Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that manifests on the skin. It can lead to painful patches of raised, shiny, and thickened skin.
Many common skin care products can help control psoriasis, but others can cause irritation and flare-ups of symptoms. This is why it’s important to read skin care ingredient labels and know what to look for and avoid before you choose a product.
Here are seven things to consider not putting on your skin if you have psoriasis.
It’s important to keep your skin moist by applying creams and lotions. Psoriasis symptoms often get worse due to dry skin.
But you may want to be choose your lotion carefully, since many contain ingredients that can actually dry out your skin even more.
One of the biggest culprits for dry skin is alcohol. Alcohols like ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, and methanol are often used to make a lotion feel lighter or act as a preservative. But these alcohols can dry out your skin’s protective barrier and make it difficult to keep moisture locked in.
When it comes to lotions for psoriasis, your best bet is something that is thick and oily, like petroleum jelly or shea butter. These help trap moisture.
Unscented lotions that include ceramides are also a better choice for people with psoriasis. Ceramides are the same type of lipids that we have in the outer layer of our skin.
Apply your moisturizer within a few minutes after bathing, showering, and washing your hands. You may also want to apply it right before you go to bed.
Fragrances are added to make products smell good. But for some people, they can cause skin irritation.
To avoid making your psoriasis worse, aim for a fragrance-free product when choosing a skin care or hair care product. Try to avoid spraying perfumes directly on your skin as well.
Sulfates are ingredients often used in shampoos, toothpastes, and soaps to help the product foam up. But some types of sulfates can cause skin irritation, especially in people with sensitive skin and conditions like psoriasis.
Because of this, you may want to avoid products containing “sodium lauryl sulfate” or “sodium laureth sulfate.” If you’re unsure, look for product packaging that specifically says “sulfate-free.”
You may want to consider wearing light fabrics that won’t irritate your skin. Heavy fabrics like wool can be irritating to your already sensitive skin and can even make you itchy.
Instead, choose gentler fabrics that allow your skin to breathe, such as cotton, silk blends, or cashmere.
Getting a tattoo requires putting tiny cuts in the skin. The repetitive injury can trigger a psoriasis flare and, as in
Some tattoo artists may not agree to tattoo a person with psoriasis, even when someone doesn’t have active plaques. Some states even prohibit tattoo artists from tattooing a person with active psoriasis or eczema.
Despite the risks, some people with psoriasis still get tattoos. If you’re considering a tattoo, always talk to your dermatologist before making the decision.
You may have heard that vitamin D from the sun can be beneficial for your skin. The ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight slow the growth of skin cells, which is good for psoriasis.
However, moderation is key. It’s essential that you don’t go overboard with sun exposure.
Aim for about 20 minutes at a time and remember to use sunscreen. Sunburn may trigger your psoriasis symptoms, and it can also increase your risk of skin cancer.
Phototherapy is a treatment for psoriasis that involves carefully exposing your skin to UV light. Phototherapy is approved by the Food and Drug Administration and uses UVA and UVB light. This process is also done with the assistance of a dermatologist.
While it may seem similar to phototherapy, avoid using a tanning bed. Tanning beds use only UVA light, which isn’t effective for psoriasis. They also greatly increase your risk of skin cancer.
The National Psoriasis Foundation doesn’t support the use of indoor tanning beds in place of phototherapy.
Every time you bathe or shower, use warm water instead of hot water. Hot water can be incredibly drying and irritating to your skin.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends taking just one shower or bath a day. They also recommend keeping your showers to 5 minutes and baths to under 15 minutes.
Injuries, dry skin, and sunburns can trigger psoriasis flare-ups, so it’s important that you take excellent care of your skin.
When considering a new skin care treatment, try to find out if it’s been endorsed by dermatologists and check the ingredient list. Also, be wary of any product claiming it can “cure” psoriasis.
If you’re unsure about a particular household or skin care product, check to see if it has the National Psoriasis Foundation’s “Seal of Recognition.”