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Psoriasis is a skin condition that affects your skin and your psychological and emotional health. Many people who have psoriasis can tell you that stress makes their situation worse. The good news is that studies show that stress management techniques can help improve the way you feel and reduce flare-ups of your psoriasis. Psoriasis is a skin condition where your skin cells mature and move to the surface of your skin too quickly. Psoriasis appears as thick, red patches on the skin that can flake or itch. Stress is not a direct cause of psoriasis, but it can worsen your symptoms, and flare-ups may occur during stressful events such as exams, moving home, or starting a new job.
People who have psoriasis often tell stories about how stress affects their condition. Some people find that they get more spots when they are very stressed out, while others feel that certain stressful situations such as exam weeks will trigger an outbreak even if they do not usually suffer from stress-related breakouts.
How does stress trigger psoriasis?
When you are stressed, the levels of certain hormones in your body rise. One of these is cortisol, a hormone released by your adrenal glands during times of physical stress or emotional upset. This increase in cortisol will affect how your immune system works, and one way that it can trigger psoriasis flare-ups.
The stress response is a natural thing that helps you deal with dangerous or difficult situations. When your body senses danger, it will produce cortisol as part of the stress response, increasing your body’s strength and energy to cope with the situation.
When you have been under a lot of pressure for an extended period, the effect on your immune system can be very harmful and have lasting effects such as psoriasis flare-ups. This is why many people who suffer from psoriasis notice that their symptoms worsen during exam periods or when they are going through a particularly stressful patch in life. Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition so having high cortisol levels makes the skin cells multiply faster, causing the skin to become red and inflamed.
Does stress cause psoriasis?
Fortunately, this answer is no – but what we have seen above may make you wonder if psoriasis and stress are related. When you have been under a lot of pressure for an extended period, the effect on your immune system can be very harmful and have lasting effects such as psoriasis flare-ups. This is why many people who suffer from psoriasis notice that their symptoms worsen during exam periods or when they are going through a particularly stressful patch in life. Therefore we can say that psoriasis and stress are related, but not because stress causes your skin to flare up – it just makes an existing condition much worse than usual.
How can stress affect psoriasis?
If you have psoriasis, then it is likely that you will already know what triggers your condition. Some people notice that they get psoriasis flare-ups during certain seasons or whenever they are feeling emotionally upset. While there is no direct cause for your psoriasis to flare up, it is possible to link stress and psoriasis.
Here are some ways stress might affect you:
- Small flare-ups – During stressful times in your life, you may find that you have a few spots appear on your skin. This can be frustrating as the small number of spots makes it challenging to cover them with makeup, reflecting how confident you feel about yourself.
- Severe outbreaks – In more severe cases, stress can trigger a much worse outbreak than usual. When this happens, it will make you think about the connection between stress and psoriasis. This can be very frustrating as it will disrupt your daily life as you struggle to deal with this more extreme flare-up.
- Emotional impact – Stress can harm your mental health, which may leave you feeling less confident about yourself and more emotional than usual. If you know that periods of high stress affect how active your skin is, then this will only add to the negative emotions that you are already experiencing.
Understanding what triggers a psoriasis outbreak can help you avoid those things in life so that your skin condition has fewer harmful effects on how confident you feel about yourself. While there is no way to directly prevent psoriasis outbreaks caused by stress, having a positive outlook on life can help you cope with situations better. If psoriasis affects your mental health, you are already equipped to deal with this issue more effectively.
Can psoriasis also cause stress?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. While it would be excellent for your skin condition not to affect your mental health, psoriasis does tend to cause more harm than good. The main issue with psoriasis outbreaks is that they can make you feel self-conscious about the way you look, which will lead to negative feelings towards yourself and lower levels of confidence. If you have psoriasis, then researching what triggers your skin flare-ups may help you manage this better so that stress by itself doesn’t negatively affect how confident you feel.
What should I do if I find out my psoriasis has been triggered by stress?
If you find out that your psoriasis has been triggered by stress, you may feel very frustrated. Remind yourself that psoriasis is not your fault and that there are ways to treat stress so it doesn’t negatively impact your skin condition. It might make sense to talk to others about how stressed you feel because this can cause even more harm to your mental health. If you aren’t comfortable talking about the problem with friends or family, finding someone who can listen in confidence can help lower stress levels and improve your mood. When things get too much, don’t be afraid to ask for some support. There are loads of organizations out there that provide free services which will allow you to take time away from what’s stressing you out.
How to deal with stress effectively?
- Yoga – Yoga is an excellent form of exercise to reduce stress as it helps you relax both mentally and physically. If your psoriasis doesn’t improve with taking longer walks or playing a sport, then yoga should be the next step in your treatment plan.
