Psoriasis can be one of the most disruptive and frustrating skin conditions to experience. It is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that is caused by a flaw in the immune system that triggers the skin cells to grow at a much faster rate than normal. The average person gets new skin cells within a week or more. However, someone with psoriasis may get new skin cells in a matter of days. The new skin cells don’t have anywhere to go, so they pile up in layers on your skin surface and form raised, scaly patches. Over time, these patches become thicker and more scaly as new skin cells join in.
The hallmark symptom of psoriasis is these scaly skin patches that can be itchy, sore and difficult to get rid of. Psoriasis is a systemic condition that can’t be cured, but there are ways to manage your flare-ups. The trigger for a psoriasis flare-up can vary from person to person, and it is always important to determine which factors make your skin condition worse. In the meantime, there are several things you can do to keep your psoriasis under control:
- Reduce Stress
Uncontrolled stress is one of the leading reasons for a psoriasis flare-up. While you may not be able to avoid a traumatic event altogether, you can practice concrete ways to manage your stress levels during these unexpected times, such as exercise, mediation or other healthy methods to calm your body and mind.
- Take Prompt Action on Skin Injuries
When the skin gets injured or breaks, there is a natural response in your body to renew that area of skin. For psoriasis sufferers, it can trigger an overdrive response, or excessive overgrowth of new skin cells and thus a psoriasis outbreak. Do your best to treat skin injuries as soon as possible to calm the area and reduce an unwanted response.
- Don’t Itch
Persistent scratching of your skin can only make your psoriasis worse. This includes areas of your skin that contain bug bites or have come in contact with an allergen (certain soaps, detergents, etc.) To avoid the continuous cycle of itchy rashes, try to stay away from external factors that cause you to scratch. This includes keeping your skin moisturized, since we know dry skin is more itchy than hydrated skin.
- Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol are frequent psoriasis triggers. You may even sabotage your psoriasis treatment by binge drinking on the weekends or frequently being around others who smoke.
To learn more about managing your psoriasis skin condition or to get professional treatment for your disruptive skin rash, please call Olansky Dermatology in Atlanta today. Our physicians bring decades of experience in treating and managing psoriasis and other systemic skin conditions.