Moisturize At Least Twice A Day
Using emollients especially creams with exfoliating acids such as lactic, glycolic, or salicylic acid is key to reducing itching and scaling. It should be done in addition to whatever therapy is prescribed by your doctor, Dr. Pelle says. Apply moisturizer twice a day for the best results. You can also use it to soothe itchiness and help you resist the urge to scratch.
What Psoriasis Creams And Topical Agents Can I Use
Medications applied directly to the skin are the first line of treatment options for psoriasis.
The main topical treatments are:
- anthralin, or
For more detailed information on each medication, see Understanding Psoriasis Medications. Generic drug names are listed below with examples of brands in parentheses.
- Corticosteroids: Topical corticosteroids are the mainstay of treatment in mild or limited psoriasis and come in a variety of forms. Foams and solutions are best for scalp psoriasis and other thickly hair-bearing areas, such as a hairy chest or hairy back. Creams are usually preferred by patients, but ointments are more potent than any other vehicles, even at the same percentage concentration.
- Super potent topical corticosteroids such as clobetasol propionate and betamethasone dipropionate augmented are commonly prescribed corticosteroids for use on non-facial, non-intertriginous areas .
- As the condition improves, one may be able to use potent steroids such as:
- mometasone furoate or
- halcinonide or
- mid-potency steroids such as triamcinolone acetonide or betamethasone valerate . These creams or ointments are usually applied once or twice a day, but the dose depends on the severity of psoriasis as well as the location and thickness of the plaque.
How To Prevent Psoriasis From Returning
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to managing psoriasis. If you are lucky enough to experience remission, you can take steps to keep your skin healthy and clear. Try the following strategies:
Expose skin to sunlight: Some sun exposure can help keep mild psoriasis at bay. Researchers recommend multiple but short sunlight exposures for people with psoriasis who can tolerate sunlight.
Manage stress: Since stress is a psoriasis trigger, it is good to relax and manage stress to keep inflammation from developing.
Avoid scrubbing: Scrubbing skin can irritate it and trigger a psoriasis flare. Wash your skin gently, pat dry, and moisturize.
Keep your body healthy: Staying healthy can reduce systemic inflammation. Ways to keep your body healthy include eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet, not smoking, being active, and restricting alcohol intake.
Read Also: Homeopathic Remedies For Scalp Psoriasis
Appearance Of Psoriasis On The Legs
Plaque psoriasis develops as flushed, inflamed skin and silvery plaques on light skin tones. On dark skin tones, psoriasis plaques may appear more purple or grey-colored. Patches of inflammation can be darker brown than the surrounding skin.
Healing psoriasis can cause areas of discoloration, which take 312 months to fade. Scratching plaques or picking them off can cause scarring.
Physicians may use a skin biopsy to help diagnose the condition if the appearance is not typical of the disease.
Leg psoriasis can have a variety of triggers, which may also cause a repeat of the symptoms, also known as a flare. Causes and triggers may involve:
- Family history: Many people with psoriasis have a near relative who has developed the disease.
- Stress: Managing stress levels can help people with psoriasis.
- Injury: An injury to the skin can trigger a psoriasis flare. This can include bug bites or even damage from scratching.
- Illness: This can include streptococcal throat infection, bronchitis, earache or other infections.
- Alcohol use: More than two alcoholic drinks a day could reduce the effect of treatment for psoriasis.
- Weather: Some people feel that very hot or very cold weather can trigger psoriasis.
Consider Laser Treatment If You Have Any Scarring
If you have scars or pigment changes from psoriasis flares that dont improve with time and treatment, ask your dermatologist if youre a candidate for laser treatment. In some cases, we will use fractional or vascular lasers to treat scarring, says Kassouf. The laser sends signals to that area of skin to tell it to keep remodeling, which can encourage those scars to get closer to normal.
Additional research by .
Also Check: Signs And Symptoms Of Plaque Psoriasis
Use Steroid Creams As Directed
Long-term use or overuse of strong corticosteroids can thin the skin and potentially cause scarring. Use only mild corticosteroid ointments on sensitive areas, such as your face or skin folds, and for treating widespread patches, recommends Kassouf. Potent steroid creams should be utilized for only a short time and only on thick areas of skin.
Try A Moisturizer With A Keratolytic Ingredient
For particularly thick plaques, Dr. Newsom suggests applying a lotion that contains a keratolytic, or a softening and peeling agent, like salicylic acid, lactic acid, or urea. That will help dissolve some of the scales. For instance, check out CeraVe Psoriasis Moisturizing Cream, $19, or Gold Bond Ultimate Psoriasis Relief Cream, $8.
However, note these ingredients, particularly salicylic acid, can irritate the skin, exacerbate dryness, and in extreme cases be toxic. So be sure to use keratolytic moisturizers as directed and only on the thickest plaques rather than across large swaths of skin.
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How Is Psoriasis Treated
Psoriasis is usually treated by a dermatologist . A rheumatologist may also help with treatment. Treatments can include:
- ultraviolet light from the sun or from home or office treatments. But in some people, sunlight can make psoriasis worse.
