When skin cells begin to multiply faster than normal and at times even up to ten times faster, a skin condition known as psoriasis can occur. When these cells raise up to the surface of the skin and begin to die, it causes raised, red skin abrasions that are often covered with white or silver scales. It most generally shows up on the scalp, the knees, and the elbows. However, it can also occur on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet and both the upper and lower torso. There is no known cure for psoriasis, but it can be treated after it is diagnosed by a medical professional.
Sometimes there is not enough moisture in the air, and this can also create dry skin. Purchasing a humidifier to use at home or at work can really help with keeping the skin moisturized. While this will not cure the actual condition of psoriasis, it will help with the number one symptom, which is the dry, scaly skin. The moisture that is distributed into the air via the humidifier can greatly help with the dry skin, moisturizing even the most severe cases of psoriasis. Humidifiers can be purchased at many discount stores, and they are a very wise investment when you are suffering from psoriasis.
Moisturizing lotions can most definitely help with the number one symptom of psoriasis, which is the itchy, dry skin that becomes so problematic for those suffering from the condition. Lotions can be directly applied to itchy, inflamed areas, even though it may cause some discomfort and perhaps even a burning sensation. Be sure to always purchase a lotion for sensitive skin, and look for other ingredients that might irritate the skin. Medicated lotions may also be prescribed by a physician, but a good moisturizer will be sure to combat less severe cases of dry skin.
Taking dietary supplements may help with easing some of the less severe symptoms of psoriasis, as it may introduce more of the vitamins and other healthy components that you need to have better skin. Vitamin D, milk thistle, fish oil, aloe vera, Oregon grape and evening primrose oil have all been known to assist with the many symptoms of psoriasis. However, as with any dietary or herbal supplements, you always want to consult with a physician. Sometimes supplements may interact with other medications that you are taking in a negative manner, so always use caution.
I bet that you didn’t know that changing your diet can actually help ease some of the symptoms of psoriasis! Patients with psoriasis who eat a lot of red meats and fatty foods often experience heightened symptoms, versus individuals who attempt to abstain from rich foods that are high in fat. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids can help with the inflammation that psoriasis can cause, so try to include cold water fish, nuts and seeds in your daily diet. Olive oil can also be really great for the skin, and when massaged into the scalp, it can assist with breaking up and removing large patches of dry skin.
Taking a really hot bath can actually be even more irritating to the skin, and it can also even cause the skin to be even drier, actually agitating and even triggering additional symptoms of psoriasis. However, taking a lukewarm bath, especially when utilizing Epsom salt, milk, olive oil or mineral oil, can actually help break up some of the large patches of dry skin and help to soother irritated skin. If you want to do even more to help rid yourself of severely dry skin, be sure to apply a good moisturizer for sensitive skin immediately after gently towel drying. Remember to pat yourself dry, without rubbing.
Once you have been diagnosed by a doctor with psoriasis, some form of topical treatment is typically prescribed. These can include lotions, creams, ointments and gels, and they work to drastically reduce swelling, itching and dry skin. These topical treatments work at the problems that are created above the surface of the skin, and they can even slow down the growth of skin cells that are attributing to the plaques (hardened, dry patches of skin with scales) that are created by psoriasis. There are some over-the-counter lotions for dry skin, but they are not as strong as those prescribed by a physician, and they may not alleviate as many symptoms.
Biologics are medications that can work to block certain portions of the body’s immune system, and they are typically given by injection, although some medicines may be taken by mouth. All of these medications must be prescribed and often administered by a healthcare professional. Humira is one such drug that can greatly reduce the symptoms of psoriasis. However, these types of treatments are typically only suggested for those suffering from moderate to severe psoriasis, and there are some side effects involved, such serious infections, liver and heart problems, reactions from the immune system and blood-related difficulties.
Light therapy, also known to many as phototherapy, is another treatment that can be used to help alleviate some of the varied symptoms of psoriasis. During the process, a medical professional shines ultraviolet light on the skin, and these treatments must be scheduled on a regular basis. Keep in mind that overexposure to sunlight or UV rays can often make psoriasis worse, so don’t try to compensate with using a tanning bed if you can’t get into the doctor’s office for the treatment. Light therapy is completely different, and must be administered in a doctor’s office.
As with most all medical conditions, stress and anxiety can actually worsen the effects of psoriasis, so reducing these emotions and feelings at all costs is greatly advised to lessen the symptoms. Stress may also lead to other nervous habits, like scratching, which can be a catastrophe when the person is already suffering from psoriasis. However, there are many ways to cut down on stress, including joining a yoga studio or beginning a daily meditation practice. If the stress is still not manageable, be sure to tell your doctor, so that other medical and psychological treatments can be discussed in further detail.
Many soaps and lotions on the market today make use of synthetic fragrances to provide a nice smelling product. However, when you are suffering from psoriasis, keep in mind that many fragrances can inflame and irritate the skin, making it itchy and sometimes even painful. The irritants can also make the skin even drier, making cases of psoriasis even worse. Try to find moisturizers and soaps that do not include additional fragrances, or look for labels that say “for sensitive skin.” Being more cautious about the products that you use can be a good step to relieving some of the symptoms of psoriasis.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.