Tips On Dealing With Psoriasis Flares On Knees And Elbows
There is no way to completely prevent future flare-ups from occurring on knees and elbows, however, several natural home remedies can help reduce the frequency and intensity of psoriasis flare-ups commonly experienced areas around knees and elbows. Some examples of natural remedies which can help manage psoriasis flare-ups include:
*Keep elbows and knees moisturized with steroid-free creams and moisturizers. Make sure to use moisturizers and creams that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients. An ideal product is Prosoria Rapid Repair Skin Exfoliating and Moisturizing Ointment. It softens and smooths rough, dry, cracked, flaking, inflamed, and irritated skin. It exfoliates and sloughs off dead skin cells leaving the skin smoother, hydrated, and intensively moisturized.
*Cover the affected areas at night to speed the healing cycle. Using Prosoria Rapid Repair Ointment morning and night works great to accelerate recovery and quickly restore the skin to a softer feel and smoother appearance.
*Prevent flares on knees and elbows with a consistent psoriasis skincare regimen. Consistency is important when it comes to skincare so make sure the skincare regimen you use is something that you can keep up easily. Prosoria is a simple once-daily 2-step Psoriasis Treatment System that treats, moisturizes, and exfoliates in one complete kit. With consistent use, Prosoria treats psoriasis symptoms and helps prevent flares from recurring.
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Schedule Time In The Sun
Although its not a substitute for medical-grade light therapy, some people do find that a little sun exposure helps soothe their psoriasis, says Delphine J. Lee, MD, PhD, chief of dermatology and residency program director at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. Ultraviolet B is present in natural sunlight and is an effective treatment for psoriasis, says the NPF. Sunlight also helps the body create vitamin D, which may play a role in psoriasis. Research suggests that people with psoriasis often have lower than normal levels of vitamin D.
Using sunlight to treat psoriasis is not recommended for everyone, however. Be sure to talk to your dermatologist to formulate a sunscreen plan and figure out a time limit.
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Most Importantly Be Patient With Yourself
Dont worry if you still havent found your flare-up silver bulletpsoriasis symptoms and triggers can vary immensely from person to person, so different treatments will work better for different people.
That said, if you find that your flares are becoming more frequent or increasingly difficult to treat, Dr. Newsom says its probably time to check in with your dermatologist for guidance around how best to treat your condition.
Dont Freak Over That Flare
Outside of your doctor-recommended treatments, here are some other alternative treatments that may help improve symptoms:
- Acupuncture.Several studies have found acupuncture to be pretty effective at treating psoriasis, as well as soothing the underlying joint pain related to psoriatic arthritis.
- Vitamin D supplements.Vitamin D is known to help treat autoimmune conditions, psoriasis included. In addition to getting natural sunlight, you also may want to take a supplement especially if you live a place a Twilight character could thrive.
- Indigo naturalis. Research shows that both topical and ingested Indigo naturalis, a plant extract often used in ancient Chinese medicine, may benefit psoriasis and nail psoriasis in particular.
- Turmeric. A 2018 review concluded that curcumin, a chemical compound found in turmeric, helps treat psoriasis symptoms. BRB, time to serve up some curry.
- Fish oil. That same 2018 review found daily fish oil supplementation to be effective at soothing psoriasis symptoms.
Psoriasis treatment is a total health and wellness journey, from nurturing the skin to mental health.
If you need a little extra support, consider the following:
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What Are The Most Common Treatments
Even after you have successfully treated one flare-up, psoriasis can come back at any time in response to a variety of triggers. Its also common for people to require progressively stronger treatments or alternate between treatments to keep outbreaks under control. Your treatment plan will be structured around the type of psoriasis you are diagnosed with, the degree of your flare-ups, and how well you can manage your triggers.
That said, most treatments for psoriasis are designed to treat the symptoms visible on the skin rather than the root cause of the condition, which is likely an overactive immune system. Treatments generally try to slow the growth of skin cells, reduce skin inflammation, and remove scaly or itchy patches of skin. The most common treatments include:
Most skin experts like to start treating psoriasis with conservative topical therapy as a first line of defense. Topical treatments are any prescription cream, gel, or ointment that is applied to the psoriasis outbreak. Corticosteroids are the most common topical treatment since prescription-strength creams can be applied to all areas of the skin. Different strengths of corticosteroids may be applied to different areas of the skin to treat flare-ups more efficiently.
Managing Psoriatic Arthritis Flares
There are many ways that you and your doctor can work together to manage your psoriatic arthritis flares and minimize how many you experience. Some of these approaches are proactive, meaning they should be done even before PsA flares begin. Taking steps proactively may help prevent or minimize symptoms should a flare-up occur. Proactive treatment can also help you avoid long-term complications, like joint damage, that can come from not treating the condition.
Other methods for managing psoriatic arthritis flares involve treating symptoms during flare-ups themselves. If your PsA does flare, youll need to take steps beyond those that you take to manage the condition on a daily basis.
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Nosh On Nourishing Foods
Diet can both trigger psoriasis flares and help boost overall health to help ease symptoms.
