Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that affects the skin with red, flaky, itchy patches. The condition originates in the immune system, is chronic, and has symptoms that may come and go. While there is no cure, there are several ways to manage it. The following options can help control the disorder.
5 Treatments for Managing Psoriasis
1. Reduce Stress
Chronic and autoimmune disorders are particularly linked to stress, so find ways to minimize and deal with daily stress-related triggers. Yoga, meditation, relaxing exercise, or other methods can reduce stress and help you process feelings. Plus, decreasing stress will benefit every area of health.
2. Manage Dry Skin
Symptoms may worsen during dry times of the year. Moisturize skin often to alleviate symptoms; use fragrance-free products formulated for sensitive skin or that are made specifically for psoriasis. Topical treatments like corticosteroids, salicylic acid, coal tar, or anthralin can help with itching and skin growth. If you live in a dry climate, consider a humidifier to help keep indoor air moist.
3. Avoid Tobacco & Alcohol
Both cigarette smoking and the consumption of alcohol can trigger a flare-up or increase the likelihood of developing the condition if you don’t already have it. Studies show a link between alcohol consumption and symptoms. As with cutting down on stress, avoiding smoking and alcohol will also benefit other areas of health.
4. Take Medication & Supplements
For those with severe cases of psoriasis, prescription medication from a dermatologist is the foremost systemic defense. A doctor may prescribe retinoids, methotrexate, cyclosporine, or other drugs for a short time until symptoms come under control. Many over-the-counter supplements can also help, such as turmeric, milk thistle, Oregon grape, vitamin D, fish oil, or aloe vera.
5. Try Light Therapy
Ultraviolet (UV) light therapy may help some psoriasis patients. UV rays, under a doctor’s supervision, can slow the growth of skin cells. However, strong, direct sunlight or tanning beds may worsen symptoms. Consult a dermatologist before starting any light therapies.
Aylesworth Dermatology in Rhinelander, WI, has offered Northern Wisconsin full-service dermatology treatments for psoriasis, eczema, acne, skin cancer, and a variety of other conditions since 1982. They provide cosmetic procedures and MOHS surgery for treatment of basal cell carcinoma. Call (715) 369-4500 to schedule an appointment, or visit the website for a full list of services.