Those who have been diagnosed with psoriasis know that it is a lifelong, chronic autoimmune disease. If you are one out of the 7.5 million Americans currently suffering from the condition, you will know that there is no cure for psoriasis. That said, there are a number of ways for psoriasis patients to improve their quality of life.
Here is a list of 10 steps that psoriasis patients should take when living with their condition.
Figure out what is causing your psoriasis outbreaks.
Psoriasis patients can go periods without experiencing any flare ups, so figuring out the root cause of your outbreaks will allow you to avoid putting yourself in that situation in the future. Common triggers amongst psoriasis patients include the following:
- Injury to the skin
- Cold weather
- Bacteria or viral infections
Be aware of what medication works for you and what doesn’t.
Like anything, you need to figure out what medication works for you. There are certain kinds of medication that increase the rate of psoriasis outbreaks in individuals, as well as some medication that can’t be taken at the same time as other medication. Before you decide on a number of psoriasis treatment options, consult with your doctor beforehand, especially if you are leaning towards taking Quindex, beta blockers, or lithium. If your doctor thinks that the medication that you want to take will worsen your symptoms, he or she can prescribe an alternative.
Look for healthy ways to elevate your stress.
As mentioned, stress can act as a trigger for psoriasis patients. If you are under stress and you are noticing that your flare-ups are increasing, try to find a way to calm yourself down. It is crucial for psoriasis patients to find a way to relieve stress and it can be as easy as taking a deep breath, practicing yoga or pilates, or regularly working out.
Like stress, look for ways to cope with depression.
If you are reading this list, chances are you know first hand how emotionally draining it can be when dealing with a chronic skin condition. According to studies conducted on psoriasis patients, individuals who have just been diagnosed are at a higher risk for developing depression. Just remember that there is nothing wrong seeking therapy if you are feeling blue about your diagnosis.
There are hundreds of psoriasis support groups out there……join one.
People tend to opt for psoriasis medications when living with the disease, but joining a support group can be just as valuable, at least for your emotional and mental state. Many find that a weight is lifted off their shoulders when talking to others who share similar experiences and know first hand what you are going through.
If you are looking for psoriasis support groups in your area, look at the National Psoriasis Foundation.
Find a doctor who specializes in psoriasis that you trust.
When seeking psoriasis treatment options, make sure you find a doctor who specializes in the condition. To get a feel for your doctor’s experience working with the condition, it is recommended that you ask them how many psoriasis positive patients he or she has treated.
Check out the National Psoriasis Foundation if you are looking for psoriasis specialists in your area.
Have open and honest conversations with your healthcare team.
It is important to keep in regular contact with your doctor as there are new treatments getting developed as each year passes. Regardless of whether it is psoriasis, anyone living with a chronic condition should stay aware of their treatment options.
If you have psoriasis, always moisturize as this will help to keep your skin hydrated and speed up the healing of plaques. After bathing (doctors recommend psoriasis patients take a bath once every two or three days), apply moisturizer immediately.
Keep in mind that cold weather can increase dryness, thus making the winter months extremely hard for people living with psoriasis.
Educate yourself on other diseases.
With one disease comes the risk of other diseases – at least in the case of psoriasis. Based on studies conducted on psoriasis patients, people with the disease are more likely to develop conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, and high blood pressure.
Teach yourself (and your family) about your condition.
To say the least, if you have psoriasis, you need to learn everything there is to know about the disease. Stay informed on new medication and options for therapy as your specific condition might benefit from newly developed psoriasis treatment options. All in all, staying with the times and educating yourself and your family about your psoriasis will help treatment and reduce flare-ups.
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