How To Beat The Psoriasis
Stress can trigger psoriasis flare-ups, and stress management should be part of any treatment plan.
If you have psoriasis, youll want to do everything you can to manage your condition. Medication can help you minimize flare-ups, and so can finding healthy ways to cope with known triggers including psychological stress.
Psoriasis and stress are intricately linked. Although psoriasis is a genetic condition, environmental factors, such as traumatic life events, can make symptoms worse, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Thats why its crucial to make stress management a key component of your psoriasis treatment plan.
Doctors and researchers do not yet fully understand what causes psoriasis, but the disease is thought to occur when the immune system turns on the body, causing skin cells to grow abnormally and rapidly. Because stress can have an impact on the immune system, doctors have long suspected it may impact psoriasis, and recent research supports this theory.
Psoriasis is very stress dependent. It flares very easily when patients are under stress, and it tends to improve when theyre relaxed, says Vesna Petronic-Rosic, MD, a dermatologist in Chicago. Many people with psoriasis even recall their first flare happening during a difficult time in their lives, she says.
Psoriasis Area And Severity Index
PASI is an objective measure as it does not consider patients subjective feelings but provides measurable data on the type of symptoms and the extent of psoriatic lesions. The score may range from 0 to 72, with an increasing score corresponding to increasing severity of psoriasis. The following scoring system for the severity of psoriasis was adopted: mild< 10, moderate 1050 and severe51 . Patients with moderately severe psoriasis participated in this study.
Treatment Options For Psoriasis
There are a variety of psoriasis treatments available, and they each work in different ways to help treat psoriasis. How do you know which is right for you? Start by talking to a dermatologist who can explain how each option works. Then you can work together to choose an appropriate treatment option for you.
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Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms Can Make Psoriasis Worse
People with psoriasis also should limit behaviors that can amp up stress. Alcohol and recreational drugs, for instance, may intensify rather than relieve stress, Petronic-Rosic says. A study published online in August 2019 in Psoriasis Auckland suggests that alcohol might make psoriasis worse.
Theres a lot to be said about managing these addictive behaviors, says Petronic-Rosic. Stress-induced behaviors, such as alcoholism and smoking, aggravate psoriasis and correlate directly to the severity of the psoriasis. A study published in January 2019 in Expert Review of Clinical Immunology found that smoking can make psoriasis treatments less effective and suggested that people with psoriasis be encouraged to enroll in smoking-cessation programs.
Treatment Benefits Body And Mind
Boh says people who get the upper hand accept the diagnosis and get proper treatment âYou donât just live with it,â she says. âIf a doctor tells you that … or says itâs just a rash … find someone else whoâs willing to help you.â
Treatment options include medications you put on your skin, light therapy, and drugs to calm your immune system.
If your treatment plan doesnât work, ask your dermatologist about other choices. People whose psoriasis is well-controlled report a better quality of life.
Remember that your mental health is just as important as your skin. If youâre dealing with depression, treatments like antidepressant medication, talk therapy, or both can help lift your mood. Boh notes that many people can get off depression medicine once their condition clears.
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Look For The Silver Lining
For Joni, a director at an e-commerce ad agency, showing her psoriasis got her some desirable social distance long before COVID. For years, I lived and worked in New York City, so the subway was part of my daily commute. This was a time when psoriasis spots were an advantage for me, she remembers.
If I was holding on to a pole and showing my spotty arms and hands, other riders often chose to stand elsewhere. Nothing was ever verbally spoken, but the stares and faces said enough.
Coping Up With Psoriasis As As A Citizen :
Psoriasis is a skin disease. Those who suffer from it do also suffer from some emotional trauma associated with psoriasis. As a civilized person it is our duty to have healthy outlook towards those who suffer from psoriasis.
Do not discuss with the sufferer as to what is this, how did it happen, etc which might make him feel more embarrassed.
Patients with psoriasis do not need pity or sympathy. They simply need understanding.
Mostly it is a experience of a psoriasis patient that psoriasis never get cured and he/she has to live life with psoriasis only.
Berry’s health care, a 50 years old ayurvedic company with research product of psoriasis make a drastic change in life of psoriasis patients, Berry Skin Care Clinic is now established at all leading cities to give best treatment and make this patients life colorful.
Some Important Links you want to Visit :
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Keep Your Skin Moist And Cool
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, moisturizing your skin with heavy, fragrance-free creams or lotions helps lock in moisture so that your plaques can heal. Moisturizing every day also helps keep your skin healthy between flare-ups.
You can use body creams, facial creams, or high-quality oils, such as coconut oil, to moisturize your skin and lock in water. Other tips include:
- Take cool to lukewarm showers of no more than 10 minutes.
- Limit lukewarm baths to 15 minutes.
- Add Epsom salts, sea salts, oatmeal poultices, or essential oils to bath water.
- Pat dry but not too dry after bathing, and apply moisturizer immediately.
