For patients living with psoriasis, life can be difficult. Not only do they have to face the pressures of society, but internally, they are in a battle with their skin.
The Malaysian Psoriasis Registry (2007-2018) found that psoriasis patients in Malaysia often experience discomfort with their condition like itching and burning sensations1, that eventually impacts their quality of life2. Furthermore, studies have also shown that psoriasis patients have up to 25% higher chance of developing depression3.
Experts have said that psoriasis is a condition that can be managed through treatment and having a healthy lifestyle4. However, you may have picked up a couple of habits that may make your condition worse. Here are 5 habits that you should stop doing now in order to manage your condition better:
Scratching or Picking at Skin Plaques
Itchiness is one of the common symptoms of psoriasis1 and as tempting as it is, scratching your plaques will only worsen your condition, and it should be avoided at all cost! By scratching at the skin plaques, you might further damage or irritate your skin, or worse, exposing yourself to a risk of infection5.
Consuming Food That Might Trigger A Flare-Up
Psoriasis patients are advised to reduce their intake of red meat and dairy that may worsen inflammation6. Psoriasis patients are also prone to gluten sensitivity and are advised to cutdown on gluten containing food6.
Some psoriasis patients may avoid exercising, as sweat is known to be one of the common triggers of a flare-up7. However, patients are actually encouraged to exercise more if they are able to. Exercising regularly can help psoriasis patients manage their weight, bringing health benefits like reducing the chance of developing obesity and decreases inflammation in the body8.
Not Managing Stress Levels
Having to face social stigmas, the life of a psoriasis patients can be pretty stressful. Stress is known as one of the common triggers of a flare-up1, and it should be addressed accordingly. Some of the stress-relieving techniques that psoriasis patients can consider include yoga and meditation, which also helps with joint pain as well3.
Not Seeking Treatment
If psoriasis is left untreated, it might potentially develop other serious health complications10, such as diabetes, obesity, and many more. Choosing to ignore the symptoms and refusing to seek for treatments can be very dangerous to a patient’s health and is highly unadvisable.
If psoriasis patients can avoid these bad habits, they would definitely have an easier time in managing their condition. However, it is important for psoriasis patients to consult their healthcare professional before making any changes to the lifestyle.
1Everything You Need to Know About Psoriasis. Healthline. (2020). Retrieved 9 November 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis.
2Malaysian Psoriasis Registry (2007-2018)
3How Are Psoriasis and Depression Related?. Healthline. (2020). Retrieved 9 November 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis/psoriasis-and-depression.
4Healthy diet and other lifestyle changes that can improve psoriasis. Aad.org. (2020). Retrieved 9 November 2020, from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/psoriasis/insider/diet.
5Psoriasis: Why Does It Itch?. Healthline. (2020). Retrieved 9 November 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis-why-does-it-itch.
6Food Triggers for Psoriasis: What to Eat and What to Avoid. Healthline. (2020). Retrieved 9 November 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis/food-triggers-for-psoriasis.
76 Tips for Staying Active While Living with Psoriasis. Healthline. (2020). Retrieved 9 November 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis/moderate-to-severe/psoriasis-and-exercise.
8Psoriasis & Exercise: How Exercise Can Help Psoriasis. WebMD. (2020). Retrieved 9 November 2020, from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/features/exercise-psoriasis.
9Yoga for Psoriasis & Stress. Healthline. (2020). Retrieved 9 November 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis/yoga-poses-for-stress-relief.
1012 Complications of Psoriasis and How To Avoid Them. Healthline. (2020). Retrieved 9 November 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis/complications-psa-anxiety.