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Calm Skin by Easing Stress

Studies show that stress can inflame psoriasis and increase itching. Some people even trace their first outbreak of psoriasis to a very stressful event. On the other hand, if you lower stress, you may help reduce your psoriasis symptoms and feel a sense of control.

There are many ways to attack stress. Build a support system of family and friends. Think about what's most important to you and take time for it. Practice stress-relief techniques like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. Mind-body techniques like guided imagery and biofeedback can also help you relax.

Other stress busters:

  • Eat healthy.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Get plenty of exercise.

These will also help you fight off infections that may trigger flares.

Keep It Soft on Your Skin

Avoid harsh products like lotions with alcohol, deodorant soaps, and even some laundry soaps. These can inflame your super-sensitive skin. Skip clothes in scratchy, rough fabrics. Choose softer, cotton-based clothing instead.

Quit Smoking and Drinking

Smoking can trigger psoriasis flares. Quitting may help ease them. Talk to your doctor if you're thinking of using a nicotine patch to help you quit. For some people, they make psoriasis worse.

Heavy drinking can trigger psoriasis symptoms and make your treatment not work as well. Drinking can also cause dangerous side effects when combined with some psoriasis drugs.

Stop Scratching and Picking

There's no doubt about it: Itchy skin begs to be scratched. But scratching can tear open your skin, making way for infection-causing germs.

Scratching may also make lesions appear where there weren't any before. Picking your skin creates the same hot bed for infection. When the urge appears, close your eyes and do some deep breathing and rub on moisturizer instead.

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