Some 8 million Americans live with the chronic skin condition known as psoriasis. And while the condition can bring bothersome symptoms, from itchy patches to cracked and bleeding skin, there’s plenty of hope.
If you’re feeling a bit down about your psoriasis diagnosis, consider these encouraging facts.
Understanding your triggers can go far
Psoriasis symptoms vary from person to person, but for many, the red scaly patches it brings flare up in response to particular triggers. Becoming aware of your own triggers can help you avoid them, making severe flare-ups less frequent or likely.
Our team can help you pinpoint your triggers, which may include:
- Antimalarial drugs, beta blockers, and lithium
- Bacterial infections
- Dry, cold weather
- Emotional stress
- Scratches and other skin injuries
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
While you can’t control all triggers, you can take steps to better manage them. During cold, dry months, for example, using a humidifier and wearing warm clothing — especially outdoors — may help.
And if you notice signs of a bacterial infection, such as a fever, chills, or nausea, contact us so we can get you started on any needed antibiotics early on to stave off psoriasis symptoms.
Numerous treatments are available
In addition to helping you identify personal psoriasis triggers, our Northstar Dermatology team can recommend medical treatment to keep your symptoms to a minimum. While some treatments work well when symptoms are active, others are helpful for prevention.
Depending on the specifics of your condition, we may recommend:
- Topical therapy, such as medications and moisturizers
- Blue light therapy and excimer laser therapy to target specific skin areas
- Oral medication for moderate-to-severe symptoms
We may also recommend oral medication if your psoriasis symptoms don’t ease up sufficiently after other treatments.
Meanwhile, we can guide you toward helpful lifestyle changes, such as better managing your stress or adopting a nutritious, anti-inflammatory diet.
Treatment supports your overall health, too
Getting relief from skin pain, bleeding, and itching is a primary goal of psoriasis treatment. But that treatment can benefit more than your skin. By getting appropriate treatment, you may lower your risk for other chronic conditions linked with psoriasis, such as:
- Heart disease
- Psoriatic arthritis
If you shift to healthier lifestyle habits, such as eating more vegetables and omega-3 fat sources like fish, you lower your risk for high blood pressure and cholesterol problems, too. And getting support from loved ones and our team can help you feel less alone, protecting you from low moods, heightened stress, and anxiety.