If you have psoriasis, you know what it means to have good days and bad days. While you can't get rid of the condition, you can gain better control of the symptoms with the right combination of treatments.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is chronic condition that cannot be cured. An autoimmune disorder, psoriasis is characterized by the overproduction of skin cells -- instead of the traditional 21 to 28 days for cell shedding and reproduction, the entire process occurs in roughly two to six days. This is what causes the red and flaky patches (usually combined with the scaly shed cells) to appear on all parts of the body.
Though genetic and autoimmune in nature, many experts also believe there are known triggers for psoriasis and that there are ways of avoiding or reducing the strength of these triggers. These methods include the use of specific prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, limiting stress and preventing skin trauma (like a sunburn).
Reducing Psoriasis Naturally
Because we now know about some of the triggers, we have a few keys to resolving psoriasis outbreaks naturally and quickly and even preventing them in the future.
How you clean your skin is the first step. Don't scrub the skin in the bath or shower, as this will result in further irritation. The best way of washing skin prone to psoriasis is to use warm, not hot water and a gentle cleanser that won't strip the skin of essential oils. Pick one that is all natural and fragrance free whenever possible. An oatmeal soaking compound, bath oils and certain bath salts, like Epsom salt may also help provide relief. Once you're done, step out of the bath or shower and pat the skin dry. Alternating between showers and baths is also recommended.
If you can keep the skin moist, it can often reduce the redness and irritation and it will help with the itchiness that forces you to scratch the skin and worsen the issue. Daily moisturizing, as often as needed, can really help. One of the most commonly recommended methods is to apply a thicker ointment, such as a petroleum jelly product or even a very thick skin cream after bathing. Get one with all natural ingredients and no fragrances, which can irritate the skin. Simply patting the skin dry and then applying a thick coating of the moisturizer can offer a lot of support to skin health.
If you find that your skin isn't responding quickly to this regimen, you can use a topical treatment designed specifically for the driest skin conditions. These are widely available as OTC formulations and can be applied after patting the skin dry and before applying the moisturizer and they typically contain salicylic acid, which helps remove the dead skin cells.
Beyond Your Skin Care
In addition to a gentle, but consistent skin care regimen, there are some other changes you can make to your daily habits to help with your condition. Getting 15 to 20 minutes of unprotected sunlight is a great way to help the skin and get your vitamin D. Cigarette smoke also irritates psoriasis, so try to remove yourself from any exposure and quit smoking, if you do. Lastly, try some relaxation techniques to reduce the stress that is so often a major cause of an outbreak. Yoga, aromatherapy, reading, listening to music, painting -- whatever your outlet may be, run with it to see the benefit.
Remember these tips to get your psoriasis under control. Find natural psoriasis treatments at eVitamins and have a great weekend!