Prevention of Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disorder which is a chronic and recurring condition that varies in severity from minor localized patches to completely covering the body. Psoriasis is a disease which commonly affects the skin and joints and causes red scaly patches to appear. These scaly patches, called psoriatic plaques, are areas of inflammation and excessive skin production and commonly take on a silvery white appearance. Psoriatic skin plaques frequently occur on the skin of the knees and elbows, but may affect any area including the scalp. Psoriasis is believed to be non-contagious and is immune-mediated. Psoriasis is a lifelong condition and there is currently no cure however there are various treatment options which can help to control the symptoms. Psoriasis does tend to get worse over time, but it is not possible to predict who will go on to develop extensive psoriasis or those in whom the disease may appear to vanish.

Unfortunately there is no way to prevent psoriasis at this time. There are several tips which may improve symptoms or help to reduce the number of psoriasis flare-ups. It is very important to keep skin moist and lubricated and to avoid cold and dry climates. Cold weather may potentially worsen symptoms, while hot and humid weather and sunlight may improve the symptoms. Psoriasis sufferers should avoid scratching and picking skin and skin injuries as an injury to the skin can cause psoriasis patches to form anywhere on the body. This includes injuries to the fingernails or skin surrounding the fingernails.

It is highly recommended to avoid stress and anxiety as stress may cause psoriasis to suddenly flare up or make already present symptoms worse. Avoiding certain medications, especially beta-blockers and lithium, has been found to help reduce flare ups. Infections such as strep throat can also cause psoriasis, especially in children, so it is best to avoid infections at all costs. Smoking and alcohol consumption should also be limited as both make it more likely to get psoriasis and make it more severe. Smoking may also make the symptoms of psoriasis last considerably longer.

Sufferers of psoriasis should consider getting some sunlight. Although exposure to excessive ultraviolet light is associated with skin cancer and could potentially cause psoriasis to worsen, regular sunlight exposure helps control the condition in people with mild to moderate psoriasis. It is very important to use a moisturizer, especially in the winter when the dry air robs moisture from the skin, causing psoriasis to worsen. If skin becomes too dry it may crack open and become infected. It is important that anyone with psoriasis not scratch the lesions as it will make them itch more and increase the risk of infection. Using a humidifier in the home will help to keep the air moist and the skin less itchy. Folic acid is also very important in the management of psoriasis. Studies have suggested that folic acid may be deficient in people with psoriasis so consumption of folate-rich foods is recommended. Sufferers of psoriasis may also consider taking regular baths adding bath oil to the water to increase moisture.

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