Psoriasis Prevention: Know the Triggers & How to Keep It at Bay
It can be confusing when Psoriasis first appears. You might have found yourself in an awkward situation trying to find the answers as to why the skin rapidly forms flakes. If that’s the case, there’s a few things you might need to know. First, there is no exact known cause of Psoriasis, but it is believed that genetics, the immune system, and the environment all play a role. What happens is that your skin generates more healthy cells in a short span than normal, thus creating excess cells on your skin which are then pushed up on your skin’s surface to appear as scales or patches. So, what is it that triggers a Psoriasis flare-up?
What causes Psoriasis to flare-up?
- Weather: Dry or cold weather can dry up your skin which makes it prone to flare-ups as your skin is forced to re-generate more cells.
- Stress: Generally, stress is bad for any disease or condition. So, expect a flare-up when you are under stress. Having Psoriasis is a major cause of stress for many people by itself, but once you accept and learn how to deal with it, it becomes easier.
- Infections: Some infections like Tonsillitis or throat infections can result in psoriasis even weeks after clearing an infection.
- Skin Trauma: People with Psoriasis report a flare up every time they get a cut, injury, bruise or burn. Even tattoos and some vaccinations can result in a breakout.
- Medications: Some medications can result in a breakout. Drugs such as anti-malaria tabs, beta-blockers (drugs for blood pressure and heart disease) and lithium used by bipolar patients are known to trigger the condition.
- Alcohol and Smoking: These two can increase a chance of a psoriasis flare-up. This fact has been supported by a Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s study, where they reported an increase in Psoriasis among people who drank alcohol two to three times a week compared to those who didn’t.
Tips for Dealing with Psoriasis
If you want to avoid a trigger, here are some steps to follow:
- Avoid certain medications. Let your doctor know about your reactions to certain medications so that he can prescribe alternatives.
- Keep your skin moisturized at all times. You can use a good moisturizer with sunscreen if you will be outdoors often. A petroleum jelly also works great. Taking good care of your skin goes a long way in managing Psoriasis.
- Exercise regularly to keep your weight in shape and to help manage stress. Even just a walk in the evening or a short morning run will help. You can also take up Yoga.
- Keep off alcohol as it can lead to a trigger. Also, alcohol does not go well with some Psoriasis medication.
- Avoid any skin trauma; cuts, injuries, scrapes or burns. All these will trigger a flare-up. So, always be extra careful when in the kitchen or handling sharp objects.
Although there is no cure for psoriasis, there are many ways to treat it. One way to manage and lessen episodes of the condition is by learning to avoid the triggers. There are many treatments available for psoriasis ranging from topical medications, to systemic injections, to light therapy. It is best to ask your medical provider which treatment is best for you.