Psoriasis: tricky to spell, even harder to manage. But there is some good news, because there are many simple ways to reduce redness, flaking, itching and all the other trying symptoms that come with psoriasis flare-ups….
And with August being Psoriasis Awareness Month, we figured what better time than now to look at how you can ease the symptoms of this notoriously frustrating skin condition.
Of course, a proper diagnosis and treatment plan from your GP is the most important step when dealing with psoriasis – or indeed any skin disorder. Then, and only then, should you look at your skincare and lifestyle habits and adjust accordingly.
But first, what exactly is psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a skin condition that affects around 2 percent of the UK population which, granted, might not sound like a lot, but actually equates to more than a million sufferers. It occurs equally between men and women and can appear at any age, although it usually develops before the age of 35.
While its exact cause is a little unclear (genes are partly to blame), psoriasis is an autoimmune condition in which your T-cells mistakenly attack healthy skin cells, forcing your skin to produce new cells quicker than normal. Instead of having a regular turnover time of around four weeks, a psoriasis sufferer’s skin cells turn over in as little as three or four days, causing build-up on the surface, along with flaking, redness, scaling and irritation.
Psoriasis symptoms occur most often on the scalp, knees, elbows, hands and feet but they can appear anywhere and come and go depending on various environmental or lifestyle factors. This is why, after a professional diagnosis has been made, you should try to identify your triggers to help avoid flare-ups. Common ones include alcohol, stress, hormones and smoking, so keep a diary and start with these obvious suspects.
Other simple tweaks can also reap massive rewards. Here are five proven ways to help keep your psoriasis under control…
1. Avoid Sulphates In Your Skincare
Unnecessary chemicals, alcohol and synthetic fragrance are blighters for triggering psoriasis flare-ups, so keep an eye on your skincare labels and avoid these wherever possible.
Cleansing agents like sulphates, in particular, are extremely drying on your skin and will exacerbate irritation, so avoid ingredients like sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate which are two of the worst offenders. All HIGHBORN products are sulphate-free, so no worries there.
2. Prevent Dry Skin
Anything that helps prevent further dryness is your BFF, so invest in a humidifier for your bedroom and, as previously mentioned, avoid harsh chemicals in your products.
A BIG must - make sure you moisturise thoroughly after cleansing. Your GP or dermatologist may prescribe something specific for your skin. We would also recommend our Natural Luminosity Body Butter …
A 100% natural formula with a high concentration of Shea Butter - which just so happens to be regarded by dermatologists as one of the best natural ingredients for psoriasis thanks to its long-lasting moisturising properties. And it just so happens to have anti-inflammatory properties too which help soothe skin and relieve itching.
AND you can 50% OFF our Body Butter today with code NLBB50 when you spend £60 or more [make sure you add it to your cart with the discount code too].
We have also heard first hand from customers suffering with psoriasis that our super hydrating and calming Organic Hydration Gel has worked wonders for them. That’ll be because of aloe vera which is known to help relieve irritation and redness.
3. Wear Light, Cotton Clothes
Heavy woollen clothing or other thick fabrics will do nothing for your psoriasis because they hold sweat against your skin which can be uncomfortable and cause you to itch. Seriously bad news. And this will be ten times worse if you like to wear tight clothing. You have been warned.
Instead, choose light, ‘breathable’ fabrics like cotton, silk and cashmere and wear loose clothing, especially around areas where your flare-ups are most common.
4. Watch What You Eat
Certain foods can trigger psoriasis flare-ups, so if you think your diet could be playing a role, it’s worth keeping a food diary. Major culprits include things like red meat, refined sugars, saturated fats and carbs, so go steady with these and up your intake of olive oil, fish, seeds, nuts and omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation.
5. Catch A FEW Rays
While the sun is generally the absolute devil for your skin, in this case a little (with major stress on the word little) exposure to UV radiation can help ease psoriasis. It does so by slowing the growth of skin cells, which is great for easing inflammation and reducing scaling.
Just remember, short bursts (15-20 minutes) are more than enough and always protect your skin with a gentle, broad-spectrum sun cream. Always.
Finally, before you go, don't forget to grab yourself our Natural Luminosity Body Butter HALF PRICE today ...