Tips For Staying Active While Living With Psoriasis
Maintaining an active lifestyle is essential to managing my psoriasis, but its not always easy. At the time of my diagnosis, I was 15 years old and involved in a busy schedule of extracurricular activities. I played varsity lacrosse, took jazz and tap-dancing classes, and danced on my high school kickline team. And I didnt want to quit any of it.
It was a challenge to learn how to coexist with my psoriasis while keeping up all the activities I loved. With determination and lots of support from my parents, I pursued my passions through graduation and beyond. I played lacrosse in my freshman and sophomore years of college, and I was a founding member of my schools kickline team. That meant two hours of intense cardio, three days a week, for all four years.
Tired yet? My packed schedule definitely kept me on my toes. I also think it played a big part in helping me keep my psoriasis under control. Many sources, including the National Psoriasis Foundation, note that exercise helps fight inflammation in the body, which is said to worsen psoriasis. In my experience, exercise makes me feel good and diminishes my stress levels. It gives me a way to clear my mind from all the craziness that life throws our way.
Now, with two toddlers at home, I find it even more challenging to squeeze exercise into my day. Often, I get in my cardio by playing and dancing with my girls. But no matter what, I dont give up on exercise.
Why Psoriasis Gets Worse On Busy Days
One of psoriasis-inducing factors is stress level. Busy days might put your stress level to its limit. Hence, it is not surprising that psoriasis may get worse during this time. In order to prevent psoriasis from getting worse during your busy days, you might consider relaxation to counter the possibility of increasing stress level.
How Can You Manage Psoriasis
It may be true that theres no cure for psoriasis, but that doesnt mean you cant get your skin condition under control. Psoriasis treatment is different for everyone, which is why its important to see a dermatologist in order to truly start managing your psoriasis. But along with your treatment, there are certain things you can do to soothe and energize your skin:
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What Foods Should I Eat Or Avoid To Reduce My Risk Of Eczema
The connection between eczema and food allergies is unclear. If you have food allergies, then one of the reasons why you must avoid that food is that it may cause or worsen dermatitis. Examples of common allergies include peanuts, dairy, eggs, sugar, alcohol and gluten. Pay attention to what you eat. If your eczema flares up after you eat a certain food, then you might have an allergy to it.
If you dont have a food allergy then there are no foods, including chicken, that will cause or worsen your eczema.
Why Psoriasis Gets Worse In Cold Weather
One of various method for healing psoriasis is getting enough sunlight exposure. Yet, sunlight might be very limited in cold weather like winter. Sunlight is believed to inhibit new skin cells fast growth which contributes to psoriasis formation. Limited sunlight exposure, hence is likely to make more plaque grow and let psoriasis spread quickly. Phototherapy done by professionals can be one of the choices you can do during winter days in order to prevent psoriasis from getting worse.
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Your Diet May Be Affecting Your Symptoms
While there isnt a particular diet proven to help psoriasis, eating eating certain foods and avoiding others can help with inflammation and may decrease the frequency of flare-ups.
Anti-inflammatory foods include fish, plant-based foods, and healthy fats such as olive oil. Foods to avoid that increase inflammation include red meat, sugar, and processed ingredients.
Because psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, people with the condition are more susceptible to illnesses like the common cold or the flu. You may experience more frequent or severe flares depending on how often you get sick.
Some tips for preventing illness include:
- Avoid being around anyone whos sick, if possible.
- Practice good hygiene, such as frequent hand-washing.
- If youre often on the go, travel with hand sanitizer.
- Get enough sleep during flu season.
If you do get sick, give yourself enough time to recover before going back to work and resuming daily activities. After youve been sick, it can take some time to get your psoriasis symptoms under control. You may also need to temporarily stop taking certain drugs, such as immunosuppressants.
Also, talk to your doctor about possibly taking an antiviral drug to help prevent the flu from getting worse. They may recommend a flu shot early in the season, too.
The Prognosis For Individuals With Psoriasis
Todays patients who have psoriasis are fortunate because a variety of treatments are available. Although there is no definitive cure for the many forms of psoriasis, symptoms can be managed effectively, allowing individuals to avoid the inconvenience and embarrassment of frequent outbreaks of excessive skin cell growth.
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Stress May Be Causing Your Flares
Stress is one of the most common psoriasis triggers. Keeping your stress levels under control is one way to decrease the severity and frequency of flare-ups.
Of course, this is often easier said than done. One trick is to think ahead and be mindful of any stressful events coming up. Try to make time for self-care and relaxation. Get a massage or meditate for 10 or 15 minutes. If youre strapped for time and concerned you wont be able to commit to self-care on your own, ask a friend or loved one to hold you accountable and make sure youre taking time to decompress during the day.
