Lifestyle Changes to Make in the Fight Against Psoriasis

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Update Date 11/05/2020 . 4 mins read

Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease which affects your skin and has no cure.  Yes, switching up your daily routine helps, folks. With that, here are some of the lifestyle changes you can make to keep psoriasis in check whilst helping you to perform daily activities with less discomfort.

Manage Stress Through Meditation 

The link between stress and psoriasis is undeniable as the former has been perceived as a likely cause of inflammation in your body, which in turn results in skin flare-ups. It is of utmost importance that you take the necessary steps to alleviate stress, starting with meditation which has been touted as one of the most effective (and cost-effective) methods to do so. In fact, studies have shown that meditating for a brief period of time daily can relieve your body of stress and ease anxiety as well. 

For example, a study published in Frontiers in Immunology concluded that meditation practices, which included yoga and tai chi, were even capable of altering a person’s DNA as well. Not only that, researchers also found that those who consistently practiced exercises involving both the mind and body as part of their lifestyle produced lower amounts of cytokines (proteins that can cause inflammation) in their body. This resulted in reduced risk of psoriasis, as well as cancer and depression in these individuals.  

Reevaluate Your Daily Eating Habits

Taking baby steps today can result in giant strides towards better health tomorrow. While this may be somewhat a general belief on maintaining good health, it particularly rings true for individuals suffering from psoriasis. This is because making small tweaks in your diet can actually help you to subdue the skin disease and its accompanying symptoms. 

Some of these proven methods include eating more vegetables, replacing white bread and rice for whole grains, or doing away with processed foods altogether. In addition to that, avoiding foods which contain saturated fats, trans fats and excessive amounts of salt has also been considered one of the best ways to prevent inflammation in your body. 

Alternatively, incorporating a diet focused on weight loss is also beneficial for keeping psoriasis under control. The reason for this is because obesity has been linked with an increased risk of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, besides reducing the effectiveness of medications. A few ways in which you can switch up your diet may include eating more fish, lean meat, fruits, and vegetables, as well as consuming fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Coupled with a disciplined fitness routine as part of your lifestyle, not only will you be able to lose weight but it can also ease life with psoriasis, boost the effectiveness of your medicines, and lower your risk of heart disease. 

Sweat Your Way to Better Psoriasis Control

Regular exercise, which particularly incorporates aerobic workout routines, has been regarded as one of the best ways to alleviate stress that can contribute to the onset of psoriasis. Be it a dance class or the practice of yoga flow, performing an aerobic workout has been proven to provide immediate positive mental benefits to the body. 

For individuals suffering from psoriasis, incorporating exercise can be tough to do given the fact that visible plaques, scaly, and flaky skin can make you uncomfortable and self-conscious, especially if you hit the gym. The only motivation you need to make this a daily priority is to realise its role in improving overall mood, lowering stress and keeping your weight under control. 

In addition to that, regular exercise is also one of the lifestyle habits which can reduce your risk of other diseases associated with psoriasis such as Crohn’s disease, liver, kidney, and heart problems. If heading to the gym still makes you uncomfortable, fret not. There are plenty of other ways to get a good workout, which includes going on a trail run, cycling around your neighbourhood, or even following a workout video routine within the confines of your own home. 

Choose the Right Body and Skincare Products

If you suffer from psoriasis, using certain types of skincare products may actually do more harm than good to your skin. These include deodorant soaps and body scrubs, which should be avoided at all costs. Similarly, other body products which should be avoided include those which contain fragrances, dyes, and chemicals as they can dry out the skin, causing a burning sensation and redness. Instead, opt for natural bath products such as Epsom salts or moisturising ointments, which can help you do away with scaly skin and itching.   

When applying make-up to your skin, you should always ensure that the products used are labelled as “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic”. “Non-comedogenic” refers to products which are specially formulated to not clog pores upon application, while “non-acnegenic” refers to products which are formulated to not cause acne for those with acne-prone skin. Similarly, using skincare products which are alcohol-free, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic are also suitable for individuals with psoriasis as they tend to be less irritating on the skin than their more abrasive counterparts.

Doing Away with Smoking Cigarettes 

Cigarette smoking has been associated with psoriasis for the longest time, with nicotine being the perceived link between the two. This is because nicotine alters the immune system, increasing its risk of attacking and killing normal tissues instead of foreign invaders, resulting in chronic inflammation that leads to psoriasis. Apart from that, other ingredients contained in cigarettes have been claimed to cause a type of cell damage called oxidative damage, which can worsen psoriasis. 

Quitting smoking permanently can provide a host of benefits when it comes to keeping psoriasis in check. Firstly, it will enable increased responsiveness of certain individuals to psoriasis-treating medicines. Secondly, it reduces their risk of developing other diseases which are associated with psoriasis such as Crohn’s disease or diseases which affect the heart, liver, and gums. It is also able to increase the number of psoriasis remission periods, which are periods involving little or no skin flare-ups.

Psoriasis may be a long-term skin condition that could come and go at any time during a person’s lifetime. And while a number of different environmental and lifestyle factors could trigger a flare-up, gaining an understanding of these triggers and making the necessary lifestyle changes can help you improve your symptoms, making it easier for you to live with the condition.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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