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Severe Psoriasis: Managing a Flare-Up

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Managing Severe Psoriasis iStock

Part 1 of 5: Overview

Highlights

  1. During a flare-up, try heavy creams or ointments that lock in water.
  2. Avoid using shampoos containing fragrance and alcohol.
  3. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to a decrease in inflammation.

Taking your medication as directed by your doctor is the first step in preventing psoriasis flare-ups. But you can do other things to minimize symptoms and get relief quickly.

Part 2 of 5: Moisturize

Keep your skin moisturized

Keeping your skin lubricated can go a long way in preventing or worsening dry, itchy skin caused by a psoriasis flare-up. It can also help reduce redness and heal the skin, making your flare-up easier to manage.

The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends using heavy creams or ointments that lock in water. Look for moisturizers that are fragrance-free or alcohol-free. Fragrances and alcohol can actually dry out the skin. You can use cooking oils or shortening to keep your skin moisturized if you're looking for a natural or cost-effective solution. When in doubt, ask your dermatologist for a recommendation.

Take shorter showers with lukewarm water to help protect your skin's moisture. Be sure to use fragrance-free soaps. Always apply moisturizer after showering or washing your face and/or hands.

Add oil to bath water if you prefer taking baths, or are looking to soothe dry, itchy skin. Soaking in Epsom or Dead Sea salts is recommended for itchy skin.

Read more in Psoriasis Resources
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) Topicals. (n.d.). National Psoriasis Foundation. Retrieved November 13, 2014 from https://www.psoriasis.org/sublearn03_mild_otc.
  • Scalp psoriasis: Tips for managing. (n.d.). American Academy of Dermatology. Retrieved November 13, 2014 from https://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/q---t/scalp-psoriasis/tips.
  • Stress and psoriatic disease. (n.d.). National Psoriasis Foundation. Retrieved November 13, 2014 from http://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriasis/stress.
  • L, Puig. (2011, September). Obesity and psoriasis: body weight and body mass index influence the response to biological treatment. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. Retrieved November 12, 2014 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21492252.
  • Naldi, L, Conti, A, Cazzaniga1, S, Patrizi, A, Pazzaglia, M, Lanzoni, A, Veneziano, L, Pellacani, G. (2014, March). Diet and physical exercise in psoriasis: a randomized controlled trial. British Journal of Dermatology. Retrieved November 12, 2014 from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjd.12735/abstract.
  • Vitamins and supplements. (n.d.). National Psoriasis Foundation. Retrieved November 13, 2014 from http://www.psoriasis.org/treating-psoriasis/complementary-and-alternative/diet-and-nutrition/vitamins-and-supplements.

Psoriasis Resources

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5 Ways to Stay Warm This Winter Without Agitating Your Psoriasis

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10 Ways to Treat Psoriasis at Home

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Why Your Psoriasis Treatment Is Not Working

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All in Psoriasis Resources

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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