8 Self-Sabotaging Habits That Are Making Your Psoriasis Worse
Last updated: April 2023
Psoriasis is among the most common skin conditions, affecting about 2% of the U.S. population, and while the condition doesn't affect everyone the same way, the approach to treatment and prevention is often similar,
Factors that can make psoriasis worse
When you have psoriasis, it's important to follow the advice of your doctor. Still, you can do a lot on your own to help control and prevent flare-ups. Check out these factors which could be making your psoriasis worse. Learn how to manage and correct them.
Scratching and picking psoriasis plaques
When I was 90-percent covered I could sit for minutes at a time and pick and pull at my plaques. It was like a strange addiction. Sometimes I would try to see how much skin I could pull off without tearing it (I know strange).
I also scratched, a lot, especially at night while I was sleeping. This is damaging, can make your psoriasis worse, and cause your skin to get an infection.
If you have a problem with scratching be sure to moisturize with something containing menthol, take a Benadryl (save for the nighttime), keep nails cut low, or wear gloves to bed so if you scratch you won't break the skin.
Hot shower and hot baths
Baths and showers can increase dryness and irritation. Hot water dries out your skin and can cause you to flare. It's best to shower or bathe using lukewarm water.
Also, make sure to apply moisturizer three to five minutes after drying off to ensure the best absorption.
Not being consistent with treatment
Follow the doctor's orders and use treatments directed as stated. If a topical treatment requires you to use it 2-3 times a day, for best results this is what you MUST do.
If you are prescribed a treatment to which you can't commit inform your doctor, so the two of you can discuss other options.
Deciding not to treat
There are many reasons why people decide not to treat their disease, but doing so is detrimental to one's health.
Having psoriasis is not as simple as having a disorder that affects the skin, this disease puts you at risk for at least 8 other diseases which can possibly be prevented if you treat your psoriasis early.
Not managing stress
Stress is usually reported as the number one cause of a flare for those living with psoriasis.
If this is a factor for you it's imperative to figure out what your life stressors are, and learn how to manage those issues.
Not knowing your triggers
Knowing the triggers which cause your psoriasis is half the battle in this fight.
The main triggers include stress, environmental, allergic reactions, alcohol, cold weather, medications, infections, and smoking. For many, it's impossible to tell, but others are more fortunate.
Living with depression and not doing anything about it
Depression is the number one residual effect of having psoriasis. Your quality of life depends on you attending to this issue if you have a problem with it.
Depression can also affect how you live and ultimately how adamant you are about finding a treatment. There are support groups that can help you cope and therapy is always an option as well.
You feel joint pain but you haven't been to the doctor for it
30% of those living with psoriasis will develop arthritis. If you feel joint pain you need to see a rheumatologist as soon as possible.
Joint pain in the large joints, fingers, and toes are usually signs of psoriatic disease. If you don't treat you could obtain irreversible damage in your joints which can be prevented with the proper treatment if determined early on.
Although there is no existing cure for psoriasis, treatment can help. Understanding your triggers can help you avoid flare-ups and manage your symptoms. Talk to your doctor about treatment options that are best for you.
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