Living with psoriasis can make it challenging to feel comfortable in your skin, especially during flare-ups. Symptoms like dryness and blotchiness can be embarrassing and painful. Sometimes you may even feel like you should stay home instead of being social.
But psoriasis doesn’t have to control your life. Try these eight simple beauty tricks to help alleviate some of your psoriasis symptoms.
1. Moisturize daily
Keeping your skin moisturized is a simple yet effective way to manage psoriasis. There are countless types of moisturizing creams, lotions, and ointments on the market that help treat dry or itchy skin. Talk to your doctor about which one might work best for you.
The best time to apply moisturizer is immediately after stepping out of the bath or shower, when your skin is soft and moist. In colder weather, you may need to apply moisturizer several times a day. During the summer months, try to moisturize only once or twice every day to avoid over-saturating your skin.
2. Take warm baths
Warm baths are great for relieving psoriasis symptoms like dry skin and itchiness. You should always use a mild soap to avoid irritation. But it’s OK to add bath oil, oatmeal, or Epsom salts if you want to feel a bit more luxurious. Try to avoid taking hot showers since they can often dry out your skin. When you’re finished bathing, gently pat your skin dry rather than rubbing the towel all over your body to avoid chafing.
3. Scrub lightly
When bathing or removing your makeup, always scrub lightly to prevent irritating your skin. Use a soft washcloth instead of more abrasive options like loofas, which can make your psoriasis symptoms worse. Try to use gentle or chemical-free beauty products whenever possible. Also, don’t scratch, pick, or rub the sensitive patches of psoriasis on your skin, no matter how good it might feel.
4. Get some sun
Psoriasis skin can benefit significantly from exposure to UV light from the sun. Try to spend at least 15 minutes outdoors every day. But don’t overdo it — sunburns can sometimes trigger flare-ups. Regular, controlled periods of sunlight exposure will help to manage symptoms and improve your general sense of well-being. In the winter months, when there are fewer hours of sunlight available, your doctor may be able to provide phototherapy treatments that can act as a UV light substitute.
5. Change your diet
While researchers have yet to establish a firm link between psoriasis and diet, many people with psoriasis have seen positive results from adopting an anti-inflammatory diet. The best foods to reduce inflammation are those high in omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts, olive oil, pumpkin seeds), and colorful fruits and vegetables (spinach, carrots, blueberries, mangos). As a general rule, try to avoid foods that are known to cause inflammation, such as red meat, dairy products, and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers).
6. Manage your stress
If you can manage to keep your stress levels under control, your skin may start to look healthier. Excessive stress is related to psoriasis flare-ups. Since flare-ups are a significant source of stress, this can be a vicious cycle if not properly managed.
There are a number of quick and easy ways to reduce your stress levels from the comfort of your own home, like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing techniques. Getting outside for some exercise can also help you de-stress, with the bonus of some beneficial time in the sun. But you don’t have to over-exert yourself. Even a brisk walk around your neighborhood will help alleviate stress and foster a sense of calmness and tranquility.
7. Overhaul your wardrobe
The key to a functional and fashionable wardrobe that doesn’t irritate your psoriasis is layers. Heavier fabrics like wool and polyester can be scratchy and cause uncomfortable friction against sensitive patches of skin. Try to dress in layers with a smooth, soft fabric like cotton or bamboo on the bottom.
It’s also a good idea to choose clothes that are looser than they are tight. Don’t feel like you need to make any huge changes to your style, but keep in mind that your favorite skinny jeans or spandex shorts might not be the best option if you’re experiencing a flare-up.
8. Be confident
Finally, an essential beauty tip for taking control of your psoriasis is to be confident and comfortable in your skin. Sure, sometimes you’ll experience flare-ups that might make you feel self-conscious. But you can show the world you’re in control of owning who you are. Don’t let your psoriasis determine your self-worth.
Also, be open to talking about your condition if people in your social circle have questions. The more informed your friends and family are about psoriasis, the less you’ll feel like you have to cover it up.