Psoriasis is an all-too-common skin common skin disease that affects between 2-4% of the entire population. It’s characterized by the formation of scaly red patches and skin lesions. While each and every case is different, most people suffering from psoriasis experience intense itching, and oftentimes pain, during an outbreak. Whether you suffer from minor or severe psoriasis, there are steps you can take to manage this disease.
Beware of Dry Air
Prolonged exposure to dry air is known trigger of psoriasis. When the skin begins to dry out, it’s more susceptible to the effects of psoriasis; therefore, you’ll want to make sure the relative humidity (RH) in your home stays above 35%. When the humidity drops below this amount, there won’t be enough moisture vapor in the air to keep your skin hydrated, leaving you at risk for an outbreak. The good news is that you can combat the effects of dry air by investing a humidifier. These devices will release moisture vapor into the air to maintain a proper RH.
We’ve talked about the dangers of sun exposure before on our blog; it promotes the formation of early wrinkles, fine lines, aging, and it increases your risk of developing certain types of skin cancer. What that said, a little sunlight can prove beneficial to your overall skin health, especially for people with psoriasis. The sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV) provide an excellent source of vitamin D, which subsequently boosts your skin health while protecting against psoriasis outbreaks. Just remember to apply a high-SPF sunscreen lotion if you plan on staying outdoors for longer than 30 minutes.
Don’t Drink or Smoke
Need another reason to give up alcohol and/or cigarettes? Here’s one: both of these substances are known to irritate psoriasis outbreaks. If you’re struggling to give up smoking, talk with your doctor about some of the different cessation products. Perhaps a nicotine patch or gum will allow you to taper off the nicotine without quitting cold turkey.
Leave It Alone!
No matter badly it itches, you should avoid scratching or even touching psoriasis outbreaks on your skin. Scratching may offer some initial relief, but this is short-lived and will soon be replaced by an even stronger itching sensation. You can ask your dermatologist for a prescription skincare cream to use during outbreaks, but the bottom line is that you should let them heal naturally rather than attempting to pick, scratch or otherwise mess with them.