August of each year is Psoriasis Awareness Month, and the purpose of designating such a month is to educate the general public as well as those suffering from psoriasis. Those who do suffer from psoriasis in Porter Ranch and elsewhere can take advantage of the event to learn more about the causes and triggers for psoriasis, and also find out about the most advanced treatment methods for the disease. If you or someone you know is currently afflicted with psoriasis, you would be well-advised to seek out and remember all the information available during Awareness Month. Senior care often involves dealing with psoriasis, since seniors are frequently troubled by the effects of psoriasis. It’s a disease that can affect people of all ages though, so the symptoms described below can appear literally on anyone. When these symptoms do appear, there are some actions you can take to alleviate the discomfort.
What are the symptoms of psoriasis?
Something like eight million Americans are affected by psoriasis at any given time, and the severity of the disease can be mild, moderate, or severe. Of course, that level of severity will have a direct impact on how strong the symptoms appear on your skin, and what you’ll need to do for treatment. Most people experience symptoms on their skin such as redness, swelling, and raised skin patches that are dry and unsightly. Sometimes the disease takes the form of an itchy rash that can be a constant source of irritation unless the victim does something to treat the condition.
For the most part, these skin conditions will appear on the hands, feet, back, knees, and elbows – but they can also appear on the scalp or on the genitals. These symptoms are often brought on or exacerbated by excessive exposure to the sun, smoking, and conditions that act to dry out the skin. In some cases, mere aging is enough to bring on a case of psoriasis, because your skin gets exposed to numerous drying agents during a lifetime. Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease, meaning that the body’s immune system mistakenly thinks some area of the body is under attack, and counters with efforts that result in worsening the situation.
Tips for easing psoriasis symptoms
Everyone is different, and that means they will react differently to certain triggers and causes. When seeking methods of easing your psoriasis symptoms, you should keep in mind that if one thing doesn’t work well, another approach may be more successful. Whatever works best for you is the right answer. Here are some of the best ways you can minimize the effects of an outbreak of psoriasis:
- keep your skin moisturized – sometimes your skin can get so dry that it cracks and even bleeds. You can usually avoid all this by keeping your skin moisturized, so the dryness can’t take hold. The best moisturizers to use are those containing mineral oil like petrolatum or liquid paraffin. Aloe vera is also good because it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory attributes.
- use a home humidifier – a home humidifier will keep moisture in the air, so your skin doesn’t have a chance to dry out badly. This is particularly useful in the wintertime when furnaces are running and tend to dry out the interior air of your home.
- sunshine in moderation – even though excessive sunshine can be bad for your skin, a moderate amount may actually help. This is because ultraviolet light is an autoimmune suppressant, and will tend to counteract your malfunctioning immune system. Short, regular exposure to sunshine can be very beneficial in managing your psoriasis.
- take Vitamin D – if you don’t get enough Vitamin D in your diet, you should take a supplement, because it will have the same effect as if you got short, regular exposure to the sun itself. You can also increase your intake of Vitamin D by taking in more milk, fortified cereals, and certain types of seafood like salmon.
- reduce stress – stress has been identified as a major trigger for the outbreak of psoriatic symptoms. Therefore, it’s best that you try to avoid excessive stress, so you won’t have to deal with another outbreak. Almost 70% of adults who experience psoriasis outbreaks were subject to excessive stress beforehand. It can be a big help if you practice meditation, yoga, or other types of mindfulness exercises.
- improve your diet – by taking in more foods that reduce inflammation, you can make a significant difference in the severity of your psoriasis symptoms. You may have to experiment a bit to determine which foods are most adept at lowering inflammation in your case, but when you find the right ones, you can increase your intake of them. Managing your weight is a good by-product of a healthier diet, and it will help in your quest to avoid really uncomfortable bouts of psoriasis.