- creams, lotions, ointments, and shampoos such as moisturizers, corticosteroids, vitamin D creams, and shampoos made with salicylic acid or coal tar
- medicines taken by mouth or injected medicines
A doctor might try one therapy for a while and then switch to another. Or a doctor may combine different therapies. It’s all about finding one that works for each person.
Sometimes what works for a while might stop working. This is one reason why it’s important to work closely with a doctor. Trying out new treatments can get a little frustrating, but most people eventually find one that works.
What Causes Psoriasis Outbreaks
Psoriasis outbreaks differ from person to person. No one knows exactly what causes flare-ups. Common psoriasis triggers may include:
- Skin injury .
- Streptococcal or other infection that affects the immune system.
- Certain prescription medications .
- Cold weather, when people have less exposure to sunlight and humidity and more to hot, dry indoor air.
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Psoriasis Diet: Foods To Eat And Avoid If You Have Psoriasis
A range of treatments are available for psoriasis, from skin ointments to drugs that alter your immune system. But can easing the symptoms of this common condition be as simple as changing the foods we eat?
For the more than 8 million people in the U.S. who live with psoriasis, diet may play a bigger role than we think in how our bodies handle inflammation. , a registered dietitian at Johns Hopkins Medicine, offers insight on which foods to eat and which to avoid if you have psoriasis.
What Is Scalp Psoriasis And What Causes It
Psoriasis can appear on any part of the skin, even the scalp. With scalp psoriasis, scalp plaques produce excess scales and can cause your scalp to itch.
Symptoms of scalp psoriasis appear as the following:
- A small bump, called a papule, with a scale on top.
- The plaque typically is covered by thick layers of horny scale. When the scale sheds, it can look like dandruff.
- Sometimes these plaques can itch.
- Scratching these plaques can worsen the condition and lead to what’s called the Koebner phenomenon, or isomorphic response, which can cause psoriasis to develop in areas where there’s inflammation and trauma.
The causes of scalp psoriasis, like all psoriasis, is related to genetic defects that affect the immune system. It is not known if stress causes or makes psoriasis worse.
In some severe cases, scalp psoriasis can cause alopecia, or a loss of hair, which is rare and may be controlled with treatment. Scalp psoriasis can be treated with topical medications, which can sometimes be difficult to apply when the scalp is covered with enough hair that can create a barrier.
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How Can You Measure Inflammation In The Body
While certain foods are known to cause inflammation, not everyone reacts the same way to these foods. Ive had some patients who felt that wheat was making their psoriasis worse. Another patient noticed more flare-ups when she ate nuts, says Wesdock.
Some tests can measure inflammation with biomarkers, which are substances in your blood that spike when your body reacts a certain way to foods such as fats or sugar. For example, a simple test can check for increased levels of C-reactive protein in your blood. The liver makes extra CRP if theres inflammation in your body. Doctors might use this test to determine how likely you are to develop a chronic condition like heart disease.
As you adjust your diet to ease psoriasis symptoms, be sure to work with your psoriasis doctor to monitor symptoms and inflammation levels.
What Causes Psoriasis On Knees And Elbows
Plaque psoriasis is an immune-mediated skin condition that can cause plaques to form on the skin on any part of the body. Plaques are areas where the skin is inflamed, red, thick covered in layers of silvery, flaky, scaly patches.
Psoriasis can happen anywhere on the body where there is skin. However, it most commonly occurs on the knees and elbows. It is estimated that about one-half of people with psoriasis experience symptoms on their elbows and about one-third experience symptoms on their knees.
The knees and elbows are extremely susceptible to psoriasis because they commonly are subject to friction. Constant exposure to friction, either from clothing rubbing on the skin, movement while sleeping, or engaging in a favorite activity can cause trauma to the skin, similar to a cut, scratch, sting or bite. That trauma is a major trigger of psoriasis flare-ups. Given knees and elbows are constantly in motion throughout the day with regular movement and normal activities, plaques can often form cracks or fissures. Fissures are deep cracks that can be extremely painful and even start to bleed.
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How Do Foods Cause Inflammation
Studies are ongoing about how certain foods trigger an inflammatory response. Research suggests that some foods, especially highly processed ones, put your bodys defense mechanisms into overdrive.
For example, fatty foods can increase inflammation in adipose tissue , which is throughout your body. Ongoing fat tissue inflammation greatly increases your risk of psoriasis. It also increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health conditions.
Psoralen Plus Ultraviolet A
For this treatment, you’ll first be given a tablet containing compounds called psoralens, or psoralen may be applied directly to the skin. This makes your skin more sensitive to light.
Your skin is then exposed to a wavelength of light called ultraviolet A . This light penetrates your skin more deeply than UVB light.
This treatment may be used if you have severe psoriasis that has not responded to other treatment.
Side effects include nausea, headaches, burning and itchiness. You may need to wear special glasses for 24 hours after taking the tablet to prevent the development of cataracts.
Long-term use of this treatment is not encouraged, as it can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.