- Keeping a journal – Writing down how you feel at the end of each day can help you pinpoint what makes your skin condition worse than usual. Some people write about anything that may have triggered their psoriasis flare-up, while others are more specific about what caused the problem worse. It’s up to you how you wish to keep track, but keeping a journal should make it easier for you to identify stressful times during the day rather than having one big flare-up out of nowhere.
- Know your limits –You should think about how much stress you can realistically handle before it starts hurting your skin condition. There is no point in pushing yourself to complete tasks that are causing you undue stress unless you know that you will cope with the pressure without starting a psoriasis flare-up.
- Take some time away – Sometimes life gets too much, and if this happens, taking some time out for yourself is essential. This might mean cancelling social engagements so that you have more time to relax by doing something that makes you feel happy or calm without thinking about anything else for a while.
- Meditation- Meditation can help you focus on how you feel and prepare yourself for upcoming problems without putting too much pressure on your mental state. Like yoga, meditation is a great way to reduce stress because it helps you have more self-control over how life’s little challenges are handled.
- Massage- Getting a massage is one of the most effective ways to reduce stress levels because it stimulates pressure points that release endorphins into the bloodstream. Endorphins are chemicals naturally produced by the brain, making both your mind and body feel much more relaxed.
- Stress balls-Keeping a stress ball in your pocket is a simple way to find something to squeeze whenever you feel overwhelmed with problems or if the situation gets too intense. A good tip for squeezing a stress ball is to close your eyes while doing so because this will help you concentrate on how it feels when all that tension starts being released from your hands.
- Deep breathing exercises- Taking time out from whatever stresses you out can be helpful, but practicing deep breathing exercises can provide some immediate relief. All you need to do is sit up straight and place one hand on your chest while the other stays by your side or rests on your lap. Like yoga, deep breathing exercises will help calm both your mind and body down, which should help reduce the chances of starting a psoriasis flare-up whenever things get too much.
- Get help – If none of the above tips work for you, then it’s time to seek help from your GP or a professional therapist. They should offer you some more advice on how you can manage stress effectively and reduce the number of psoriasis flare-ups that you suffer from.
The best way to deal with stress is by taking action right away to avoid this becoming a more significant problem in your life. Stress has a strong effect on your mental health, which in turn affects your physical condition, so you must take control in whichever way possible so that psoriasis doesn’t have such a significant impact on how confident you feel about yourself. Also, some lifestyle changes can help you to deal with your psoriasis flare-ups. The lifestyle changes include:
- Developing a healthy diet- Eating regular meals, drinking lots of water, and avoiding too much caffeine will help keep a check on your stress levels, which will positively impact how you feel physically.
- Maintaining good sleep patterns- Making sure that you get enough sleep every day will help your body recover from any stress or psoriasis flare-ups more easily.
- Applying sunscreen regularly- Spending too much time outdoors without putting on sunscreen can cause an exacerbation of psoriasis, so it’s essential always to protect yourself from the sun.
- Moisturizing your skin- Making sure that you moisturize your skin after showering or washing is an easy way to keep your skin moisturized, which will help with any dryness. Moisturizing also helps reduce itching and scaling, which can be caused by some medications used for psoriasis.
- Using mild cleansers- Using certain types of soap and cleansers can cause flare-ups of psoriasis, so it’s essential to check the ingredients of whatever you’re using. Look for mild, unscented products that don’t include any alcohol or fragrance, which can make your psoriasis worse.
There are ways for you to control how life events affect your mind so that they don’t lead to too much pressure on how you feel physically. Also, some lifestyle changes are easy for you to implement.
What are the natural treatments to deal with stress and psoriasis?
- The natural treatments cover a wide range of approaches that you can use to help fight stress and hopefully reduce the number of flare-ups that you experience on a day-to-day basis. Homeopathic treatment is the natural mode of treatment by which you can deal with both mental and physical stress caused by psoriasis.
- Like other natural therapies, homeopathy is a perfect way to reduce the intensity of the flare-ups by balancing your mental and physical condition with your immune system.
- Homeopathic treatment for psoriasis helps fight against psoriasis by focusing on the root cause rather than suppressing it. There are various remedies available for psoriasis which can be used alone or combined with others that cover all aspects of stress management, from dealing with depression to overcoming anxiety issues. Homeopathic treatment can help you feel better about yourself without having to depend on drugs, where the potential side effects might end up giving you even more problems over time.
In addition, some lifestyle changes are suggested by homeopathy doctors to deal with stress and psoriasis. Homeopathic treatment has a holistic approach where dealing with the root cause of the problem is more important than suppressing it. You can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy and visit a registered homeopathy doctor to deal with your stress and psoriasis in the most effective way!