Stress is a common trigger for psoriasis. Psoriasis is a common skin condition characterized by an accelerated skin cell life cycle that causes patches of a thick, red rash with white scales to form on the body.
Many people who have psoriasis end up in a cycle of stress-induced psoriasis followed by additional stress because of psoriasis flare-ups. The cycle continues, and both conditions worsen.
There are ways to reduce stress as well as psoriasis symptoms. They both include home remedies and professional treatments. Read on to learn more.
Psoriasis is typically found on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. The patches may be small, or they may cover large areas of your body. If you notice any of the following symptoms during a period of stress, ask your doctor to assess you for psoriasis:
- cracking skin
- extremely dry skin
- itchy skin
- red lesions, especially between folds of skin
- severe dandruff-like flakes on the scalp
- skin flaking
- thick, ridged fingernails and toenails
There are ways you can break the cycle of stress-induced psoriasis. To stop it, it’s crucial to treat your stress. Both lifestyle changes and medical treatments can help.
Consider the following to reduce and manage stressors in your life:
- Relaxation techniques. From meditation and deep breathing to massage therapy, relaxation is a learned skill in today’s stressful and fast-paced world. Explore ways that work best for you so you can experience the relaxation of your body and mind. Check out the best meditation apps of the year to get started.
- Exercise. It’s incredibly important to get enough exercise if you’re trying to manage stress. Focus especially on those forms of exercise that intentionally combine mental and physical wellness efforts, such as yoga or tai chi.
- Smoking. Tobacco smoke is a common trigger for psoriasis. Seek out resources to help you quit smoking.
Managing associated medical conditions
- Depression. Seek help from a professional counselor or psychologist to help you manage your mental health.
- High blood pressure. This condition is associated with both stress and psoriasis. Your doctor can determine the best course of treatment for your high blood pressure.
- Type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes and psoriasis, talk to your doctor about how to manage your blood sugar. Even if it turns out that you’re doing an excellent job, it’s important to rule out diabetes management as a reason for your psoriasis flare-ups.
- Obesity. Being overweight or obese is a significant risk factor in developing areas of irritation between skin folds. Ask your doctor about losing weight in a healthy, lasting manner.