- Moisturize your hands after every time you wash them.
- Use gentle, moisturizing, fragrance-free cleansers on face and body.
- Keep room air moist with a humidifier.
You can also refrigerate your cleansers and moisturizers for extra cooling relief.
Access To Mental Health Services: Current Situation
There is a substantial unmet need for access to psychological support for people with skin disease in the UK. The APPGS report found 98% of survey respondents stated that their skin disease had affected their emotional or psychological well-being, however only 18% sought help.7 This care gap is largely due to a lack of awareness about the limited available services alongside poor recognition, diagnosis and triaging. Patients with skin conditions often trivialise their problems as they feel that their health condition is non-life limiting or important enough to seek medical help for. Therefore, clinicians need further training, resources and support to actively explore and evaluate the severity of psychosocial impact of skin disease.
It is well known that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the mental health crisis and limited access further. Given the increased risk of mental health disease amongst patients with psoriasis, compounded by the psychosocial impact of social distancing, self-isolating and shielding , we expect to see higher rates of anxiety, depression, poor compliance with treatment and reduced physical attendance in healthcare. This in turn may lead to a vicious cycle of acute flares of the skin condition with further deterioration in mental health.23
Early identification of patients with additional psychological support needs
Table 1 Quality of Life Questionnaires
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Never Underestimate A Good Nights Sleep
In Mandelinâs practice, his PsA patients often report chronic pain and fatigue. He finds that while pain and fatigue can present together, they can be separate issues. So he begins at the most basic level. âWhatâs going on metabolically?â he asks. âLetâs get a blood count. Maybe they have anemia. Letâs do an iron study. Maybe they have an iron deficiency.â
Mandelin then moves on to sleep quality. âFrankly, as our population gets heavier and heavier, weâre running across more cases of undiagnosed sleep apnea. Fatigue can amplify your pain,â he says. Sleep apnea, he explains, is one of the components of chronic pain thatâs not involved with PsA. âSuccessfully addressing sleep apnea wonât fix the whole world, but it can at least fix your fatigue. It wonât fix your chronic pain but it helps.â
He is an advocate of sleep studies and the use of CPAP devices he cites the strides in sleep technology over the past few years. âMany face masks donât even look like masks,â he says, though he acknowledges that adapting to these devices may not be easy. âYou have to commit to it, grit your teeth and get through that first month. If you can start getting enough sleep, many things about your health and your overall life will improve.â
Get more advice for better sleep with our Healthy Sleep Guide.
When To Seek Professional Help
It doesn’t help to tell yourself you’re OK when you are not. Trying to curb feelings of anger, hopelessness, or embarrassment by putting on a “happy face” rarely helps and can make the underlying stress even worse.
If you are unable to cope or have persistent or worsening anxiety or depression, seek professional help from a psychiatrist or psychologist experienced in chronic illnesses. Psychotherapy and short-term drug treatment may help improve your emotional state and, as a result, your psoriatic flares.
Depression is closely linked to psoriasis and should never be ignored. In fact, according to a 2010 study in JAMA Dermatology, no less than 350 suicides in the United Kingdom are directly attributed to psoriasis each year. Help is always available.
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How To Avoid Letting Psoriasis Affect Your Self
Psoriasis can really affect your self-confidence because it’s something on your skin that everybody can see. It can affect the way that you view yourself and the way that you think that others are viewing you. Even if you know that its nothing to be ashamed of, everyone wants to look and feel their best.
What This Means For You
Clauw believes that roughly half of all people who have PsA experience some degree of centralized pain â and for these folks, treating the joints involved with anti-inflammatories, biologics or other therapies might not ease the pain. This is because centralized pain extends beyond the joints.
He speaks candidly in a YouTube video. âOne of the problems we have in pain treatment is that all of our drugs sort of suck,â Clauw says. âTheyâre only modestly effective.â
You can use drugs to manage hypertension, Clauw notes, but not chronic pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, for instance, work well for pain from actual injuries, such as a broken leg. They most likely wonât help with pain from the brain.
Clauw doesnât rule out the use of medications for pain. However, he also favors non-drug therapies to help control symptoms, such as exercise, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, mindfulness, good sleep habits, cognitive behavior therapy and stress reduction.
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Satisfaction With Life Scale
SWLS was used to measure the level of life satisfaction. The scale contains five statements on satisfaction with ones own life, which are rated on a scale from 1 to 7 . The scores for the individual statements are summed the respondent may obtain a score from 5 to 35, with a higher score indicating higher satisfaction with life. The obtained results are converted into sten scores, where: a sten score of 14 means low, 56 average and 710 high .
