Stress is bad for your health – we've all heard this from our doctors or on TV. But did you know that stress directly affects your psoriasis as well? Stress is a known trigger for flare-ups.
While stress itself does not cause psoriasis, studies have shown that as many as 80% of those having psoriasis flare-ups have recently experienced a major stressful event, such as moving to a new home or starting a new job. These events prove stressful for everyone, but for people with psoriasis, this added stress can mean worsening of the skin itchiness (pruritus) associated with their condition. And with more itching, their stress levels can increase, resulting in a worsening of their symptoms. The exact mechanisms by which stress can worsen psoriasis have not been fully established. However, experts say that it is related to changes in the immune system.
Simple day-to-day living with psoriasis can also present its own challenges. Many people experience feelings of worry, self-consciousness, and depression as a result of their condition and may find counselling useful in overcoming difficult events and situations.
Investigate different relaxation techniques and go with what works for you. Don't give up if the first couple of methods you try don't succeed in lowering your stress. You may have to try a few before finding the routine that meets your needs. Some people may find that a walk in the park, daily meditation, or talking to others with psoriasis work best for them. In addition to relaxation techniques, others may need to take a medication prescribed by their doctor. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.
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