How I Deal With Triggers and Flare Ups From Psoriasis

I have been dealing with psoriasis for 60 years and I've been on medication for my entire life. This year, I am having the worst psoriasis flare in over 20 years. The dermatologist says I am over 80% covered. My rheumatologist put me on more medication too. I couldn't get out of bed. We can't figure out what is causing this.

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This has affected my mental health a lot. It has become a journey of self-discovery for me when I find changes in my body. Over time, I have learned what triggers I have and what is affecting it, but also what the causes are behind it. Did I get your attention?

Managing my flares

I have discovered so much over these past few years. Being mindful of them has helped me in dealing with flare-ups in a manageable way. For me, when I am dealing with a flare, stress pops up. It seems to be my best friend. But also, I get more inflammation, and certain areas of my skin start to itch and flare uncomfortably.

I try to do things that are stress-reduction activities and finding things that help me engage in positive thoughts. It’s also good to maintain your health and avoid any illness or infections. Sometimes this can be caused by changes in the weather. Taking care of my hygiene, balancing my health, and giving my body enough rest helps me to avoid flare-ups.

In the winter months, I take care of my skin more. Dry and cold weather makes my skin become more flaky which causes more inflammation in the body. It’s a good idea to use more moisturizers and keep my body hydrated at these times. I also try to avoid any kind of injury or trauma like bug bites or cuts so my psoriasis doesn’t get irritated. I talked to my doctor about certain medications, because some can cause you to flare. I used to drink and smoke 27 years ago. So I quit smoking and drinking. I try to avoid any kind of allergens that could cause your condition more harm. Certain foods and hormonal changes can cause flare-ups for me.

Finding my triggers

Years ago, I started writing down what the cause of my flares were. You can take notes on your phone. They have apps now which help you in monitoring your condition these days. Downloading them is a good idea.

We don’t always know what is causing us to have a flare, but I've narrowed mine down. My husband and I both recently retired and we get Medicare. As luck would have it, we both developed another chronic illness months apart. But on top of that, our medication is costing us $20,000 a year. I started thinking about everything and I felt like my world was closing in on me.

Within a few months, I was covered from head to toe. It only dawned on me way after what made me flare so badly.  So, I must say, learn about your psoriasis pattern. How your condition can affect a flare-up and what things work in your favor to avoid some flareups at all.

I believe we have to learn our psoriasis pattern and be patient with ourselves. We might need professional help to cope with things, but that is okay. We just need to learn how to live a peaceful life while dealing with anything that psoriasis throws at us.

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