7 Tips for Psoriasis Skin Care
If you're one of the millions of people with psoriasis, you already know your skin is dry, itchy, and sore. You can reduce psoriasis flare-ups, remove scale, promote healing, and soothe that itchy, irritated skin with a few simple psoriasis skin care tips.
Psoriasis Skin Care: Moisturize
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize -- this is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do for your skin when you have psoriasis. Keeping skin moist helps reduce dryness, itching, redness, soreness, and scaling. Moisture can also help your skin heal.
Which moisturizer you use depends on how dry your skin is. Ointments are thick, heavy, and good at locking moisture in, while lotions are thinner and smooth on easily. Creams fall somewhere in-between. Fortunately, you don't have to use high-priced moisturizers for your psoriasis skin care. Some people use petroleum jelly as an economical substitute.
Whichever moisturizer you use, pat it on gently after bathing, and reapply during the day as needed, especially if it's cold or dry out.
Psoriasis Skin Care: Daily Baths
Baths are another easy way to help care for your skin when you have psoriasis. A daily warm bath using a mild soap can help soothe itchy spots and make it easier to remove dry skin.
Add oil, colloidal oatmeal, Epsom salt, or Dead Sea salt to the water and soak for 15 minutes for even more relief. Steer clear of hot water or harsh soaps while you bathe. They may irritate and dry already-stressed skin. After your bath or shower, gently pat your skin dry instead of rubbing. Rubbing your skin not only irritates existing lesions, it can also cause new ones. After you pat your skin dry, smooth on your moisturizer of choice.
Find your psoriasis particularly itchy or irritating but don't have time for a bath or shower? Try placing a wet towel or cold compress on the itchy spot.
Psoriasis Skin Care: Sunlight
A little ultraviolet (UV) light can go a long way in helping to sooth, improve, even heal psoriasis lesions, though why is still a mystery.
You can use artificial light for UV therapy during the fall and winter months. The sun's rays are probably the easiest way to expose your skin to UV light's healing effects in spring and summer. But be careful: Too much sun (or sunburn) raises your risk of skin cancer and may make psoriasis outbreaks worse.
Try moderate doses of UV exposure two or three times a week. Be sure to use sunscreen on the parts of your body that don't have psoriasis outbreaks. Talk to your dermatologist or doctor before adding UV therapy to your psoriasis skin care regimen, and then schedule regular skin checkups to be sure you're staying safe.