Protect Yourself When Exercising Outdoors
Natural sunlight can help with psoriasis symptoms. The way it works is that ultraviolet B delays growth of affected skin cells, according to the NPF. But only short intervals of exposure 5 to 10 minutes are recommended to start. Lee suggests wearing sun-protective clothing and using sunscreen to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
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Shield Yourself From Sunburn
Sunburns are technically an injury to the skin, explains Jacobson. And for some people, psoriasis forms at the site of an injury, a response known as the Koebner phenomenon. Exposure to UV radiation from the sun is also associated with skin cancer, including melanoma. Though its not fully understood why, research suggests that people with psoriasis run a higher risk of developing melanoma compared with the general population.
To guard your skin against sun damage, apply an ounce of high-SPF, broad-spectrum sunscreen to exposed areas of your face and body a half hour before you go outside, and reapply every two hours. Its also a good idea to put on a hat to protect your scalp, wear a rash guard or swim shirt at the pool or beach, and cover up with lightweight, loose clothing if youll be out in the sun for a prolonged period of time.
It’s Important For Our Bodies
As an advocate for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis I always tell people that what is normal for you might not be normal for someone with this disease.
Just imagine this we can sweat overnight and have an infection the next day. Or imagine that people with psoriasis are working out and not sweating the way they should. This could put us in the hospital.
Its amazing how a simple road trip could become a life-threatening situation. These are the simple truths when you live with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Im just glad that on this day my body was functioning right. We made it safely to our destination!
Remember that sweating and perspiration is a very important function for our bodies to run properly.
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Exercise Helps In Psoriasis Healing
Vigorous physical activity for three hours a week can reduce the risk of psoriasis by 25-30%, a research says.
It would be wise to understand this word vigorous properly. Vigorous doesnt mean that you have to lift too much weight or you have to run fiercely. It simply means lifting light weight with more repetitions or running at a comfortable moderate speed, but for longer time.
How To Treat Psoriasis Skin Conditions
A variety of treatments are used to reduce the discomfort and bad appearance of skin eruptions caused by psoriasis. Topical treatments can be effective in treating mild to moderate symptoms of psoriasis.
Vitamin D analogues, topical retinoids, anthralin, salicylic acid and calcineurin are often prescribed to normalize skin cell growth.
Moisturizers are used to facilitate healing and improve skin texture.
If eruptions are severe, the physician may use drugs that suppress the immune system or those that reduce the growth of skin cells to allow the skin to begin to heal normally.
Light therapy can also be helpful in treating psoriasis, helping to reduce the scaling of skin and promote normal healing.
Essential oils may be used as a natural treatment for psoriasis. There are other ways to manage psoriasis without drugs too.
Treating arthritis in psoriatic arthritis
The development of arthritis as a result of psoriasis problems adds another dimension to the treatment of the disease. Individuals may experience severe pain and joint swelling that impacts their daily activities.
Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen may be recommended to manage discomfort and inflammation in the joints.
In addition, oral corticosteroid drugs or injections of these can help to reduce joint inflammation and pain.
Again, essential oils can be an effective natural treatment for arthritis.
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Drink Pure Water When Possible
Water has a lot of healing principles. We use water for our baths, making our bodies cool, cooking, etc. I had to really become proactive with water and my psoriasis.
We cant necessarily just trust just because it comes out of a pipe that its good. People get sick every day from their drinking water. I want us to be mindful of whats in our water. I know that it can either help heal you or it can hurt you.
I see so many people consuming waters with color in it. I have read the ingredients and there is a bunch of sugar in these which is not too good for the body. I used to drink these myself. Over the years I have learned to drink pure clean water. Those of us that have this disease know that we will try anything to make us comfortable with our psoriasis.
Ways To Stop Baths And Showers From Worsening Your Psoriasis
Long hot showers can dry your skin
Long, hot showers and baths can dry your skin, which can cause psoriasis to flare.
Psoriasis makes your skin dry and easily irritated. Baths and showers can increase the dryness and irritation. To avoid this, dermatologists recommend these eight tips.
Take only one bath or shower a day.
Limit your showers to 5 minutes and baths to 15 minutes or less.
Use warmNOT hotwater every time.
Use a gentle, moisture-rich soap or cleanser made for sensitive skin. Deodorant soaps and scrubs are too harsh, so avoid them.
Wash your skin very gently with your hands. Skip the loofah, buff puffs, and wash clothes, which can irritate your skin and cause psoriasis to flare.
Rinse off the soap or cleanser gently but thoroughly.
Dry your skin very gently by blotting water from your skin with a towel, but leave a bit of water on your skin so that it feels damp.
Apply a fragrance-free moisturizer to all of your skin within five minutes of taking a shower or bath.
