Author: Michaela Wachal, Clinical Pharmacist
When it comes to managing psoriasis, it’s important to find a balance of what works for your body. Each diagnosis is unique. People with psoriasis should work with dermatologists, primary care physicians, pharmacists and their entire healthcare team to manage psoriasis. If you’ve been diagnosed with this chronic condition, find what works for your body and pay attention to these psoriasis management tips that can also cause irritation.
Dry air can also dry out your skin. Taking a warm bath can help you keep your skin hydrated and treat plaques. Humidifiers and warm bath water can be a helpful way to add moisture to the air and your body. The key is to avoid extra hot baths or showers. Spending too much time under super hot water can dry out your skin and make the irritation worse. It’s also important to note that chemicals in chlorine-filled pools may also lead to psoriasis flare-ups. Try to avoid pools with a high chlorine content or ask your dermatologist about special body wash to help remove the chemicals after you swim. Whether you’re leaving the pool or the shower, be sure to apply lotion right away to lock in the moisture.
Ingredients in Ointments, Lotions and Moisturizers
Moisturizing your skin can sooth irritation, relieve dryness and heal scaling. Keeping your skin hydrated is a fundamental part of managing psoriasis, but you have to use the right moisturizers. Moisturize your skin with gentle ointments and lotions. Ointments are heavier moisturizers and lotions are lightweight moisturizers that absorb easily. For the best results, you may want to use a combination of both. Look for gentle, dermatologist-approved ointments, lotions and creams designed for sensitive skin. Key ingredients that may be beneficial include vitamin D, aloe and coal tar.
Some moisturizers are made with harsh chemicals that can irritate your skin. Talk to your dermatologist about fragrance-free and alcohol-free moisturizer options. These ingredients can be harsh on your skin and cause irritation. Be careful with anti-itch ingredients and salicylic acid. While these ingredients can be helpful psoriasis treatment for some, others experience irritation or worse dryness. Tea tree oil is another ingredient that can bring relief, but some people with psoriasis find they’re allergic to this ingredient.
Sunlight and Psoriasis Symptoms
Sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) rays in moderation can improve the look of your skin by slowing the growth of skin cells. The use of phototherapy or light therapy treatments should be done under medical supervision. It’s important to remember that too much sun exposure is damaging to your skin. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, tanning beds don’t provide the type of light that is most effective in treating psoriasis. Even a minor sunburn can cause irritation and make your psoriasis symptoms flare. Sun exposure can also increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Make sure to talk to your doctor about psoriasis, phototherapy and skin protection. Your dermatologist can help you establish a skin care routine that includes sun protection and won’t cause your psoriasis symptoms to fare.
Psoriasis Comorbidities and the Importance of Whole-Health
Psoriasis is a common skin condition that causes new skin cells to grow too quickly. This leads to red, dry, scaly patches of skin. There are different forms of this chronic condition and each one has unique treatment goals. For more information about the different types of psoriasis, visit the National Psoriasis Foundation website.
Psoriasis is often associated with many comorbidities such as arthritis, heart disease and inflammatory bowel disease. It’s important to manage your psoriasis well and work with your doctor to prevent and manage other chronic conditions.
Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions (HPS) takes a whole-health approach to helping our patients manage psoriasis. Our clinical expertise and comprehensive support services help people with psoriasis and other chronic conditions live easier, healthier and happier. Visit our website to learn more.