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Managing environmental triggers

Anyone who has suffered from psoriasis will be very keen to avoid triggering a flare-up and with very visible, patchy, irritable red skin, it can be very difficult to live with. Psoriasis often occurs in cycles and flare-ups can last a few weeks, or eve months, but then can suddenly go into a remission period. Although this offers some relief, there is always the fear of the next bout. There are a great many reasons psoriasis may occur – certainly external allergic reactions is one such cause, but, there are many environmental triggers too and if these can be avoided, it is possible to reduce the amount of flare-ups that occur.

Cold weather

Some people really struggle to keep their psoriasis under control during the winter months. Cold temperatures are harsh and dry out the skin so keeping your skin moisturised can make a big difference. You can also use a humidifier at home as this helps to stop the air from drying out, but even using an ointment based moisturiser will hydrate the skin and protect it.

Skin reactions

A little sunlight on your skin will be good for you, but it is important to not stay out in it too long or to get a sunburn, as this will trigger a reaction. Your skin may also react if you get any insect bites, so it makes sense to protect your skin from these as much as possible. Even simple scratches can create adverse reactions and this is known as the Koebner phenomenon. If this starts to happen frequently, talk to your doctor about a care plan.

Avoiding stress

It’s never easy to avoid stressful situations in life but when you start to feel under pressure, this will impact your immune system and can cause your psoriasis to flare-up. Preventative measures are best and if you can plan your life so that day to day stressors are managed as they occur rather than leaving them to become problematic, you will find that life becomes easier. You can also try meditation and breathing techniques to help offset stress.

Smoking

Giving up smoking is advisable for many reasons, including the negative effect on psoriasis, but take this a step further and avoid being around those who are smoking as it can still trigger a flare-up.


Keeping infection-free

Infections - particularly strep infections - are strongly linked to psoriasis. The best way to combat infections or ill-health generally is to keep as healthy as possible by exercising and eating a well-balanced diet and this will help your immune system to fight off any threats.

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