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Psoriasis and sports

We all know that exercise is good for us, and if you suffer from psoriasis, taking part in sports can be especially worthwhile. As well as helping reduce stress that may trigger psoriasis symptoms, exercise can improve heart health and tackle obesity - important factors for sufferers of this skin disease.

Yet, taking exercise isn't so straightforward for those with psoriasis. Certain activities may worsen symptoms or cause flare-ups. Sufferers may also feel self-conscious of their skin if they take part in sports that involve baring their flesh. Importantly, for those who experience psoriatic arthritis, finding an activity that reduces rather than exacerbates joint pain and inflammation is vital.

The essential thing for psoriasis sufferers is to find an activity that they feel comfortable doing, which doesn't worsen symptoms. It's a good idea to discuss options with your doctor first, especially if you suffer from psoriatic arthritis

The key thing is to try different activities several times, to see how you feel and how your skin might react. Swimming is a great all-round exercise, for example, and it's a good choice for those who have psoriatic arthritis, as it doesn't put pressure on your joints. For other people with this skin disease, however, the chlorine in the water may cause a flare-up.

One thing that those with psoriasis need to be aware of when doing sport is that sweating or friction can aggravate certain areas of the body. In this case, it's well worth applying lubricants to sensitive areas before you take part in sport to reduce irritation. Sweat-absorbent powder may also be useful, and wearing loose clothing during exercise is also a good idea. Gentle showering after exercise is recommended, and never rub or scrub the body.

Contact sports are another area that require careful consideration if you experience psoriasis. Whether you make contact with the ground or other players, in some circumstances, this may irritate your skin or cause flare-ups. If you have a sports injury that damages your skin, this may also trigger a flare-up. If you enjoy contact sports, the benefits will outweigh the risks, but you can reduce your chances of your skin getting irritated by protecting yourself with knee, wrist or elbow pads, gloves or full-length clothing.

As soon as you notice that playing sport may have irritated your skin, use topical medication psoriasis treatment to bring symptoms quickly under control.

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