As anyone who suffers from psoriasis knows, flare ups can happen at any time. Effectively managing psoriasis means working closely with your doctor and taking your medications as directed. While most information on psoriasis details the proper things to do for psoriasis treatment, there are also things you do not want to do. Outlined below are 5 skin care don’ts to help keep your psoriasis under control.
1. Don’t Leave Your Skin Susceptible to InjuryKoebner phenomenon is a reaction to skin trauma that results in the formation of a psoriasis plaque at the site of the injury. Any injury that extends below the surface of the skin can trigger Koebner phenomenon. Insect bites, skin scrapes, poison ivy, and burns are common things that can lead to a reaction. These skin plaque reactions occur in as many as 50 percent of people with psoriasis, and they can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to develop.Be sure to protect exposed skin, especially in the summer. Avoid scratching bug bites. If you notice any break in the skin, get first aid right away.
2. Don’t Scrub Your SkinDaily baths or showers are recommended for people with psoriasis, in order to keep the skin clean and infection-free. The way you clean your skin is important.Avoid hot water when you bathe or shower, as this can damage and dry out fragile skin. Instead, use lukewarm water and keep your bath or shower short. Always use a gentle, fragrance-free soap. After your bath or shower, gently pat dry your skin with a towel and apply a shielding lotion to help keep the skin moisturized and protected from irritants.
3. Don’t Ignore Dry SkinDry skin frequently leads to itchy skin, which can exacerbate psoriasis. That’s why it is important to use a good shielding lotion after bathing. Shielding lotion bonds with the outer layer of skin to lock in moisture and help keep the skin nourished.
4. Don’t Get SunburnedNormally, sunlight is good for psoriasis. Sun exposure slows down your immune system and helps your skin produce more vitamin D, which may also help psoriasis. But too much sunlight can lead to sunburn, and that can make psoriasis much worse. Ask your doctor how much sun is safe for you and when you should apply SPF. Shielding lotion with SPF is water resistant and does an awesome job protecting the skin from sunburn.
5. Don’t Scratch Skin PlaquesAs tempting as it may be, scratching psoriasis plaques can lead to an increase in lesion production and Koebner phenomenon. Lowering the temperature at home or in the office and wearing light, breathable fabrics often helps when itching starts. Avoid wool or other rough fabrics that only exacerbate the itching. If the itch becomes unbearable, applying an ice pack sometimes helps.
In ConclusionDon’t let psoriasis get the best of you. There is a lot you can do with your doctor’s help to keep psoriasis in check. Learn as much as possible about psoriasis to keep your skin as comfortable as possible.