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Drugs and skin care products aren't the only way to treat psoriasis. Lifestyle changes are proven to make your skin look and feel better.

Try these tips to calm flare-ups, remove scales, promote healing, and soothe itchy, inflamed skin.

Moisturize

It's one of the best yet simplest things you can do. Keep your skin moist to reduce dryness, itching, redness, soreness, and scaling. Moisture can also help it heal.

Which type of moisturizer you use depends on how dry your skin is. Ointments are thick, heavy, and good at locking in moisture. Lotions are thinner and smooth on easier. Creams fall somewhere in between. And you don't have to slather on high-priced products. Both petroleum jelly and shortening are cheap and work well.

Gently pat on moisturizer after your bath or shower. Apply again throughout the day and when you change clothes. If it's cold or dry outside, you may need to use it more often.

You can also add humidity to the air with a vaporizer, especially when you turn on the heat in your home. It will help your skin retain moisture better.

Soothe With Daily Baths

A daily warm bath using a mild soap can help soothe itchy spots and remove dry skin.

For even more relief, add oil, finely ground oatmeal, Epsom salt, or Dead Sea salt to the water and soak for 15 minutes. Steer clear of hot water and harsh soaps. They're hard on skin that's already dry and stressed.

Gently pat dry instead of rubbing your skin with a towel. Rubbing can make sores worse and even cause new ones. Follow immediately with a moisturizer.

If you're itchy and dry but don't have time for a bath, try this quick fix: Put a wet towel or cold compress on the trouble spot. Then always follow with a moisturizer.

Heal With Sunlight

A little ultraviolet (UV) light can go a long way to soothe, improve, and even heal psoriasis lesions. Even indoor light can make a difference.

Get modest amounts of sunlight two to three times a week. Be sure to use sunscreen on your healthy skin. Too much sun (or sunburn) raises your risk of skin cancer and may make your outbreaks worse.

Talk to your doctor before adding UV therapy to your routine. And schedule regular skin checkups to be sure you’re not overdoing it.

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