3 Tips For Managing Psoriasis

Psoriasis is more than a dermatological condition. Since it is an autoimmune disease, it can be unpredictable and hard to control. A combination of lifestyle modifications and medical treatments can be used to help control the condition and reduce its impact on your life.

Consider Lifestyle Factors

Much like other autoimmune conditions, lifestyle factors do not cause the disease, but they can contribute to and exacerbate flare-ups. Stress can easily cause a flare-up of psoriasis and make it harder to control. Do your best to minimize daily stressors by eliminating unnecessarily stressful people and situations from your life. For unavoidable stress, try to find ways to relax without using unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as eating poorly, smoking, or alcohol. Setting aside some special time for yourself at the end of the day can help you to wind down. Use this time to take a warm bath, binge-watch your favorite show, or indulge in hobbies.

Use Medications With Care

Some medications are associated with flare-ups of psoriasis or may cause the first episode in people predisposed to develop psoriasis. Whenever you seek medical care, make sure your prescriber is aware of your history with psoriasis. For example, anti-malarial medications, which are frequently used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, can exacerbate psoriasis. Another culprit is some mood stabilizers, such as lithium, which is used for bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder. If you need treatment for other medical or mental health conditions, ask your prescriber to avoid using these medications. Fortunately, there are usually other medications within the same class that can be equally effective.

Try Long-Term Treatments

Some biologics have been approved for the treatment of plaque psoriasis. One of the major benefits of using biologics is decreasing the number of flare-ups and lessening the severity. For people who feel like their psoriasis is a hindrance in public situations, biologics can make flare-ups less noticeable to others and lead to clearer skin and more self-confidence. Some people with psoriasis may eventually develop psoriatic arthritis, which can also be controlled using biologics. Biologics are powerful medications, which can make some people hesitant to use them. Since psoriasis is an autoimmune disease, you must consider the long-term ramifications of a poorly controlled immune system and the development of additional autoimmune diseases against any risks associated with using biologics.

Psoriasis is a common autoimmune condition that is becoming easier to manage with the emergence of more treatment options. Using a combination of self-care and medications can lead you on the path to clearer skin. For more information on psoriasis, contact a doctor like Henry D. McKinney M.D.