Psoriasis is a chronic, or life-long, medical condition that effects the immune system of the sufferer. The condition causes large patches of skin to become red, crusty and flaky – these patches of skin are almost always covered in silvery looking scales.
Due to the nature of the auto-immune condition affecting a patient’s skin, Psoriasis can cause enormous psychological damage to people by affecting their self-esteem. If that wasn’t enough of a worry, the condition is also often quite painful and can sting and burn at affected locations. Furthermore, auto-immune conditions aren’t fantastically understood, and there are often further complications with the condition – this sometimes includes the swelling of a patient’s joints.
Men and woman are both equally likely to develop the condition with a nearly 50/50 split in cases between the genders. Most people tend to develop the condition before the age of 35 years old, however this isn’t always the case and the condition can present itself in older adults. Surprisingly, Psoriasis is much more common than you think – with roughly 2-3% of adults in the United States suffering from the condition.
How Can I Stop Psoriasis Spreading?
Many people suffering from Psoriasis find that the condition can be cyclical, noticing that at certain times of the year, or after certain events, the symptoms of their condition can quickly become better or worse.
This cyclical nature is something that’s common across numerous people suffering from a multitude of different auto-immune conditions. It remains poorly understood why many auto-immune conditions function in this cyclical nature, but for those determined enough, it can often present an opportunity to stop the spread of the condition and reduce one’s discomfort.
Dietary Recommendations to Stop the Spread of Psoriasis
Lose Unnecessary Weight
Firstly, if you suffer from an auto-immune condition like Psoriasis you’ll want to make it a priority to lose any unnecessary weight. Although it remains unclear how weight directly affects Psoriasis, losing additional weight is a good place to begin when it comes to improving your overall health.
By losing unnecessary weight you’ll be doing your body a world of good by helping to strengthen your immune-system, a system that is clearly not working perfectly if you’re suffering from Psoriasis.
Losing weight can also help the many prescribed treatments and available creams for Psoriasis to work more effectively. So, it’s well within your interest to lose weight if you’re suffering from Psoriasis.
Improve Your Diet
If you suffer from an auto-immune condition such as Psoriasis, it’s important that you eat cleanly whenever possible. You’ll want to increase your intake of lean proteins and foods that contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids – these can often be found in fish and nuts. Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to be beneficial in reducing inflammation in the body, and will therefore help treat your Psoriasis when it’s inflamed.
Furthermore, if you’re regularly eating large quantities of highly saturated fats and trans fats, you won’t be doing your body any good at all. Processed food is full of additives, chemicals and preservatives – thinking logically, could your body be allergic to something in your diet? That would perhaps explain the fact your body and immune system is attacking itself.
One way to monitor your diet is by keeping a food diary; by keeping a food diary you’ll easily be able to correlate a ‘flare-up’ of your condition with something you’ve recently eaten.
Avoid Known Trigger Foods
By keeping a food diary you’ll be able to easily identify food groups that are causing your Psoriasis to flare-up and spread. As Psoriasis causes inflammation, and allergies to food also cause inflammation, it makes sense to reduce the intake of foods you know cause your body to become inflamed. Some well-known trigger foods for people suffering from Psoriasis include:
- Red Meat
- Processed Meat
- Refined Sugars
- Processed Foods
- Dairy Products
Give Up Alcohol
Alcohol and auto-immune conditions do not play well together! By consuming alcohol (a known poison) you will likely be triggering your immune system to respond to the threat – that’s why alcohol generally increases the risk of a flare-up in people suffering from auto-immune conditions, such as Psoriasis.
With that being said, if you consider yourself to have an alcohol problem you mustn’t stop drinking straight away – consult a doctor and come up with a treatment plan to help you quit safely.
Lifestyle Changes to Help Stop the Spread of Psoriasis
Enjoy Regular Exercise
Taking part in regular exercise will help your body to regulate itself better by burning unnecessarily stored fats whilst helping to purge the body of toxic bi-products. Exercising regularly will also help you maintain a steady weight and diet which are both important factors in maintaining your overall health and well-being.
Furthermore, stress has been seen to increase the likelihood of flare-ups in people suffering from auto-immune conditions such as Psoriasis; exercise is a fantastic way of managing stress levels in the body.
Stress & Emotional Health
Stress and poor emotional health have been considered primary triggers for Psoriasis. That’s why learning how to manage and cope with the stress in your life might help you to reduce your symptoms and the risk of flare-ups. The following activities have been recommended by healthcare professionals to reduce stress:
- Painting, Drawing or Journaling
- Breathing Exercises
Living with a chronic, life-long condition like Psoriasis can begin to take a tole on the overall mental-health well-being of the sufferer. Make sure you have a strong support network around you to talk about set-backs and help you pick yourself back up. It might also be worth considering speaking to a mental health expert, or joining a support group of some kind to help you manage your negative emotions and reduce your stress levels.
Ensure You Take Your Medication
Establishing a routine for yourself will be one of the best ways you can help treat an auto-immune condition such as Psoriasis. You need to make sure you are taking your prescribed medications as and when you are told to do so, even if your condition seems better at that current moment. If you fail to take prescribed Psoriasis Creams or any other recommended actions in your treatment plan, you are increasing the risk that you will have a flare-up.
Moisturize Affected Areas of Skin Regularly
In between applications of topical psoriasis creams, you should make a conscientious effort to moisturize the effected areas of skin. Many of the prescribed ointments have side-effects, and regularly moisturizing the affected areas of skin with an unperfumed moisturizer can help to reduce these side-effects. Moisturizing also can help reduce the dry and unpleasant scaly look of Psoriasis. With that being said, discuss the use of moisturizers with your health care professional before applying.