Managing psoriasis flare-ups can be challenging at the best of times, let alone when you’re struggling with other illnesses, ailments, or life stresses.

Psoriasis is caused by an overactive immune system where the body mistakenly launches an inflammatory response. So, taking measures to boost your immune system could help reduce symptoms and lower your chances of flare-ups.

A psoriasis flare-up results in psoriatic scales on the skin. On dark skin tones, psoriasis can look violet or dark brown with gray scales, and sometimes it can be difficult to see. On medium skin tones, psoriatic scales can appear salmon-colored and silvery-white. On pale skin tones, the condition may look pink or red with silvery-white scales.

It’s well-known that those who are on certain immunosuppressive medications or biologics for their psoriasis are at an increased risk for certain infections.

These medications place you at an increased risk for infections, because they’re attempting to correct the disturbance in your immune system that’s causing psoriasis.

This can be problematic in certain circumstances, since the pathways that are being altered may be crucial for preventing and treating certain infections.

Even though it’s known that these medications place you at a higher risk for infections, it’s not very clear if psoriasis itself does. Some research suggests that people with psoriasis have an increased risk of pneumonia, but further studies are needed.

What makes this even more puzzling is that people with psoriasis inherently have a lower risk for certain skin infections. This is due to some antimicrobial factors that are over-expressed in the skin of those with psoriasis.

So, it’s not so simple. However, if you’re on a biologic or immunosuppressing medication for psoriasis, it’s important to avoid infections.

Here are four ways to stay healthy this cold and flu season while living with psoriasis.

Or, really just more leafy greens and cruciferous veggies in general. Salad greens, such as spinach, Swiss chard, and kale, as well as broccoli and cabbage, are full of rich vitamins and minerals.

A 2011 study showed that these vegetables contain special immune-boosting compounds, too. Filling your plate with these nutritious foods may help protect you from unwanted viruses.

More research needs to be done to confirm the link between these types of foods and psoriasis, but paying more attention to these veggies certainly won’t hurt.

Try adding a handful of greens to your morning smoothie, or adding a side of spinach to your evening plate.

Alcohol-based sanitizers are appropriate to use and tend to be less irritating than excessive hand washing.

You’ll also want to avoid washing your hands excessively during the day. Don’t exceed around 10 times. Use lukewarm water with gentle soap. The Dove Sensitive Skin bar is a great option. Dry thoroughly.

Use a thick moisturizer or Vaseline immediately afterward.

Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands is also a great way to prevent infections.

What do curry, yellow rice, and golden milk have in common? They all contain turmeric, a bright yellow spice that’s part of the ginger family and used in many South-Asian and Middle-Eastern dishes.

Turmeric contains curcumin, a healing substance that’s responsible for most of this spice’s medical benefits, including its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help boost immune health.

Try sprinkling it on baked chicken or fish to give it some added color and flavor.

Of course, always talk with your dermatologist before trying any home remedy for your condition.

Regular exercise is a key part of healthy living.

Exercise is especially important if you have psoriasis, since you’re at a higher risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart problems compared with those who don’t have psoriasis. Regular exercise may also help maintain a healthy immune system.

If you find that sweat makes your psoriasis flare up or makes you more uncomfortable, you can swap out cotton workout clothes for moisture-wicking fabrics. You can also consider alternative exercise regimens, such as water aerobics and swimming. These are good options if chlorine doesn’t aggravate your skin.

Walking during the evening hours — when the sun isn’t out — is another good choice. Lifting weights and taking a low-impact cardio class are also worth considering.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you enjoy, so you can make it a part of your long-term plan.

Be sure to discuss your exercise regimen with your doctor before starting it.