Reducing Your Risk of Psoriasis
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In general, outbreaks of psoriasis are difficult to prevent. However, avoiding or minimizing well-known triggers can help reduce the risk of an outbreak. These triggers include:
Stress: Maintaining emotional balance and avoiding stress are strongly recommended, as stress may be a trigger of psoriasis outbreaks. If you need support or assistance in reducing stress, you may want to try some of the following techniques:
- Psoriasis support groups
- Stress management classes
- Relaxation techniques
Weather exposure: If you have had psoriasis, try to protect your skin at all times from cold, dry weather conditions, and minimize outdoor exposure during cold weather. Conversely, although, in mild to moderate doses UV light improves psoriasis, do not overexpose your skin to sunlight or develop a sunburn. Wear clothing that covers and protects your skin as much as possible, and hydrate the skin with baths and moisturizers after exposure. In addition to avoiding cold weather exposure, you can improve (or prevent) psoriasis symptoms by spending time in climates that are warm, humid, and sunny.
Skin injuries or trauma: Psoriasis outbreaks often occur in areas of the body that were previously injured. Prevention of cuts, burns, and other skin irritations may also help to prevent psoriasis flare-ups.
Infections: Although respiratory infections are often hard to avoid, doing so may help minimize your risk of a psoriasis flare-up. Your ability to fight off potential infection depends on maintaining of good immune system function, which you can enhance by getting plenty of rest and eating a healthful diet.
Medications: Certain medications like beta-blocker antihypertensives, antimalarials, lithium, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may trigger a psoriasis flare-up. Be sure to tell your doctor that you have psoriasis when receiving a new medication.
American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.skincarephysicians.com/psoriasisnet/index.html .
National Psoriasis Foundation website. Available at: http://www.psoriasis.org/home/ .
Last reviewed November 2008 by ]]>Ross Zeltser, MD, FAAD]]>
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