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What Else Should I Know
Making healthy choices can help with psoriasis. Here are some things you can do:
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking can trigger outbreaks of psoriasis in some people.
- Avoid alcohol. It can make psoriasis treatments less effective.
- Eat healthy foods. Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables can help fend off diseases that might trigger psoriasis.
- Stay at a healthy weight. This decreases the risk of inverse psoriasis.
- Keep skin clean and well moisturized. Bathing daily with bath salts or oils and then applying moisturizer can help ease the symptoms of psoriasis.
People who have psoriasis may feel self-conscious about how it looks. That’s one reason why some people turn to a therapist or join a support group of people who understand what they might be going through.
The key to psoriasis treatment is keeping up on whatever your doctor prescribes. If that means applying an ointment twice a day, then find a way to remind yourself to do it so you don’t forget. Psoriasis is one of those things that you need to stay focused on treating, even when you’re feeling OK.
Whether your psoriasis is mild or severe, learn all you can about it. Talk to your doctor or check websites like:
How To Help Psoriasis On Legs
My diet is AIP lean grass fed meats, salmon , lots of veggies and some fruits, no processed foods, I rarely eat bread, grains I consume are typically brown rice, beans. I drink only water, no soda. I do have coffee every morning so that hasnt changed. Healthy clean snacks. I dont eat pork either. Foods with probiotics like kimchi. Real cheese like extra sharp cheddar and Gouda and probiotic yogurt. My favorite yogurt is Noosa! I also work out a few times a week like I take walks and jog. I also stopped consuming white sugar. I switched to Zulka Morena pure cane sugar. Which I add to my coffee along with a little half and half.
I also work out a few times a week, I walk and jog.I just choose not to use lotions. It does get dry sometimes but it doesnt bother me, it just keeps fading away with time. I do believe lotions would help its just not my preference. I take a shower every day. I believe diet plays a huge factor too. I drank after I got off work sometimes. Now I rarely drink every so often. I use to drink cheap beer and vodka. Now I drink a craft beer or a glass of wine. Alcohol does cause inflammation.
Can A Diet Cure Psoriasis Naturally
- Avoiding environmental factors that trigger psoriasis, such as smoking, and stress may help prevent or minimize flare-ups of psoriasis. Sun exposure may help in many cases of psoriasis and aggravate it in others.
- Alcohol is considered a risk factor for psoriasis, even moderate amounts of beer. People should minimize alcohol use if they have psoriasis. This is especially important if they are taking medications such as methotrexate or acitretin.
- Specific dietary restrictions or supplements other than a well-balanced and adequate diet are not important in the management of plaque psoriasis.
- Recently, some data has supported that an “anti-inflammatory” diet that is high in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated and trans fats may help manage psoriasis, although the value in preventing its onset is less certain.
Intimacy Can Still Be Possible
If you are feeling anxious about sexual activity because of psoriasis, talk to your partner and educate them about psoriasis. Let them know that psoriasis isnt contagious and help to put them at ease. It is always a good idea to discuss psoriasis before you are intimate, so it is not a surprise.
To reduce friction and pain during sexual activity, use lubricants during sex. Choose products labeled cooling over warming lubricants. Warming lubricants often contain ingredients that inflame sensitive skin and might trigger psoriasis flares.
You can also make your own lubricant using olive oil, aloe vera, or coconut oil. However, oil-based lubricants should not be used with latex condoms, as they can degrade the latex and lead to condom failure.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following ways to reduce irritation with sexual intercourse.
- Postpone sex when the skin around the genitals is raw or inflamed.
- Before sex, gently cleanse intimate areas using mild, fragrance-free cleansers.
- During sex, use lubricated condoms to reduce irritation in intimate areas affected by psoriasis.
- After sex, gently wash and dry intimate areas to reduce irritation.
- Reapply topical medications after sexual intercourse.
Following your treatment plan and taking your medications as prescribed can help to improve psoriasis symptoms regardless of where they are located on the body.
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What Is The Relationship Between Psoriasis And Your Diet
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune skin disorder. The body mistakenly attacks its own tissue, explains Wesdock. It starts overproducing skin cells, which lays down plaques on your skin. Plaques are red, scaly patches that can be itchy or painful. Sometimes psoriasis is accompanied by psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory joint condition.
Neither of these conditions is caused by anything you eat, but theres an important link between your diet and psoriasis. Many foods are known to cause inflammation throughout the body. In some people, this widespread irritation can make the symptoms of psoriasis worse.
Home Remedies For Psoriasis: Do They Work
Every case of psoriasis is unique, so there isnt a single method for effectively treating the disease.
Along with discussing treatment options with your doctor or dermatologist, there are home remedies that you may find work well for you.
Here are eight home remedies that have shown some promising results in providing relief for psoriasis symptoms.
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Wrap Up During Cold Dry Weather
This type of weather can trigger psoriasis flares.
Scientists do not fully understand why flares are more common in wintry weather, but some research suggests that cold and dark conditions with low humidity cause the skin to thicken and become inflamed.
Wrapping up warm reduces the skins exposure to cold, dry air, and this may help prevent winter flare-ups.