Red, scaly skin is one of the hallmarks of psoriasis. It's embarrassing, but more importantly it hurts. When you first get a diagnosis, it can be overwhelming. The best thing that you can do is to learn how to prevent flare-ups so that you can keep your psoriasis under control. While each person's skin is slightly different, following these tips can help.
Protect Your Skin
When you're dealing with psoriasis, you can avoid some triggers. Other times you might end up with a flare-up and not understand why. The answer to that could lie in the Koebner phenomenon. This is a phenomenon in which initial injury sites can later become sites where psoriasis flares up. Scrapes, insect bites, and other injuries occur and then later, you may experience a lesion in the same location. The best solution is to keep your skin protected at all times. Pay attention to what you're doing and wear long sleeves and pants when you go outside, especially during times when insects are likely to be biting.
Instead of being rough with your skin, wash it gently. Use lukewarm water and a fragrance-free soap that adds moisture to your skin instead of drying it out. Don't scrub your skin; instead, use a soft cloth. Keep your showers on the shorter side to avoid drying out your skin. When you get out of the shower, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it with a rough towel.
Moisturize Well and Often
If your skin gets too dry, you're likely to start scratching which can cause injuries. After you shower or take a bath, be sure to apply moisturizer. Periodically during the day, add additional moisturizer if your skin is starting to feel dry and tight. Check with your doctor to see if there's a particular moisturizer that they recommend you use.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that you learn as much as you can about psoriasis. The more you understand about the condition, the more likely you are going to be to avoid triggers and keep flare-ups to a minimum. It also helps to know how to let people around you know what they can do to help.
If you're having difficulty keeping your psoriasis flare-ups to a minimum, talk to your doctor about other treatments you can try. They can look at your individual situation and recommend the best plan for you. Contact a doctor like Henry D. McKinney M.D. for more information.