psoriasis all together. You will still see that familiar rash on your skin from time to time. That’s why it’s always best to see your doctor regularly. He or she, with advice regarding specific lifestyle choices, can also prescribe medicines and ointments to end flare-ups. If you do these two things this month, you’ll be celebrating Psoriasis Awareness Month the right way!