Scaly, itchy, painful skin are classic signs of psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory disease that affects about 3% of the American population. It comes in five main types:
- Plaque psoriasis: raised red skin lesions
- Inverse psoriasis: smooth, red patches in the groin, armpits, and under breasts
- Guttate psoriasis: thick, water-drop lesions on trunk and limbs
- Psoriatic psoriasis: scaly skin and swollen, achy joints
- Nail psoriasis: nail pitting and separation
Whichever type you have, there are treatments to calm your symptoms. At Easton Dermatology Associates in Easton and Salisbury, Maryland, our team of experienced dermatologists offer cutting-edge, evidence-based solutions that help you prevent the frequency and intensity of your psoriasis flare-ups and come alongside you with support and expert care.
Psoriasis affects more than just your skin
You know psoriasis causes major skin problems anywhere on your body, even inside your mouth. And if you have psoriatic arthritis or nail psoriasis, you know it can attack your joints and nails as well. But psoriasis doesn’t stop there.
Because psoriasis is a systemic disease, it attacks every aspect of your life, including an increased risk for:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
Psoriasis also carries a negative stigma that impacts social interactions, professional opportunities, wardrobe choices, and self-esteem and confidence.
Though there’s no cure for psoriasis, Easton Dermatology Associates is dedicated to helping you not only muddle through, but to thrive despite your condition. Here are some tips to make things easier.
If you’re overweight, you may be able to reduce your psoriasis symptoms by shedding extra pounds. If you’re taking psoriasis medication, it will be more effective if you maintain a healthy weight.
Lower your stress
Stress is one of the known psoriasis triggers, so reducing the amount of stress you experience may decrease your symptoms. Consider breathing exercises, prayer, meditation, yoga, and avoiding the sources of stress in your life.
Studies show that regular exercise can help you prevent psoriasis if you don’t yet have it, and reduce your symptoms if you already have it. Aim for getting your heart rate up for three to four hours a week.
Kick the habit
Alcohol makes your psoriasis symptoms worse by disrupting the function and metabolism of lipids, which affects your vascular system and your skin, making you more susceptible to psoriasis and psoriasis flare-ups. You can avoid this by limiting your alcohol consumption.
There’s also a link between smoking and psoriasis because of the oxidative stress it causes in the body, so quitting tobacco can improve your condition.
Eat a healthy diet
Because psoriasis is an inflammatory disease, you can counter that mechanism with anti-inflammatory foods. The Mediterranean diet is an excellent place to start, but any diet that incorporates these key ingredients can help:
- Olive oil
- Fatty fish
- Dark green leafy vegetables
In addition to eating more of these foods, do your best to avoid or limit your intake of foods that contribute to inflammation, such as:
- Fried foods
- Refined carbohydrates
- Sweetened carbonated beverages
- Margarine, shortening, lard
- Red meat
- Processed foods
A bonus to your healthy food choices — it helps you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, which also supports your psoriasis treatment.
Medical help for your psoriasis
You don’t have to fight psoriasis alone — in fact, we don’t recommend it. It’s important to talk about your condition with your family, friends, and coworkers so they can support you.
And when you need more help getting your symptoms under control, we’re here for you with topical treatments, systemic medications, and light therapy to calm and reduce flare-ups.
If you have psoriasis and need a caring team of experts who care for not only your skin but for you as a whole person, schedule an appointment at Easton Dermatology Associates, and take advantage of comprehensive psoriasis support.