Caring For Your Skin When You Have Psoriasis
People who have psoriasis suffer from itchy patches of skin that are sometimes accompanied by scales and redness. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to combat this issue. Work with someone who specializes in dermatology, and use these helpful hints to help your skin look and feel better.
Avoid Harsh Or Perfumed Soaps
Some perfumed or harsh soaps can irritate sensitive skin, and they can sometimes lead to more itchiness and redness. Use mild soaps for bathing, and talk to your dermatologist about using medicated soaps to help combat your psoriasis. Use a soft washcloth to apply soap and cleanse your skin. Loofahs and other bath accessories meant to exfoliate the skin can sometimes lead to irritation.
Keeping your skin hydrated is one way to help prevent it from becoming dry or itchy. Using lotions and daily moisturizers can help to keep your skin hydrated. There are many different moisturizers on the market that are made for people with psoriasis and sensitive skin, so be sure to consult with your dermatologist to determine which one is right for you. In some cases, he or she may prescribe ointments to keep your skin hydrated. As with your soap, avoid lotions with harsh chemicals or additives.
Use Warm Water
Hot water can further irritate your skin, and it can sometimes even be painful if you have a lot of dry itchy patches. Instead, soak in a warm bath to soothe your skin and bathe. If you prefer showers, adjust your shower head so the water pressure is a bit more gentle, and keep the water set to a warm temperature. If you prefer hot water so you don't become cold, consider turning up the thermostat in your bathroom first. This will help to keep you comfortable with a lower water temperature.
Phototherapy has been used as a treatment for psoriasis, and your dermatologist can tell you if you are a candidate for this treatment. The treatment uses exposure to ultraviolet rays to slow the growth of skin cells in the areas where you are experiencing psoriasis. Your doctor may perform these treatments in the office, or you may be able to perform them at home using approved phototherapy equipment. Some dermatologists may also recommend spending short amounts of time in the sun every day to help treat your psoriasis, but remember that you will still need to wear sunscreen to help protect your skin. Tanning beds are not recommended, as they do not use the same types of ultraviolet lights that phototherapy equipment uses.
If psoriasis is affecting your self image, or if it has become painful and difficult to deal with, talk to your dermatologist about the different ways you can treat this skin condition.