Community Views: A Look At Different Skincare Routines
I don't know how many times we have to say it: psoriasis is so much more than itchy skin. Sure, there's an unbearable never-ending itch but there are also overwhelming treatment options, debilitating fatigue, multiple doctor appointments, and fear of progression and comorbidities.
Need we say more? Well, we haven't even mentioned finding a skincare routine that addresses painful symptoms while avoiding triggers. All in the day of a life with psoriasis, right?
What do those with psoriasis have to say?
That's right - one big part of living with psoriasis involves finding a healthy skincare routine that doesn't take hours on end. It's not easy either - managing the dry, flaky skin patches takes some trial and error. Staying consistent is also half the battle.
We were curious about your skincare routines. To learn more, we recently posted 2 prompts to the PlaquePsoriasis.com Facebook page. There, we asked community members: “Moisturizing is such a huge part of managing psoriasis. What are your tips for keeping a routine?” and “What do you do for skin maintenance? Share your routine!”
A number of community members weigh in with some excellent tips!
The first and most important method of treating plaques is topical treatments. Lotions, emollients, and creams help manage symptoms. These can be over-the-counter (OTC) or prescriptions.
For OTC products, the National Psoriasis Foundation created a Seal of Recognition. This seal designates a product that is safe for plaques and sensitive skin. Some of you have found relief with topicals.1
- “I used the TLG by Neutrogena; it is not available anymore.”
- “Eucerin lotion (light).”
- “CeraVe psoriasis lotion.”
- “Prescription ointments.”
Many community members experience plaques on their scalp. These plaques give the impression of severe dandruff. The flakes fall off and cover hair and clothing. OTC shampoos recommended for scalp psoriasis contain salicylic acid or tar (coal or wood). Salicylic acid softens plaques.
Tar reduces inflammation and slows skin cell growth. Prescription shampoos may also help reduce plaques. You shared what products you find helpful.2
- “I received a sample of Perfect Shine clarifying scalp scrub. After you shampoo, you use the scrub. It’s slightly gritty and also moisturizes my scalp. Then you rinse it out and use your conditioner. I feel like it helped keep my scalp from itching so bad.”
- “Ketoconazole shampoo scalp treatment."
- “DermaSolve scalp oil.”
For some, plaques persist after trying these first treatments. Doctors will often recommend trying a biologic. Biologics are injections or IV infusions focusing on certain parts of the immune system. Biologics used for psoriasis target the process of inflammation. Using a biologic consistently is essential for effectiveness.3,4
Biologics weaken the immune system, putting you at greater risk for infections. Biologics can be expensive compared with other prescription treatments. But when you find one that helps, it can make a world of difference!3,4
- “Taltz is amazing. 100 percent clear with no side effects.”
Baths and showers
With easily irritated skin, bathing becomes a delicate task. Preventing your skin from drying out further is crucial. What does those who live with psoriasis have to say?
- “Sea salt baths.”
- “Warm shower and apply coconut oil while still damp.”
- “Never hot water in the shower.”
Additional tips for bathing and showering include:5
- Use warm, not hot water
- Bathe only once a day
- Keep showers to 5 minutes and baths to 15 minutes
- Use your hands, not a washcloth
- Gently blot dry with a towel
- Apply your moisturizer when finished
Several of you find home remedies helpful. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not study or regulate these treatments. Yet, they can make a difference in managing symptoms. Many of shared several home remedies you regularly use.6
- “I use coconut oil with lavender oil in it. I also notice that a little time spent in the sunshine works really well for me.”
- “I use coconut oil 2x per day. Works wonderfully!”
- “Diluted apple cider vinegar on the breakouts. Banana peels on the elbows. Green smoothies with turmeric, black pepper, ginger, and garlic.”
Has psoriasis affected your ability to sleep well?