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Your Life--Living With Psoriasis

Reviewed by: HU Medical Review Board | Last reviewed: July 2016.

People with psoriasis have an immune system that is overactive and produces an excessive amount of inflammation. Psoriasis plaques develop when this inflammation triggers the production of new skin cells more quickly than old skin cells can be shed. The new skin cells push the older cells up to the surface layer of the skin, where they build up in the form of plaques.

Psoriasis is a chronic, lifelong condition that can be difficult to live with at times. The symptoms of psoriasis can be physically painful. The social and emotional impact of having a condition that is very frequently visible to others can often feel overwhelming. However, there is a range of different strategies, tips, and lifestyle choices people with psoriasis can use to help live life to the fullest. These include strategies for:

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How can psoriasis cause feelings of embarrassment and social isolation?

Many people with psoriasis feel self-conscious or embarrassed from time to time, particularly during flare-ups, if their symptoms are visible and they need to spend time in public. Some people may avoid going out at all and become socially isolated. However, there are ways that you can cope with the social impact of life with psoriasis and be more at ease in social situations. For more information on the emotional impact of psoriasis, see: Coping with Embarrassment and Social Isolation

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How can clothing choices and makeup help to manage psoriasis?

If you are having a psoriasis flare-up and feeling self-conscious about your symptoms, there are ways to use clothing choices and makeup to enhance your personal style and make you feel more confident. For more information on this topic, see: Clothing and Makeup Choices

How can weather affect psoriasis?

Weather changes can have a big effect on psoriasis symptoms. Dry, cold winter weather is a psoriasis trigger for many people. It is also common for psoriasis symptoms to improve somewhat in the summertime. For more information, see: How Can Weather Affect Psoriasis?

How can psoriasis affect relationships and intimacy?

Having psoriasis can affect your relationships with other people in many ways. It can be difficult for family members to see a loved one dealing with a chronic condition like psoriasis, for example. It can also affect your confidence in forming new relationships, especially intimate ones. For more on this topic, see Navigating Relationships and Intimacy With Psoriasis.

How can I talk to my barber or hairdresser about my hair and scalp needs?

Around half of people with psoriasis will have symptoms on their scalp. This can make it stressful or embarrassing to go to the barber or hairdresser. For more information about psoriasis and these issues, see Dealing with the Barber and Hairstylist

What is the link between smoking and psoriasis?

By now, everyone knows that smoking is bad for you in countless ways. However, people may not know that smoking can increase your risk of developing psoriasis. People with psoriasis who smoke are also more likely to have severe symptoms that affect larger areas of their bodies. Read this article for more information about the link between smoking and psoriasis.

What is the link between drinking alcohol and psoriasis?

Research shows that people with psoriasis may be more likely to drink alcohol heavily, often as a way of coping with the stress of the condition. However, drinking alcohol heavily can make a person’s psoriasis symptoms worse, and can make psoriasis treatments less effective. Read this article for more information about alcohol and psoriasis.

Can I get a tattoo if I have psoriasis?

People with psoriasis, or who have a family history of psoriasis, will need to carefully consider the potential risks of getting a tattoo. Read this article for more information about tattoos and psoriasis.