Things To Avoid For Better Management Of Psoriasis
Even though the preventive measures for psoriasis remain a mystery, cutting back some of the triggering factors may help in prevention and management of the condition. For instance, food cannot cure or even treat psoriasis, but by eating better you reduce the risk of developing it. Dermatologists assert that increasing your intake of proteins that contain omega-3 fatty acids such as shrimp, sardines, salmons, soybeans, flaxseeds, and walnut may help prevent and manage psoriasis. They also recommend that you avoid triggers such as smoking, alcohol, dairy products, processed foods, red meat, and refined sugar. Losing weight is another lifestyle change that may help reduce the diseases severity.
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How To Cope With Scalp Psoriasis
As an autoimmune skin condition, psoriasis can appear virtually anywhere on your skin, but a flare-up of scalp psoriasis and its symptoms can be a challenge to deal with.
Due to its sensitive location, scalp psoriasis can cause additional discomfort and embarrassment, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It also notes that nearly 50 percent of those with psoriasis will experience at least one flare-up on the scalp during their lifetimes.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, the severity of scalp psoriasis can vary from mild symptoms, such as fine scaling, to more severe, including thick, crusted plaques. Other common symptoms include red bumps, itching, scalp cracking and/or bleeding, a burning sensation and hair loss, which is generally temporary and limited to the affected flare-up area. As a localized skin condition, scalp psoriasis may be limited to areas on the scalp or extend beyond the hairline to the forehead, neck or around the ears.
Like psoriasis that appears elsewhere on the body, according to UCLA Health, scalp psoriasis has the same cause: it is an autoimmune disorder that causes skin cells to grow too quickly, with new skin cells forming in days rather than weeks. Because the body does not shed skin cells that quickly, they pile up on the surface of the skin and cause the physical and visual symptoms.
Getting Comfortable In Your Skin
How can you deflect such intrusions and outright affronts instead of absorbing them and feeling worse about yourself? People like Linda, Reena, Joni, and Alisha say it takes time, maturity, and confidence literally getting comfortable in your own skin.
We asked those psoriasis warriors and Philadelphia-based clinical psychologist Ann Rosen Spector, PhD, to share their experiences and insights:
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Drinking Frequently Or In Excess
If you drink daily or have more than 2 drinks in a day frequently, your treatment for psoriasis may have little or no effect. Even treatment that could be effective for you may not work and youll continue to have flare-ups.
Reduce the risk of flare-ups from drinking
If you continue to drink, limit how much you drink in a day. Women should stop after 1 drink. Men should limit themselves to 2 drinks per day.
Be sure to tell your dermatologist if you drink alcohol. Drinking can make it risky to take some psoriasis medications like methotrexate.
Drinking frequently or in excess
If you drink daily or have more than 2 drinks in a day frequently, your treatment for psoriasis may have little or no effect.
Alcohol And Smoking Misuse
Patients with psoriasis consume more alcohol and have higher rates of alcoholism compared to the general population.18 The reason for this is complex and multifactorial however, it is likely that many patients use alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with the psychosocial distress related to their chronic health condition.
There is evidence demonstrating that alcohol consumption leads to increased severity of psoriasis through several pathways, such as increased susceptibility to infections, stimulation of lymphocyte and keratinocyte proliferation and production of proinflammatory cytokines.19,20 Such patients also have poor treatment compliance and often become trapped in a cycle of poor disease control, leading to lower quality of life, which further fuels alcohol and substance misuse as a coping strategy.
Smoking is twice as prevalent amongst patients with psoriasis compared to controls, with heavy smoking contributing to a two-fold increase in the severity of disease.21 Smoking is also a well-recognised risk factor for developing the psoriatic arthritis, a comorbidity that affects approximately 20% of patients with psoriasis. Patients with psoriasis who smoke are more likely to develop psoriatic arthritis, and at an earlier age.
Consider Hot And Cold For Itch Relief
Many people with psoriasis find that a cold-water bath or cold compresses help relieve their itch. Thats because nerves that send itch signals to the brain dont work as well when theyre cold, according to the AAD. Most dermatologists recommend that people with psoriasis avoid hot showers because hot water can dry the skin and dry skin itches. But Yosipovitch’s research shows that for many people, hot showers offer more itch relief than cold ones. His theory: Hot water activates nerve fibers that inhibit itch. Yosipovitch’s ultimate recommendation is to do what works best for you. If you find hot showers help relieve itch, keep them short to avoid drying out your skin too much. And dont forget to apply moisturizer when youre done.
Coping Up With Psoriasis As A Patient :
First of all, you need to get convinced for yourself that you have psoriasis, it is not a normal disease,,with little care and understanding one can manage psoriasis effectively.
To fight with psoriasis it is very much important that patient must have positive attitude towards psoriasis and correct time schedules for each activity.
One has to learn not to feel embarrassed, ashamed, depressed, or worried about how others will react to psoriasis.
It is better not to avoid social situations, networking and parties. Let people around you know once and for all that you have some color problem with your skin. Once they will know it, they will also learn to accept it.
There are good ayurvedic treatment are available for psoriasis.
Consult a doctor who specializes in dealing with psoriasis cases.
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