Do you experience itchy patches of skin? You might have psoriasis, a noncontagious condition that causes a buildup of skin cells on select areas of the body. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone—millions of Americans deal with psoriasis. The good news: with a few lifestyle changes, you can be well on your way to preventing flare-ups and easing discomfort.
First of All, Limit Alcohol
Binge drinking and periods of heavy alcohol consumption can cause psoriasis flare-ups. If you frequently consume alcohol, you might experience the tell-tale inflamed patches of skin more often than usual. Limiting your alcohol intake can have multiple health benefits in addition to keeping your psoriasis at bay, so be mindful about your consumption.
Decompress, Don’t Stress
Psoriasis can flare up during periods of high anxiety. Try to manage your stress levels through deep-breathing, exercising, or meditation. If you need further help handling intense emotions, consult your primary care physician. They can provide resources to help you manage stress and take control of your mental well-being.
Health Is Wealth
Staying healthy can play a huge part in keeping psoriasis breakouts in check. Infections rev up your immune system, causing it to harm healthy skin cells on a larger scale. Going hand-in-hand with infection, the antibiotics you take for them may have an impact as well. In addition, lithium and antimalarial prescriptions are examples of medications that can also cause flare-ups.
Be Shrewd About Your Food
Psoriasis flare-ups can result from eating certain inflammatory foods such as red meat, dairy, processed items, and refined sugar. Limiting your intake of these foods and increasing your consumption of anti-inflammatory items, like fatty fish and seeds, can help keep your flare-ups at bay. Opt for whole foods in a variety of bright, natural colors.
If you have psoriasis, there are multiple treatment options available to you. The most common are topical medications with active ingredients like corticosteroids, retinoids, and anthralin, as well as moisturizers with salicylic acid. If topical treatments are not effective for you, your doctor might recommend alternatives, such as systemic medications or light therapy.
Psoriasis can be an uncomfortable part of everyday life, but it doesn’t have to be. These tips, combined with advice from your Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group primary care physician, can aid in decreasing the frequency of your psoriasis flare-ups and put you on a fast track to clearer skin.
Healthline | Everything You Need to Know About Psoriasis
Healthline | Psoriasis Prevention