pSo Much More

Daily Skin Care with Psoriasis: Treat yo’ self pSo & You

Girly girls or metro sexual dude, we know you’ve already got your counters covered in creams, balms, sprays and more. Au natural? You’ve probably got the basics covered! But when you’re working with psoriasis, there’s a lot more to think of than lip balms and whether blue eye shadow is out (the answer is definitely yes, BTW) Your psoriasis meds are a great start, but let’s chat about some other things you should be considering when it comes to your daily skin routine.

With so many products and advice from what feels like literally everyone, it can be hard to sort out what to do! A balanced and successful daily skin routine is challenging for everyone – especially if you’re living with psoriasis. Here are a few tips:

Come Clean

  • Use dermatologist-recommended soaps and shampoos. Many products are marketed as “natural” or “free” of irritating ingredients, when in fact they may contain additives that could inflame and annoy your skin. #notcool Double check and read your labels, my friends! Misinformation chafes and angers both your skin and your attitude. A healthcare professional will be able to recommend products that are appropriate for psoriasis skin care.
  • Soaking or bathing can help sooth itchy skin and remove dry flakes. Talk to your dermatologist about additives you can use in the bath, such as mineral oil, to help moisturize your skin. Grab that rubber ducky and get ready to relax!
  • Don’t overdo it. Avoid letting your skin get dried out from too much soaking, soap, or water that is too hot. Remember, you’re having a bath not creating a steam room!
  • Try to use Canadian Dermatology Association recommended moisturizers right after bathing, while your skin is still damp. Bubble baths, lotions – it’s like you’re at the spa every day.

“Many products are marketed as “natural” or “free” of irritating ingredients, when in fact they may contain additives that could inflame and annoy your skin.”

Moisturize!

  • Your dermatologist can recommend a moisturizer that is gentle and free of irritants. Some products are high-end specialty products, but inexpensive and easy-to-find options are available too, to help your skin and your wallet.
  • Moisturize often to reduce dryness. If you were ever a nail-biter like me, you might remember that nasty cream or polish your mom made you buy. Gross, yah, but it totally broke the habit! Well, similarly, using lotion or moisturizers on your skin will increase your comfort level, reducing your urge to scratch or pick. #winwin
  • Hands off! Rub on moisturizer instead.
  • Baby it’s cold outside, in the winter and with cold or dry conditions, you will need to moisturize more often. Consider running a humidifier to add a little something-something (okay, it’s just humidity) to your air.

Catch Some Rays

  • Who doesn’t like a little sunshine? Letting your skin get sun exposure for a few minutes a day can help ease symptoms. Besides, who doesn’t love a mandated sunshine break?! The important thing, of course, is to not get all lobster-licious. A sunburn can make symptoms worse, so make sure to be generous with that sunscreen.
  • Home is where the light is! You can also use a special UV light at home. Talk with your healthcare professional first about whether this is a good option for you, which models of light will work for this, and how often to use them.

Nix the Itch

  • Itchy, scratchy? No thank you! You’ll naturally want to avoid irritating fabrics in your bedding and clothing. Soft, all natural cotton-based clothes and sheets will be your best bet.
  • But for exercise, skip the cotton and choose a soft, wicking fabric that is designed to channel sweat away from your skin.
  • Inspect seams of sportswear while shopping – are they flat, soft, and smooth, or do they stick out? Try avoiding anything that will rub against your skin and cause chafing with repetitive movement. There’s constant improvement in the sports fashion world (trendy high-tech sports gear? Love it!), many of which, you can benefit from. Ask for help at the store and they will point out the best option for you.

Skin Allergy?

  • Psoriasis is a completely different immune reaction from allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) and one does not cause the other (to be clear: psoriasis is not an allergy). In fact, people with psoriasis seem to have ACD less often than in the general population. (So there’s some good news!)
  • But if you do have psoriasis and a contact-allergy to certain substances, the allergic skin reaction is likely to onset more slowly, and to peak several days after exposure to your allergen. This delay in the allergic reaction is an important fact for your healthcare professional to consider if you get a skin patch test for allergies (i.e., the allergic reaction might not occur within the normal period of time).
  • Since ACD can complicate your symptoms - and can occur at the same time and in the same place as psoriasis symptoms - if you happen to get exposed to your allergen in the same skin zone - it is best to get tested if you suspect you might have a skin allergy.

We’re all looking for skin tips, aren’t we? If you have any skin-care do’s and don’ts you’d like to share with me, I’d love to hear from you!

Signing off, friends. Let me know if you have some more #pSoSkinCareTips you want to share and send them my way! Off shopping for a new yoga outfit – and mat. Now that’s treating yo’ self! TTYL

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