3. Heal With Sunlight
The ultraviolet (UV) light in sunlight can slow the growth of skin cells, so small doses of sun can be a good way to soothe, improve, and even heal psoriasis lesions. Even indoor light can make a difference.
Try to get some sun two or three times a week, and 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.
4. Take It Easy
Studies show that stress can make psoriasis and itching worse. Some people even trace their first outbreak to a very stressful event. You might be able to calm symptoms simply by lowering your anxiety.
There are many ways to lower stress. Build a support system of family and friends. Think about what's most important to you and take time for it. Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing help. Even a long walk around the neighborhood might calm you.
Other ways to bust stress:
- Eat healthy.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Exercise regularly.
- Get plenty of sleep.
These will also help you fight off infections that may trigger flares.
5. Go Easy on Yourself
Avoid harsh products like lotions with alcohol, deodorant soaps, acids (glycolic and lactic acid), and even some laundry soaps. These can inflame your sensitive skin. Feel the texture of the fabric of the clothes you buy. Make sure they are soft and comfortable. Avoid wool and mohair. They can irritate already inflamed skin.
6. Try Not to Scratch and Pick
There's no doubt about it: When you itch, you want to scratch. But scratching can tear open your skin, making way for infection-causing germs. It may also make sores appear where there weren't any before. Keep your nails short.
And picking at your skin can lead to infection. When you have an urge, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and gently rub on moisturizer instead.
7. Stop Smoking and Limit Alcohol
Smoking can trigger flares. Talk to your doctor to help you decide the best way to quit. For some, nicotine patches make psoriasis worse.
Heavy drinking can also trigger symptoms. It can even be dangerous when combined with some psoriasis drugs. If you drink, keep it moderate -- that’s up to 1 drink a day for women or 2 for men.