– by Brendan Reid, Editor –
Psoriasis is a skin condition that is far more prevalent than most people realize. According to recent studies, 3% of the population, or about 125 million people worldwide, will suffer from psoriasis in some form during their lives. Treatment requires a multi-pronged approach. I recently went through a serious bout of full-body guttate psoriasis, which shows itself as red spots of the skin. This was a difficult period, but I discovered many methods that helped me conquer it. Here are a few that might help you as well if you are experiencing a form of psoriasis.
Psoriasis is characterized by dry, flaky patches of skin. Find a moisturizer that is soft and organic, and that feels good for you. Hemp moisturizer can work wonders, as well as eucalyptus and coconut products. It seems counterintuitive, but your skin can become irritated and dry after a hot shower, so be sure to moisturize right after you have one. Even better, avoid hot water, which is always drying as your body pulls moisture from inside in an attempt to cool you off.
- Eat Well
Your diet can greatly affect your skin condition. Cutting out greasy foods is a great place to start. Make sure your meals are well balanced and varied. Avoid processed meats and dairy; both are known to increase inflammatory symptoms. Psoriasis affects each person differently, and foods that might be fine for one person will not be for the next. Keep a food diary, try different food combinations and omissions, and find out what works best for you. The best way to do this is to start by eating only a couple of foods for two or three days. Choose foods that are well tolerated by most people, such as bananas and unprocessed meat. Then add one food every three days. This process is time consuming but can give you great insight that might be invaluable for years to come.
Getting regular exercise is the most important thing a person can do for their overall health, especially one who is battling psoriasis. Regular cardio makes everything in your body run more smoothly, and I find that after a long run my psoriasis always looks much less inflamed. If can be difficult to begin a new exercise regimen, but if you persevere, your body and mind will reap innumerable benefits. The best way to begin is to start slow and increase distance and then speed a little at a time, to give your body time to adjust. Try different types until you find what works best for you.
- Get Some UV Rays
The natural response to having psoriasis is to hide it from the world at all costs. But UV light can actually help clear up your psoriasis. One of the most common remedies for psoriasis is UV light treatment, where you essentially stand in a tanning booth for a few minutes a day. I tried this treatment myself, and found that it worked quite well. Sun helps too, but do be careful not to get so much that you damage your skin or risk getting skin cancer.
- Don’t Stress!
Perhaps the most important thing of all to combat psoriasis is to decrease your stress. Psoriasis may be originally brought on by stress, but once you have the condition, stress only makes it worse. If you are experiencing a psoriasis outbreak it will prompt you to feel more stress, and a vicious cycle will be born. Regular exercise, meaningful work and a good diet are very helpful in regulating stress levels, and if you master them, you’ll find peace of mind whether your skin is clear or not. Other factors that increase stress and psoriasis are tobacco, alcohol, drug use and lack of sleep. If you have psoriasis and are self-conscious about it, always remember that it is far more common than you realize, and you are far from alone. Psoriasis is hereditary, so there is no reason to stress about it, and mastering your feelings about the condition can be the very thing that helps you eradicate it.