Living with psoriasis doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are some tips to help manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.1
Stress is a common trigger for psoriasis flares for many people. Even if it isn’t for you, having a flare can be a source of stress. Managing stress can help improve your quality of life. But to be successful, it’s important to find a technique that works for you. The good news is that there are a lot of options. Here are a few examples:
- Meditation, visualization or relaxation techniques
- Exercise, like walking, hiking, running or whatever you enjoy
- Activities like yoga or tai chi that combine mindfulness and physical exercise
- Creative activities, like painting, sewing or crafts
- Participating in a support group
Itchiness is a symptom that affects up to 90 percent of people with psoriasis. While it can be frustrating and uncomfortable, here are some things you can do to minimize itching:
- Use moisturizers to hydrate the skin and help it heal. Dermatologists often recommend heavy creams or ointments.
- Use scale softening (keratolytic) products to remove excess skin cells. This can not only help to relieve itching, but it can help other topical medications absorb into the skin more easily, making them more effective.
- Try cold showers or ice packs. Cold is an effective way to calm itching. You can also try storing lotions in the refrigerator.
- Over-the-counter remedies for itch can also help. These products contain calamine, hydrocortisone, or antihistamines.
- Talk to your doctor about prescription options if you aren’t getting relief.
Because psoriasis affects your appearance, it can affect your relationships. Some things that can help include:
- Be open and talk to friends and family when you need help.
- Decide whether or not you want to cover up. For some people, using clothing or make-up to cover lesions offers a confidence boost.
Depression is a common issue for people with psoriasis. This may be because it affects your appearance, but there is also a link between depression and what’s going on in your body. Recognize the signs and symptoms of depression and get help if you need it. Symptoms may include:
- Inability to sleep
- Lack of energy
- Lack of interest in things you used to enjoy
- Inability to focus
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor right away. There are many effective treatments for depression, including counseling and antidepressant medication.
If you have questions, or need help managing your symptoms, talk to your doctor or contact your CVS Specialty CareTeam at 1-800-237-2767.