Avoiding known triggers, which could vary from one person to another, is one of the best ways to prevent psoriasis. There are specific factors that can exacerbate its symptoms, so it’s ideal to work on them before the condition affects you or someone you know.
There are three potent and easy-to-achieve techniques that you can do to stop psoriasis flare-ups.1
Address Your Stress
Although almost everyone experiences stress, psoriasis patients should avoid stress as much as possible. The body has an inflammatory reaction to stress, which can trigger a psoriasis flare-up.2
There are multiple and inexpensive stress-relieving techniques that you can practice anywhere, whether at home or at your office. These include:
• Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT): when you practice EFT, you use your fingers to tap energy meridian points on your body, while speaking custom-made verbal affirmations at the same time.
This concept, wherein a vital energy flows through your body via meridians or invisible pathways, is actually similar to that of acupuncture’s, minus the needles.
EFT is a very useful energy psychology tool that can assist in changing your body’s reactions to everyday stress, leading to lower chances of developing adverse health effects.
• Regular exercise:3 apart from helping enhance your sleep and lessen anxiety, exercise increases production of endorphins. These brain chemicals or neurotransmitters4 can improve mood and energy.
Levels of other brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are also enhanced, effectively counteracting the negative effects of stress.
• Meditation: you can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety by meditating. Even better, you can achieve some of these positive effects simply by sitting down quietly for as little as 10 minutes.
• Aromatherapy: various research has proven the positive link between reduced anxiety and stress with just a sniff of essential oils like lavender, orange, bergamot, Roman chamomile and lemon oils.
Prevent Skin Injuries
For some people, skin injuries like sunburns and scratches can trigger psoriasis, in what is known as the Koebner phenomenon.5 Named after a German dermatologist named Heinrich Koebner, this happens when psoriatic lesions appear on the skin of psoriasis patients, but not where psoriasis had been seen initially.6
To help prevent these types of injuries, taking good care of your skin is a must. If you need to perform activities that raise your risk for any type of skin injury, follow these precautionary measures:7
• Using a safe sunscreen and wearing a hat when spending extended periods under the sun
• Applying a safe bug repellent before going to insect-infested areas
• Taking caution when engaging in physical activities
Different types of infections can spell disaster for psoriasis patients because they burden the immune system, resulting in an inflammatory reaction. Infections that are associated with this condition include strep throat (especially among children), earache, tonsillitis and respiratory or skin infections. Some of the easiest ways to prevent an infection include:8
• Washing your hands with water and a mild soap often throughout the day
• Refraining from sharing food, drinks or eating utensils with other people
• Limiting exposure to people who are sick, especially children
Meanwhile, if you have a cut or a wound, clean it properly and cover it with a bandage to lessen the risk for an infection.
Consult your physician immediately if you suspect that you have an infection. However, if using any type of over-the-counter (OTC) medication or painkillers is suggested, steer clear. Research has linked various OTC drugs and painkillers to negative side effects such as kidney damage,9 heart problems, pneumonia, bone fractures, liver failure10 and even death.11
Try any of these natural remedies instead. Not only are these items inexpensive, they also deliver virtually no harmful side effects:
• Ginger: a popular root herb, ginger is a very effective anti-inflammatory, delivers pain relief and can help settle your stomach.
• Boswellia: active anti-inflammatory components are present in this herb, which also goes by the names “boswellin” and “Indian frankincense”
• Bromelain: a natural anti-inflammatory found in pineapples, you can have your fill of bromelain by eating fresh pineapple (including the bromelain-rich stem) or taking supplements