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Psoriasis is a skin condition that can cause a skin rash of raised inflamed skin covered with silvery scales. Your immune system normally protects you from infection by producing antibodies when bacteria or viruses invade your body. However, in people with psoriasis, the immune system goes into overdrive, having too many antibodies, which causes inflammation and irritation to the skin’s surface, leading to redness and scaling. As psoriasis is a kind of disorder associated with many changes in the immune system, it is very difficult to find out what triggers psoriasis. The first thing people with psoriasis have to think about before getting into treatment is, “What may be the possible triggers for my psoriasis?”. Tracking psoriasis flares can help you feel more in control of your condition. It can also help you communicate better with the doctor and might reduce your psoriasis symptoms faster.
- Make your journal to track psoriasis:
- When you are tracking your psoriasis, it is very much important to set the time interval for recording information. You can start by noting down the date and severity of all your symptoms, then daily or weekly, whichever works best for you! Also, try to keep track of its duration.
- Start keeping track of the physical symptoms that accompany psoriasis flares:
- Note how long each flare lasts, what triggers them (heat, sweating, sunlight, etc.), and any medication required to treat them. If you have been diagnosed with psoriasis for a while now, you might already know about the things that make your skin worse or better, but if this is a new diagnosis for you, then it will be helpful for you to write down the possible triggers.
- Include emotional symptoms as well:
- In addition to the physical symptoms, you should also track your emotional health, as psoriasis can be very frustrating and stressful at times, especially when your skin flares up without any warning. Keep a check on your moods to see if they often worsen before a flare-up. Stressful periods will make the condition worse, too, so try to stay calm during this period. Making a note of all this information will help you manage your particular pattern of psoriasis better and treat it faster now. Let’s understand how making a journal for the psoriasis domain helps in treating it faster!!
- Make notes on anything that might make your condition better or worse:
- The more you understand why your situation occurs at certain times, places, or circumstances, the better equipped you are to avoid them or take steps to control outbreaks! You could try changing your medication or treatment plan if specific triggers make your psoriasis worse.
- Pay attention to any changes in your environment or lifestyle:
- Tracking changes in your environment, such as sudden weight loss/gain, fever, other illnesses, etc., can also aid in understanding psoriasis patterns. If there’s anything about your physical health that has changed recently, it could be a sign of an underlying problem, so try to track them as well.
- Make a note of your patterns of flares along with the medicines required for treatment:
- If you find out that certain factors trigger psoriasis flare-ups, then it will be very helpful to avoid those triggers and if you have found out what exactly triggers your psoriasis, then try avoiding it. If your doctor has prescribed any treatment regimen for your condition, write down how you respond to each one and discuss changes or tweaks in the plan accordingly!
- Following these tips will not only help understand psoriasis but also treat it faster! It is also very important that you understand the type of your psoriasis. Psoriasis is unique in each person with the condition, but there are specific categories. Psoriasis can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. The severity of psoriasis is mainly based on the surface area covered by puss-filled lesions (red patches) and whether they have developed any thickened skin, known as plaques.
The most common type of psoriasis are:
- Plaque Psoriasis: This is the most common type of psoriasis. Red patches covered with silvery scales appear on your skin and can be itchy, painful, and even crack and bleed.
- Guttate Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis mainly affects children or young adults who get a sudden high fever or an infection such as strep throat. The symptoms usually develop 2-4 weeks after these infections. Small red bumps cover large areas of your body and can spread very quickly.
- Pustular Psoriasis: This type of psoriasis occurs when the puss fills many small bumps instead of one big area, causing swelling and tenderness in your joints(arthritis) and around your nails(paronychia).
- Erythrodermic Psoriasis: It is the most severe type of psoriasis that causes your whole body to become red, scaly, and extremely itchy. You may also feel boiling and lose a lot of fluid which leads to dehydration.
- Palmoplantar Psoriasis: Affecting mainly your palms and soles of feet, this type of psoriasis causes smooth, thickened skin with deep fissures(cracks) on your palms or soles. The thickened skin can sometimes be painful, too, due to pressure from walking or other activities.
So remember, if you are newly diagnosed with psoriasis, then try to keep track of all the possible triggers that affect your condition, like sudden weight gain or loss, fever, etc., and find a pattern for your psoriasis. You should note how you respond to different treatments like topical ointments, light therapy, etc.!!
What are the triggers for psoriasis?
Here are some of the triggers which you should be aware of:
- Skin injuries:
People living with Psoriasis are more likely to get an injury on their skin that can result from being more accident-prone or because psoriasis makes your skin very fragile and therefore susceptible to infections, cuts, burns, etc., if not properly taken care of. So in case, you have recently experienced any burn, cut, or bruise, keep track of it because it might be one of the triggers for psoriasis.
Stress is also believed to trigger psoriasis flare-ups. For instance, when you go through an emotionally traumatic experience like divorce or death in the family, stress hormones release in response, which weakens the immune system. This is why more psoriasis cases develop or intensify after any physical or emotional trauma or stress!!
