Psoriasis can be an embarrassing and frustrating disease, especially when you’re dealing with a Psoriasis flare up.
There are many different concealers on the market that may help you to cover up patches and plaques but using them can irritate your skin even further and they can take a great deal of time to apply. Rather than covering up your psoriasis, take the time to learn what things might trigger an outbreak so you can avoid them in the future. By taking better care of your skin, you can manage your condition and keep your skin clear and healthy.
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Rather than covering up your psoriasis, take the time to learn what things might trigger an outbreak so you can avoid them in the future. By taking better care of your skin, you can manage your condition and keep your skin clear and healthy.
What Triggers Psoriasis
Psoriasis is a medical condition in which the life cycle of skin cells speeds up, causing them to accumulate on the surface of the skin in the form of red, scaly patches. The exact cause for this condition is unknown, but there are a number of triggers which can contribute to Psoriasis flare up, many of which are linked to the immune system.
Your immune system exists to protect you against harmful pathogens. T-cells are the immune cells that travel throughout the body detecting and fighting foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. When the T-cells detect a threat, they spring into action to neutralize the threat. Unfortunately, the immune system can sometimes accidentally target healthy cells – this is the case with psoriasis. When the immune system begins to attack healthy cells, it triggers the production of new cells in the deepest layer of the skin. Not only does this cause extra cells to build up on the surface of the skin, but it triggers further immune activity and the production of more T-cells.
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The Top 5 Psoriasis Triggers
Though the exact cause for the immune activity responsible for psoriasis is unknown, a number of triggers for psoriasis flare up have been identified. Here are the top five:
1. Chronic Stress
Stress can be damaging to your health in general, but it is also one of the most common triggers for psoriasis flare-ups. Not only can stress trigger psoriasis flare up, but so can anxiety. When it comes to psoriasis caused by stress, the best thing you can do is take a little bit of time out of each day to relax and focus on yourself.
2. Extreme Temperatures
The changing of the seasons can be difficult for anyone, but especially so for people with psoriasis. Cold, dry weather can dry out your skin and increase the risk for a Psoriasis flare up giving rise to winter psoriasis. At the opposite end of the spectrum, hot and sunny weather is great for psoriasis. You might also experience a psoriasis flare up during allergy season, particularly if you are allergic to things like pollen and pet dander.
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3. Alcohol Consumption
Does alcohol cause psoriasis flare ups? As much as you might like to consume beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages, be mindful that alcohol psoriasis is a major risk. Drinking alcoholic beverages increases the risk for a psoriasis flare up, so try to limit your consumption and only drink in moderation, ideally less than three drinks per week.
4. Poor Diet
An unhealthy diet is a recipe for poor health in general and it can also trigger a psoriasis flare up. What foods cause psoriasis? Psoriasis dietary triggers include things like whole milk dairy, citrus fruits, fatty foods, spicy foods, and gluten-containing grains. On the other hand, foods like fresh fruits and vegetables can help to alleviate psoriasis symptoms.
5. Certain Medications
Though you may need medications to treat psoriasis and other health problems, be mindful that certain medications might trigger a Psoriasis flare up. The types of medication most likely to trigger a psoriasis flare up include drugs for malaria, beta-blockers, and lithium, a common treatment for bipolar disorder. Other drugs used to treat heart disease and high blood pressure may also increase your risk.
Tips for Managing Psoriasis Flare Up
Though you may not have control over whether you develop psoriasis or not, there are certain things you can do to reduce the risk for a psoriasis flare up. Taking the time to educate yourself about your condition is the best weapon you’ll have against it, but only if you put that information to use. Here are some helpful tips for managing the top five causes for psoriasis flare up:
1. Reducing Stress Psoriasis
Does stress cause psoriasis? Having a skin condition like psoriasis can be very stressful. Unfortunately, stress can also trigger psoriasis, so it is a vicious cycle. One of the best ways to reduce the risk for psoriasis flare up is to do psoriasis stress management on a daily basis. Taking just 15 minutes out of your day to meditate or to do a quiet activity you enjoy can renew your body and mind while reducing your stress at the same time.
If you are stressed at work, consider whether you might be able to delegate a few tasks to your colleagues. If family life has you pulling your hair out, ask your partner for help or hire someone to share the responsibilities. Even doing something as simple as taking a hot bath after work could reduce your stress and help prevent psoriasis flare up.