A thick cream or ointment works best. If thats too heavy, a fragrance-free lotion is okay. Try to apply a thick cream or ointment before getting into bed.
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How Common Is Eczema
Eczema affects up to 15 million Americans. Infants are prone to eczema and 10% to 20% will have it. However, nearly half outgrow the condition or have significant improvement as they get older.
Eczema affects males and females equally and is more common in people who have a personal or family history of asthma, environmental allergies and/or food allergies.
More Than Skin Troubles
A 2017 study from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that people with psoriasis that covers 10% of their body or more are 64% more likely than those without psoriasis to develop type 2 diabetes. “About 30% of people with psoriasis also might develop psoriatic arthritis, which causes destructive inflammation in your joints,” says dermatologist Dr. Gideon Smith. Psoriasis also may signal a higher risk for fatty liver disease and heart attacks.
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The Redness On Louis Face Drew Unwanted Attention From Others It Became Easier For Him To Explain Once He Had A Diagnosis Of Psoriasis
Itching and scratching at night
- sitting on the hands
Soreness and painSkin flaking
- worrying about other people seeing or touching the skin flakes
- concerns about cooking or working in a job with food
- skin flakes showing up on dark coloured clothes and hair
- getting distracted and picking at skin flakes
- doing more cleaning, such as hoovering and changing bedding
- finding symptom relief products to gently remove flakes, such as exfoliating gloves for Lucy
- difficulties shaving Damini and Lisa found their skin cut more than usual, though Simon found his psoriasis skin was less prone to bleeding
What Is Eczema What Does It Look And Feel Like
Eczema is a condition that causes your skin to become dry, red, itchy and bumpy. Its one of many types of dermatitis. Eczema damages the skin barrier function . This loss of barrier function makes your skin more sensitive and more prone to infection and dryness.
Eczema doesnt harm your body. It doesnt mean that your skin is dirty or infected, and its not contagious. There are treatments that can help manage your symptoms.
In the word dermatitis, derm means skin and itis means inflammation. The word as a whole means inflammation of the skin. Eczema originates from the Greek word ekzein which means to boil over or break out.
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Sex Fertility And Pregnancy
Sex can sometimes be painful for people with psoriatic arthritis, particularly a woman whose hips are affected. Experimenting with different positions and communicating well with your partner will usually provide a solution.
Psoriatic arthritis wont affect your chances of having children. But if youre thinking of starting a family, its important to discuss your drug treatment with a doctor well in advance. If you become pregnant unexpectedly, talk to your rheumatology department as soon as possible.
The following must be avoided when trying to start a family, during pregnancy and when breastfeeding:
What Is The Connection
I immediately broke out in a sweat. We know that sweating is good for us, but along with me starting to sweat I could feel the pain in my joints, due to my psoriatic arthritis, starting to flare-up and my psoriasis was starting to get aggravated.
So I starting thinking at that moment did sweating have anything to with my psoriatic arthritis? I have learned over the years that high humidity causes an increase in pressure in our blood vessels which causes our hearts to beat faster.
As I continued driving on the long dark road along with no other cars, I was sweating more and more. It was just running down my face. I knew at that moment I would do an article on psoriasis and sweating.
I started taking notice on what changes my body was making, its amazing what you can perceive at 3 oclock in the morning when its pitch black on a dark side road.
The sweat started irritating my face, neck and underarms. I had the air conditioning on full blast and it was not helping me to stay dry.
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What Questions Might My Healthcare Provider Ask To Diagnose Eczema
The conversation with your healthcare provider will need to cover a lot of information. Be sure to be specific about your symptoms.
- Where is your eczema located?
- What have you used to try to treat your eczema?
- What medical conditions do you have? Allergies? Asthma?
- Is there a history of eczema in your family?
- How long have you had symptoms of eczema?
- Do you take hot showers?
- Is there anything that makes your symptoms worse?
- Have you noticed that something triggers or worsens your eczema? Soaps? Detergents? Cigarette smoke?
- Is there so much itchiness that you have trouble sleeping? Working? Living your normal life?
Find A Friend Who Shares Your Goals
Its always nice to spend time with friends, but having a workout buddy is about more than companionship. Exercising with a friend is a great way to keep you motivated to stay on track. Youll be less likely to skip a walk or run in the park if youre meeting someone. Plus, exercising with a buddy can be fun! If you can find someone who has a similar fitness level, you can even set goals together.
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Is Sitting In The Sun Good For Psoriasis
The suns ultraviolet rays are made up of UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are more effective at treating psoriasis symptoms because they slow the rapid rate of skin growth and shedding. Although sunlight can benefit psoriasis, you should take care to protect yourself from sunburn.