Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes red patches to form on the skin due to a problem with your T-cells and white blood cells. While these skin patches can hurt your self-confidence, the persistent itching is a much more problematic symptom. Psoriasis may not be completely curable, but there are still ways to get some much needed relief. These are nine ways to help you deal with troubling psoriasis itching.
1. Get Some Sun
Light therapy is an extremely common medical treatment for psoriasis, but you can get the same benefits without ever having to go to the doctor. The ultraviolet rays in sunlight naturally slow down the growth of skin cells. This will quickly help relieve all of the troubling symptoms of your psoriasis. In order to get the best results without damaging the skin, you will want to spend roughly 10 minutes in the sun two or three times a week. Make sure to apply sunscreen to any exposed areas of skin that do not have psoriasis patches.
2. Take Regular Baths
Few things are known to soothe itchy skin better than a warm bath. In addition to soothing the skin, the bath also helps remove any dead skin cells. Since baths are so effective, it is important to take at least one every day. Make sure the water is not too hot because excessively hot water can irritate the skin. You also do not want to spend more than 15 minutes in the water. Gently pat the skin dry after getting out of the tub to avoid aggregating the skin. You can enhance the positive effects of the bath by adding oatmeal or Epsom salts to the water.
3. Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Excessive alcohol consumption will enhance the severity and frequency of your psoriasis flareups. Alcohol also prevents psoriasis medication from working properly. Going out for a drink with some friends may seem like a great weekend activity, but it is not worth having to deal with itchy skin for the foreseeable future. If you absolutely have to consume alcohol, then do not have more than two drinks in a single night.
4. No More Smoking
Smoking has been scientifically proven to disrupt the white blood cell count in your body. This means every cigarette drastically increases your risk of another flareup. The itching and other symptoms caused by this chronic skin condition are already bad enough, so do not your life worse on a daily basis by smoking.
5. Moisturize the Skin
Psoriasis itching occurs after the skin becomes irritated and dry. A great way to combat this dryness is by adding moisture to the skin. Apply a thick coat of moisturizer to the skin every time you get out of the bathtub. You will likely need to use the moisturizer several times a day during the winter. Just make sure you find a product that does not contain fragrances because they can aggravate your damaged skin. Installing a humidifier in the house is another great way to combat dry skin.
6. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Excessive stress levels can disrupt just about every aspect of your body. This is especially true when dealing with psoriasis. Stress will instantly increase the severity of your itching. Luckily, there are a number of ways to quickly reduce your stress levels. Eating healthy and drinking a lot of water will naturally lower your stress levels over time. Yoga and exercise can help put a quick end to an anxiety attack.
7. Avoid Any Triggers
Psoriasis is a tricky condition to deal with because it can quickly flareup after months of remission. Since everyone's body deals with this condition differently, these flareups can be trigger by almost anything. It is important to constantly monitor your habits to help pinpoint any triggers. Once a trigger is recognized, you need to avoid it at all costs. Sugar, red meat, certain medications, and strong chemicals are all common psoriasis triggers.
8. Do Not Scratch the Skin
It may be tempting to touch and scratch the skin, but this is only going to make your itching worse. Scratching the skin may feel like it is providing relief at the moment, but it is actually irritating your skin patches. In addition to increasing the severity of your itching, scratching will also make you far more likely to develop a dangerous skin infection. Keep your nails very short to avoid any temptation to scratch the skin.
9. Take Some Supplements
There are a number of dietary supplements that have been known to ease psoriasis symptoms. Fish oil, Oregon grape, aloe vera, and vitamin D are the most effective supplements. The great thing about using these products is that they can also help improve other aspects of your overall health. Unfortunately, these dietary supplements only tend to work for patients with mild forms of psoriasis.