If you suffer from psoriasis, you know the skin condition can cause serious discomfort—and you’re not alone. The inflammatory disease, which is commonly characterized by scaly, raised patches on the skin, affects up to 7.5 million Americans. The most common of the five forms of the disorder, plaque psoriasis tends to develop on the scalp, knees, elbows, hands, and feet.
But psoriasis does more than just itch. Forty percent of the (primarily adult) population with psoriasis also suffers from inflammation of the joints, or psoriatic arthritis. Other related conditions include inflammatory bowl diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Patients with psoriasis may also be embarrassed by the appearance of their skin, and research shows that the psychological impact of the disease can be significant depending on its severity. As a result, up to 50% of individuals with psoriasis also experience depression.
Still, treatment and support can help to manage the condition’s physical and psychological effects. Milder cases may improve with the use of topical treatments, whereas more severe cases may require oral or phototherapeutic (think UV) options. If you feel unsure about the symptoms you’re experiencing, seek out appropriate care from a dermatologist to see which method may be best for you.
Watch the video to find out about six simple ways to calm the irritating skin condition, so you can find healthy relief—fast.
Don’t have time to watch? Read the full transcript:
Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity increases your risk for psoriasis and losing weight may help improve the condition.
Avoid harsh skin products: Scrubs and deodorant soaps can be too irritating for people with psoriasis.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize: Ointments are most effective, followed by creams.
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Pick the right shampoo: Coal-tar formulas can combat scalp lesions.
Get (just a little) sun: UV light can be therapeutic, but don’t go longer than 10-15 minutes, since sunburn can trigger a psoriasis outbreak.
Manage your stress: Many patients swear stress reduction techniques help improve symptoms.