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Tracking Your Psoriasis Outbreaks

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There are few proven triggers for psoriasis. But many people with psoriasis feel a connection between certain activities or exposures and their psoriasis outbreaks.

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.

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Create a Psoriasis Outbreak Self-Portrait

Using either a digital camera or smartphone - or for the more artistically inclined, a piece of paper - record changes in the psoriasis plaques on your body to see where and how much skin is affected by flares. Keep at it each week, and make notes about events such as doctor visits and new treatment to see patterns over time.

Learn to describe the patterns you see. Psoriasis is unique in each person with the condition, but there are certain categories:

  • Plaque psoriasis: Most people (80%) develop raised, inflamed red skin (plaques) covered by scales that can be white or silver.
  • Pustular psoriasis: Blisters filled with pus (pustules) usually occur on the hands and feet.
  • Guttate psoriasis: Small inflamed red papules can occur anywhere in this form of psoriasis. The affected skin is thinner and less scaly than plaque psoriasis.
  • Inverse psoriasis: Smooth, red skin appears in skin folds in the armpits, groin, or under the breasts.
  • Erythrodermic psoriasis: Intensely red areas cover large sections of skin.

 

Track Your Psoriasis Triggers

Any time there is a change in your psoriasis -- for better or worse -- look for associations. Did the weather change? Was your skin recently injured? Did you run out of a psoriasis medicine?

Although these psoriasis triggers aren’t all proven, individual people have found triggers they feel spark their own psoriasis outbreaks:

  • Emotional stress
  • Medications, including beta-blockers, anti-malaria drugs, and lithium
  • Winter climates
  • Shaving
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Fatty meats

Write down any associations you can think of. Over time, looking back through your records may reveal patterns that help identify your own triggers for psoriasis outbreaks.

Protect Your Skin From Psoriasis Outbreaks

Skin damage is a known trigger for psoriasis flares. Scratches, scrapes, cuts, and burns all can set you up for a psoriasis outbreak on the area of damaged skin.

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