What are Your Risk Factors?
It has been estimated that if a child has one parent with psoriasis, the child's risk of developing the condition is between 10 and 25 percent. If both parents have psoriasis, the child's risk of developing the disease is about 50 percent. A number of internal and external factors can influence whether a person with a family history of psoriasis will be affected by the disorder.
Get Some Sunlight
Although exposure to excessive ultraviolet light is associated with skin cancer and may actually cause psoriasis to worsen, regular sun exposure helps control the condition in people with mild to moderate psoriasis. Do not stay out in the sun long enough to burn.
Use a Moisturizer
It is especially important to use a moisturizer in winter, when dry air robs moisture from the skin, causing psoriasis to worsen. If skin becomes overly dry, it may crack open and become infected.
Scratching psoriasis lesions will make them itch more and increase the risk of infection. Try using a humidifier in your home. It will help keep the air moist and your skin less itchy.
Take a Bath
Bathe in lukewarm water and never for more than 15 minutes. Add a moisturizing bath oil to the water. (Avoid scented bath products, including perfumed soaps.) Afterwards, apply a mild but effective moisturizer.
Get Emotional Support
Experiencing constantly negative emotions can cause psoriasis to flare up. Using relaxation techniques can help you feel better, particularly if you are under constant stress.
Take Folic Acid
Folate is important in the management of psoriasis. Some studies have suggested that folate may be deficient in people with psoriasis, so consumption of folate-rich foods is recommended. Folate is a B vitamin found in liver, asparagus, fruits, green leafy vegetables, dried beans and peas, and yeast.
Triggering factors that cause psoriasis flare-ups include:
Long-term exposure to a dry climate with a low relative humidity can cause psoriasis to worsen. Many people experience lessening of symptoms after exposure to sunshine during the summer months. Others, however, are sensitive to ultraviolet light and experience flare-ups if exposed to it.
Injury to Your Skin
Psoriasis may worsen after an injury to the skin such as a burn, insect bite or scrape, or following a rash. It is therefore important to treat an injury or rash quickly.
Strep throat can lead to psoriasis in children and young adults. Anyone with psoriasis who develops strep throat should immediately be treated with antibiotics to prevent a psoriasis flare-up.
Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications may make psoriasis worse. These include lithium, beta blockers, anti-malarial drugs and NSAIDS such as ibuprofen.
Severe emotional stress appears to cause psoriasis flare-ups in some people. If stress seems to play a role, stress-reduction techniques such as meditation or going for a walk may help reduce flare-ups.
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