2. Protecting Your Skin from Harsh Weather
During the winter months (winter psoriasis), it is important to keep your skin moisturized. Go with a natural, fragrance-free lotion and really massage it into your skin for the best results. When you go outdoors, protect your skin with light layers made from natural materials like cotton. Tight-fitting clothing can sometimes irritate your skin or rub against existing lesions, making your psoriasis flare up worse. If the weather is warm, you need to protect your skin from UV rays using sunscreen or long sleeves.
3. Reducing Your Alcohol Intake
Can alcohol cause psoriasis? Can depression cause psoriasis? According to a 2010 research study published in the Archives of Dermatology, people suffering from psoriasis tend to consume more alcohol than healthy people. Unfortunately, alcohol is a common psoriasis trigger, so you need to moderate your intake to less than three drinks per week. If you’re having a hard time giving up alcohol, try to reduce your intake slowly or replace it with other beverages like fruit-infused water or fruit juice.
4. Making Improvements to Your Diet
One of the most effective ways to reduce the risk for psoriasis flare up is to avoid food that triggers psoriasis. As you’ve already learned, common food triggers for psoriasis include things like whole milk dairy, citrus fruits, fatty foods, spicy foods, and gluten-containing grains. In addition to avoiding these foods, there are certain foods that can help to reduce psoriasis. Here’s a quick list of foods included in the best diet for psoriasis (vegan diet psoriasis):
· Fish and Seafood – The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends eating cold-water fish like tuna and salmon at least twice a week. Fish and other seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which not only support skin health, but can reduce your risk for heart disease as well.
· Fresh Vegetables – Not only are they low in calories, but fresh vegetables are full of healthy nutrients that support total-body health and wellness. When your body is working optimally, your immune system is less likely to go rogue and trigger a psoriasis flare up.
· Whole Grains – Rich in fiber and other essential nutrients, whole grains like brown rice and oatmeal are an important part of a balanced diet. They are also rich in anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants which support total health and wellness.
In addition to eating more of these three foods, try to limit your intake of trans fats, sodium, and processed food. If you choose to consume dairy, stick to fat-free or low-fat dairy products like Greek yogurt and skim milk. Avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils as well as fried and fatty foods and try to limit your portion sizes as well.
5. Alternative Psoriasis Treatments
If you suspect that one or more of your medications is causing your psoriasis to flare up, talk to your doctor right away because there may be another option. Depending what conditions you’re taking medication for, you might be able to switch to a different one that won’t affect your skin. If you’re taking medication specifically for your psoriasis, ask your doctor about alternative treatments that might be available such as topical treatments, light therapy, or combination therapy.
Tips for Covering Up
Even if you take some of the steps recommended above, it may take some time to get your psoriasis under control. In the meantime, you may be wondering about the best methods to cover up a psoriasis outbreak. When it comes to your clothing, long sleeves are your friend but just make sure the clothing you wear against your skin is loose, lightweight, and made from natural materials. Tight-fitting clothing could trigger more outbreaks or cause existing lesions to burst and bleed.
If you’re concerned about patchy or scaly skin on your face or other visible body parts, there is make-up you can wear to cover it up. If you have severe redness and itching, apply a thin layer of hydrocortisone cream – just don’t use it daily for more than two weeks in a row. Before applying any make-up, use a fragrance-free moisturizer to hydrate your skin (skin cream for psoriasis). Next, apply a thin layer of primer and then apply a color-correcting formula in green or yellow to neutralize the redness of your skin. Finally, apply a layer of your chosen liquid foundation using a soft brush to complete the look.
What Causes Psoriasis to Spread?
Now that you know a little more about what might trigger a psoriasis flare up, you might be wondering what causes your psoriasis to spread. Psoriasis tends to form on the elbows, knees, and scalp but there are some things that can cause a psoriasis flare up to spread the rash to different parts of the body. For example, trauma to the skin in the form of sunburn, deep cuts, and even vaccinations can trigger something known as the Koebner phenomenon response in which patches of psoriasis develop in areas not previously affected.
Though there is still a great deal to be learned about psoriasis and its causes, new discoveries are being made with each passing year. The more you learn about your condition, the better you’ll be able to manage it so take to heart the tips you’ve received in this article and start putting them to work in your own life. Your skin will thank you!