Did you know that approximately 7.5 million Americans live with psoriasis? This chronic skin condition is technically an autoimmune disorder that causes itchy, painful, or scaly patches of skin. And, when these flare-ups occur, they can be so uncomfortable that they interfere with sleep and concentration.
Common causes of psoriasis flare-ups include:
Juan-Carlos Caballero, MD, at Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center in Warrenton, Virginia, understands the discomfort that comes with psoriasis. There may not be a cure, but Dr. Caballero can help manage your condition. He recommends following these four simple steps to soothe your psoriasis symptoms.
To start, you have to treat your skin right when you have psoriasis, especially in the middle of a flare-up. But that doesn’t mean just anything will do.
Instead, look for moisturizers and lotions designed specifically for sensitive skin, and avoid anything with fragrances, because they could cause more skin irritation. To double down on your moisturizer’s power, try soaking in a lukewarm bath — never hot! — with milk, oatmeal, olive oil, or Epsom salt. Then, moisturize immediately when you get out. This can help increase moisture in the body and amp up the soothing factor.
Dr. Caballero can offer personalized suggestions for moisturizers and soothing baths that can provide the best benefits based on your skin and symptoms.
Psoriasis occurs because of the immune system. Because of that, you have to treat your body right from the inside out.
Whenever possible, follow a healthy diet to keep your symptoms under control. That often means limiting the consumption of certain foods, such as carbohydrates, refined sugars, saturated fats, and red meats. Similarly, cutting back on alcohol can significantly reduce psoriasis flare-ups.
You can also try increasing your consumption of foods known to reduce inflammation, such as seeds, nuts, cold water fish, and items high in omega-3 fatty acids. You can also ask Dr. Caballero if you could benefit from taking dietary supplements, such as:
Dr. Caballero can evaluate what you’re eating now, and, if needed, he can recommend making dietary changes, adding supplements, or both.
When you have psoriasis, your skin cells grow faster than average, causing those telltale dry, scaly patches. However, topical, oral, and injected medications can help stop this process and remove the patches left behind.
Types of medications that can help with psoriasis include:
Finding the right medications — or combination of medications — to ease psoriasis symptoms can take some trial and error. Dr. Caballero could even recommend light therapy or biologics to help interrupt inflammation in your body and ease discomfort.
Finally, the best way to manage psoriasis symptoms involves working with a doctor you can trust. Everyone is different, so you need personalized attention so you can get the right combination of treatments that will work for you.
Psoriasis is a lifelong condition that requires personalized treatment and self-care strategies. With the right approach, you can keep your symptoms under control and decrease the frequency and severity of your flare-ups.
Dr. Caballero has helped many patients get control of their psoriasis symptoms, and if you’re struggling with this disease, he can help you, too. To learn more about managing your condition, call 540-701-4656 or request an appointment online with Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center today.