Besides treating your skin with proper care and taking medications as directed by your doctor, dermatologist and pharmacist, you can help manage psoriasis with a healthy lifestyle.
What does that mean for people with psoriasis? Keep in mind that smoking, drinking alcohol excessively and not exercising regularly may worsen your symptoms and increase your risk of other illnesses. So put out those cigarettes, drink no more than two alcoholic beverages per day, and enjoy some form of physical activity each day. Even walking for 30 minutes daily or raking the leaves in your garden contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
Want to enjoy the great outdoors while exercising or doing household tasks such as gardening? Good news: ultraviolet (UV) light from sunshine can help clear up psoriasis in some people. UV light can help reduce inflammation and slow the overgrowth of skin cells that causes scaling. During sunny months of the year, exposed regions of affected skin may clear up on their own. The most effective wavelength, UVB, is found in natural sunlight. Daily, short, and non-burning exposure to sunlight helps to clear up the plaques on larger areas of the body. Remember that prolonged exposure to the sun increases your risk of skin damage, including skin cancer. Also, sunburns can cause psoriasis symptoms to worsen. Protect unaffected areas of skin with sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Ask your doctor how the risks and benefits of ultraviolet light apply to your condition.
Taking that time to exercise helps you relax and relieve stress. And reducing stress can help prevent and manage psoriasis flare-ups.
If you're outside exercising, choose clothes with care. Wear loose-fitting clothes, shoes, and hats. Keep in mind that tight-fitting clothing can injure your skin and worsen your symptoms if you have psoriasis.
Once you're managing psoriasis with lifestyle modifications, remember to enjoy a balanced diet to also improve your general health. Researchers are unsure of the connection between psoriasis flare-ups and certain foods or combinations of foods. But planning nutritious meals and snacks goes a long way in reducing your risk of other illnesses, and contributes to overall good health and vitality. A healthy diet keeps your immune system strong, which can help prevent infections that can possibly trigger flare-ups.
And most importantly - stay positive! Try to maintain an optimistic attitude about your skin condition. You can help control your symptoms and take charge of your skin health.
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