- Injury to the joints:
People with psoriasis are more prone to injuries, especially to their joints like hands, feet, knees, etc., because they have fragile skin which does not heal as quickly as others. So make sure that you wear shoes while walking and gloves while gardening or doing household work! This will also help prevent any injury to your joints.
- Weather changes:
Extreme weather conditions like cold winter months followed by hot summer months often trigger psoriasis flares-ups probably. This is due to climate triggering genes associated with starting psoriasis in many people. So try avoiding extreme weather conditions or using protective measures like wearing a hat, coat, gloves, etc., while going out.
Alcohol is believed to be a trigger for psoriasis and has been linked with worsening of the condition in some people. It all depends on your genes that determine whether drinking alcohol will cause flare-ups! So if you have a family history of psoriasis, then make sure you drink in moderation!!!
Smoking seems to get worse psoriasis symptoms!! Nicotine in cigarettes damages the skin barrier, which further worsens the disease by triggering many inflammatory changes, including itching and redness(inflammation)!! So it is advised that if you have a habit of smoking, quit it as soon as possible to prevent any potential worsening of your psoriasis!!
Being physically fit has been linked with a lower risk for developing psoriasis. Also, people who have very active lifestyles usually have sound immune systems, which is probably why they are less likely to develop skin disease or infections in general. So take up a sport, dance, jogging, etc., to keep yourself healthy and fit!!!
In some extreme cases, heat can worsen the symptoms of psoriasis; for instance, if you have been working out in a hot gym, that might trigger psoriasis aggressively! So be aware of this fact when exercising under hot conditions!! In case it doesn’t go away, then immediately consult your doctor for treatment!!
- Your diet:
Researchers have also linked different diets with psoriasis flare-ups. For example, people who are obese are more likely to develop psoriasis. It is believed that this is due to increased levels of certain hormones, which affect the immune system and trigger psoriasis!! Another example is lack of Vitamin D deficiency can cause psoriasis because vitamin D helps regulate the immune system and keeps it in balance, avoiding any flare-ups! So, try including more vegetables, fruits, and other nutritional foods in your daily diet!!!
- Oral contraceptives:
Oral contraceptives containing estrogen have been known to worsen skin diseases like acne, but scientists do not understand why exactly! But if you suspect that you may be having oral contraceptives containing estrogen, suggest your doctor for a different one without estrogen to prevent worsening psoriasis.
The points mentioned above are the most common triggers of psoriasis. If you have any such or similar type of trigger, then consult your skin doctor immediately after getting diagnosed with psoriasis!!!
Protect your skin from psoriasis flare-ups:
- Protect your skin:
Protect yourself from direct sunlight and avoid going out in the sun during peak hours (11 am to 3 pm). Keep your skin dry as damp skin will cause skin irritation and itching!
- Avoid irritants:
Avoid irritating products like soaps, detergents, washing powders, etc., as they might worsen psoriasis symptoms by causing inflammation and itching!!!
- Avoid smoking:
If you have a smoking habit, then quit it as soon as possible because smoking has been linked with worsening psoriasis symptoms! Take up some active sport which will help to improve overall immune system functioning!!
- Use moisturizers:
Use a good quality moisturizer with emollients like Vaseline or urea-based creams! These helps keep the dryness away!! And also, look for products that are non-soap and free of fragrance! Your doctor can recommend you something better suited for psoriasis on your face!!
- Do not scratch your skin:
Scratching can lead to infections!! If you think that grating will provide temporary relief, then it’s time you change the habit of scratching because it will only worsen your skin over time!!
- Wear protective clothing:
Do not wear clothes that are too tight or itchy. It’s better to go for breathable fabric like cotton!!
Many aspects of psoriasis are outside your control. Tracking your psoriasis triggers and outbreaks can help you understand your psoriasis pattern and lead to changes that reduce your symptoms. If you are looking for natural treatment, homeopathic treatment for psoriasis is also one of the best ways to treat psoriasis.
Homeopathic treatment for psoriasis:
- There is numerous homeopathic treatment for psoriasis which are highly effective in treating mild to moderate forms of psoriasis without any side effects. There are some powerful homeopathic medicines for more severe cases of psoriasis that can help you get rid of this skin disorder even without using any topical steroids. Homeopathic treatment for psoriasis eliminates the root cause of psoriasis and can significantly reduce the number of flare-ups and related symptoms.
- Many homeopathic medicines have been clinically tested and scientifically proven to be highly effective in treating various aspects of this skin disorder like itching, inflammation, dry skin, etc. Homeopathy is a safe treatment option for this skin disorder (psoriasis) as it has no side effects compared to other treatments available for psoriasis !!
So, if you have been looking for the best natural treatment, alternative medicine is also one of the most popular ways to treat psoriasis without any side effects! And it has no reported cases of recurrence after the completion of the course, so it’s safe and reliable!! If you want to know more about homeopathy, then you can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy. I hope now you understand how understanding your skin pattern helps you treat yourself faster with minimal medications, stay healthy and lead a happy life!!!