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A Bad Psoriasis Flare: The Morning After the Night Before

Last updated: November 2022

The morning after the night before. Many years ago, this saying would be reminiscent of a night of living it up in full force and nursing a whopper of a hangover. Those days are long ago history for me, and my life is better for it.

Psoriasis has always found a way to humble me and challenge me. This saying now holds new meaning to me and is the example I use the morning after a bad flare.

A victim of the psoriasis stress flare cycle

My psoriasis has, for the most part, been pretty manageable this year. I recently moved into a new apartment. Moving in general, I believe rates as one of the most stressful things in the world. With my emotional state and this being my daughter's first move, it was a grueling week to get us here. Mental note to self: use a moving company next time.

Because of all of this change and stress, my skin has gone wild. My arms, back, and face have definitely felt the psoriasis brunt of it all. Compliments of my psoriatic arthritis, my joints are creaking and aching, and really not happy at the moment too.

The psoriasis on my face has been in a full flare, which, true to its nature, left me feeling very self-conscious as people seem to react to my face in a hurtful way. Psoriasis on my face is not usually as painful as compared to other areas of my body. This time, however, has been different. This new facial flare found my eyes puffy, my face painful, and me very feeling very frustrated.

What happens when we ignore our psoriasis skin?

I had to get through this move. The boxes needed to be unpacked, and some sense of order needed to be restored to my world. The stress was not going to subside unless I really did something about it. I found it very hard to care for myself properly in the first few days after the move.

As silly as that sounds, I think many of us who are going through stressful times can relate; it is so important, and yet it just is last on the list as we forge our way through a difficult time. When we deprioritize ourselves and our skin, there is usually serious repercussion.

For me, my flare and itch became unbearable. I scratched my skin so severely that I awoke to arms that I could hardly move and blood all over my bedsheets. I went off to have a shower to see what damage I had done.

How I recovered from this most painful flare

I stood in the shower and cried, partially from the pain of the actual lesions on my body and partially from defeat and disappointment. What had I done? My skin was swollen, and I had many open and newly covered lesions on my skin. The shower water felt like molten lava running over my body. I washed very gently to avoid infection.

I took a day off from reality, a sick day, a mental health day; it does not matter what I went under as it was covered by everything. I was completely broken, physically and emotionally. The stress of the move and the physical pain had all caught up. 

I saw my daughter off to school and came home, had a second shower, and cried some more. Some days, chronic psoriasis is simply too much to handle.

Be kind to yourself, my friends.

Once I was done, I lay on my bed with a cool sheet over me and allowed my skin to just breathe and calm down, and me too. I dosed off, and once I woke up, I took my ointment and applied it very gently to all the sore areas.

My skin makes a new protective layer very soon after injury, which helps. After this, I made sure I moisturized my whole body. I put myself in clean pajamas, and I rested. I drank some anti-inflammatory medication, slept, and read my book.

Stress can have a massive impact on our psoriasis, try and remember, during stressful times, to make an effort to look after yourself.

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