If youre aware of any dietary psoriasis triggers, obvi avoid em. But eating more nutritious foods doesnt have to be a chore, either. Just try to meet your veggie, fruit, and lean protein quota in a way that jibes with your tastes. Pinterest-worthy breakfast bowl, anyone?
Exercise Eat Right And Maintain A Healthy Weight
Although no studies have shown a link between diet and psoriasis, experts recommend that people with the condition eat a well-balanced diet that’s high in fruits and vegetables. Some people say their symptoms improve when they remove dairy or gluten. Exercise may also help. Some studies show excess weight can trigger flares, so stay at a healthy weight.
Bruce E. Strober, MD, PhD, associate director of dermatopharmacology, Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine co-director of the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Center consultant for Amgen, Biogen, Genentech, Fujisawa, and 3-M.
Jeffrey M. Weinberg, MD, director of the Clinical Research Center, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City associate clinical professor of dermatology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons consultant for Amgen and Genentech.
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: “What Is Psoriasis?”
American Academy of Dermatology: “Psoriasis.”
National Psoriasis Foundation: “Psoriasis,” “How Cigarettes and Alcohol Affect Psoriasis” and “Weight loss greatly improved psoriasis.”
Abel, E. “Dermatology III: Psoriaisis ACP Medicine, April, 2005.
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What Do Psoriatic Arthritis Flares Feel Like
When psoriatic arthritis flares, some people experience not only painful, swollen joints, but also less characteristic symptoms, such as extreme fatigue and skin rashes. Some individuals experience flare-ups as a general feeling of discomfort before more acute joint pain sets in.
Sometimes, comorbidities can trigger or signal a psoriatic arthritis flare. As one MyCrohnsAndColitisTeam member shared, My makes my psoriasis flare, which, in turn, flares psoriatic arthritis. Other times, psoriatic arthritis seems to flare on its own. One member who experienced this wrote, I have plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and psoriatic nails. At the present time, my psoriasis is under control, but my arthritis flares. I just never know when its going to happen.
Because flares can come up at any time, they can disrupt life significantly. One member told others that their feet started burning and stinging after doing just a little shopping. Thats all it takes! Another said, Psoriatic arthritis makes you feel so tired and drained that you feel like every step is so heavy and tiring.
Avoid Medications That Cause Flare
Let your doctor know about all the medications you take, even over-the-counter ones. Ask if they could affect your psoriasis. Drugs that are known to make things worse include:
- Lithium, used to treat psychiatric disorders
- Propranololand possibly other beta-blockers, which are prescribed for heart conditions
- Quinidine, medication for irregular heart beat
If you’re using any of these medications, ask your doctor about substitutes. Know about these and other drugs that can trigger psoriasis flares.
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How Can I Get Started With A Psoriasis Diet
If youre going to change your diet to combat psoriasis, Wesdock recommends starting slowly. Jumping into a highly restrictive diet isnt usually sustainable and may deprive you of important nutrients. Instead, start by cutting out some highly processed foods.
Substitute the pastries and cookies with fresh fruit. Opt for herbal tea or water flavored with fresh fruit, mint or cucumber. If you think theres a specific food or ingredient thats triggering psoriasis flare-ups, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Being overweight or obese can also make psoriasis worse, so you may want to start a weight loss plan that includes fewer calories and smaller portion sizes. Any psoriasis treatment diet should be accompanied by healthy lifestyle choices. Get plenty of sleep and regular exercise, and try to reduce stress in your life. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about a plan to quit.
Or Try One With Vitamin A Or D
Meanwhile, products containing vitamins A or Dincluding their synthetic versions and derivativescan also reduce the symptoms of a flare-up thanks to their anti-inflammatory effects, Dr. Stein says.
For example, your derm may recommend trying a prescription retinoid, a derivative of vitamin A, like tazarotene. Medications like this increase cell turnover while reducing the buildup of psoriasis scales, making retinoids a great option for those who deal with thick plaques during flares.
Synthetic forms of vitamin D can also be useful because they help regulate the cell turnover process and, therefore, help reduce scales.
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Get Some Sun But Not Too Much
The ultraviolet rays in sunlight slow the growth of skin cells, so getting moderate doses of sun is good. But make it brief — about 20 minutes or so at a time. And use sunscreen. Sunburn can trigger psoriasis, and it raises your risk of skin cancer. Some medications can make your skin more sensitive to ultraviolet rays, so talk to your doctor first. Read more on the risks and benefits of sunlight for psoriasis.
What Is The Relationship Between Psoriasis And Your Diet
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disorder. The body mistakenly attacks its own tissue, explains Wesdock. It starts overproducing skin cells, which lays down plaques on your skin. Plaques are red, scaly patches that can be itchy or painful. Sometimes psoriasis is accompanied by psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory joint condition.
Neither of these conditions is caused by anything you eat, but theres an important link between your diet and psoriasis. Many foods are known to cause inflammation throughout the body. In some people, this widespread irritation can make the symptoms of psoriasis worse.
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What Does Psoriasis On Knees And Elbows Look Like
Psoriasis flare-ups on the knees and elbow are unpredictable. No two psoriasis flare-ups will be the same. Everything from the intensity of your symptoms to where they show up or how long they last will vary with each flare-up episode.
