Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Psoriasis: Managing and Preventing Flare-Ups
General tips to manage and prevent flare-ups
In addition to taking your medications as recommended by your doctor, dermatologist,
or pharmacist, there are several things you can do to help manage your psoriasis
- Keep your skin moist and lubricated (see "Keeping your skin hydrated"
in this feature). Moisturizing will help prevent dry skin and itching. By
keeping your skin well-moisturized, you may also be less likely to scratch.
- If you feel itchy, try not to scratch your skin, as this can lead to further
psoriasis lesions. Psoriasis worsens in areas of skin injuries, so avoid picking
at existing scales.
- Prevent strep (streptococcal) throat infections. For children with
psoriasis, an attack of symptoms may occur with strep throat. These flare-ups
in children are usually of the "guttate" variety (round, small lesions).
An adult with chronic psoriasis may also develop a flare-up after a strep
throat infection. Practice good hand-washing techniques in the workplace and
at home, if someone you work or live with has had a recent bacterial infection.
Also, a healthy diet and lifestyle (see "Lifestyle modifications"
in this feature) will help to keep the immune system strong and reduce the
likelihood of bacterial infection.
- Many safe, effective treatments, such as ointments and creams, can improve
psoriasis and reduce recurrences of swelling, redness, flaking, and itching.
Some can be used to reduce new flare-ups of lesions. Use prescription and
over-the-counter psoriasis medications as directed by your doctor, dermatologist,
or pharmacist. Because psoriasis is chronic and unpredictable, it can present
a challenge to treat. Remain patient if, under the direction of your doctor,
you have to try more than one skin care regimen.
- In general, protect your skin by using mild skin cleansers, wearing cotton-blend
clothing, removing laundry-soap residue from clothing by rinsing twice, and
using sunscreens to avoid sunburn.
A final suggestion: Care for your skin and help relieve your psoriasis
symptoms by setting aside some time each day for treatment.
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