Flare-ups usually start as small red or pink bumps on the skin that develop into thick raised patches. These patches, known as plaques, often have a silver, scaly appearance silvery, scaly coating of skin. Psoriasis plaques vary in size and shape. They can be the size of a dime or they can cover the entire knee or elbow. Cracks or fissures can form in the dry, thick skin and cause bleeding and scabs. The location of the plaques can change as patches heal. New patches may appear in different locations in future flare-ups.
Psoriasis affects everyone differently. No two people experience the same symptoms. But the symptoms on the knees and elbows can flare more frequently since they are subject to constant friction. Psoriasis on the knees and elbows is considered by many people to be one of the toughest to treat. If psoriasis on the elbows and knees is left untreated, scarring can occur at the location of the fissures. To avoid unsightly scars, it is important to find a psoriasis treatment that helps treat the symptoms of psoriasis and controls the frequency and severity of recurring outbreaks. The good news is there are many ways to help keep psoriasis flares on knees and elbows under control.
Tips For Coping With A Psoriasis Flare
Psoriasis takes a toll not only on your physical well-being but also on your emotional health. Flare-ups can be particularly devastating, says Jerome Shupack, MD, dermatology professor and chief of the dermatopharmacology unit at New York Universitys Langone Medical Center. People say that living with psoriasis is even more difficult than living with cancer, so its not surprising to find flare-ups so distressing, adds Dr. Shupack. Try these tips to help them improve more quickly and possibly prevent future flares.
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Are Triggers Causing Your Psoriasis Flare
If your psoriasis seems to flare for no reason, one or more triggers could be to blame. Everyday things like stress, a bug bite, and cold temperatures can trigger psoriasis.
Triggers vary from person to person. By finding your triggers and learning how to manage them, you can gain better control of your psoriasis and have fewer flares.
To find yours, youll have to do a bit of detective work. A good place to start is by looking at this chart of the common triggers, which also gives you signs that that it could be a trigger for you.
Soothe With Warm Baths
A daily warm bath using a body wash without the drying effects of soap or lathering agents can help soothe itchy spots and ease dry skin. Take 15 minutes to soak in the warm water. You might find comfort if you add oil, finely ground oatmeal, or Epsom salt to your bath, but keep the water and bath products mild. Hot temperatures and harsh soaps can be hard on skin that’s already sensitive and can exacerbate flare-ups.
Try not to rub your skin with the towel as you dry off. Gently pat dry instead. The rubbing action can make sores worse and even cause new ones. Follow immediately with a moisturizer! If you don’t have time for a bath, you can still put a wet towel or cold compress on the trouble spot.
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Do You Need To See A Dermatologist For Psoriasis
If you suspect you have psoriasis and want a definitive diagnosis, it is advised that you seek treatment from a dermatologist. While there is no cure, there are a number of treatment options available to manage symptoms. In addition, a dermatologist can help you determine triggers and alleviate any pain resulting from psoriasis.
If your psoriasis gets to the point where you are constantly itchy, youre avoiding social gatherings, or are having pain in your joints, it is advised to make an appointment with a dermatologist, urges Dr. Gonzalez. It is possible that psoriasis can turn into psoriatic arthritis, so it is vital to seek medical treatment if you feel any tenderness or stiffness in your joints.
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Try A Moisturizer With A Keratolytic Ingredient
For particularly thick plaques, Dr. Newsom suggests applying a lotion that contains a keratolytic, or a softening and peeling agent, like salicylic acid, lactic acid, or urea. That will help dissolve some of the scales. For instance, check out CeraVe Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream, $19, or Gold Bond Ultimate Psoriasis Relief Cream, $8.
However, note these ingredients, particularly salicylic acid, can irritate the skin, exacerbate dryness, and in extreme cases be toxic. So be sure to use keratolytic moisturizers as directed and only on the thickest plaques rather than across large swaths of skin.
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Active Management During Psa Flares
If you find yourself in the middle of a psoriatic arthritis flare, there are a few actions you can take to help manage your symptoms at the moment.
Lowering Activity Levels
Start by decreasing your physical activity. Less activity doesnt necessarily mean staying in bed or sitting completely on the sidelines, but you may need to do the minimum instead of pushing yourself. Stepping back may help you lower your stress levels and allow your body time to recover.
Adjusting or Changing Medications
When psoriatic arthritis flares up, its time to talk to your rheumatologist. Your medications may not be working as effectively as they once were, or your body may need more support to get you through this difficult period.
You have many medication options when it comes to treating symptoms during PsA flares. Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , like ibuprofen or naproxen, can help you manage mild to moderate pain and inflammation. If a particular joint is causing you pain, corticosteroid injections can help provide immediate, short-term relief.
If one type of medication isnt working, you may need to try another one. Ask your doctor for medical advice, as they will help you find the right medication while minimizing potential side effects.
Heat and Cold Therapy
Cold therapy can be applied for 20 minutes at a time using a gel-filled cold pack, frozen peas, or a baggie filled with ice.
Take Your Pain Seriously