Psoriasis, like most chronic conditions, can be difficult to live with. It affects your whole life, whether you mean for it to or not. You can try to work around it. You can try ignoring it. You can try the hundreds of things online that promise relief only to be left frustrated and even more unsure. The worst part of living with psoriasis: the way it affects your view of who you are and the way that you tackle your goals.
The goal of this article is to help you live the life you want to live by helping you to find ways to keep your psoriasis under control and feel better about yourself. You will see the five best tips we came across and then we will share ways that will help build your self-esteem.
The Five Tips for Living with Psoriasis
- Learning to manage and deal with stress
Psoriasis comes in flare-ups. It can go away completely, only to come back worse than ever. It can feel better, look better, but never go away altogether. Stress can affect these flare-ups. One way to decrease the amount and duration of your flare-ups is to learn to manage your stress. It isn’t reasonable to think that you can quit your job or control your family life. It is reasonable to find a hobby to help you to deal with the stress. Learn to keep a journal. Take a painting class. Join a movie or a book club. There are many resources at your local library that could help you. They often have clubs that will allow you to occupy your mind.
One of the things we always suggest is a journal. If you are one of those people who worry about the little things you said or replay conversations in your head, then this is for you. It will help you to clear your mind and let it go. It will also help you to control your worries. Put it on paper and let it go. This does help your mind to relax so that you can shut down and go to sleep at bedtime.
- Reach out and find resources
There are psoriasis groups that will help you to find other individuals who have the condition. Not only can you build each other up, but you can discuss what works for each of you. Sometimes you find the best solutions this way because they are ways you may not have thought of before. Go to your favorite social media outlet. Do a search for Psoriasis groups or search the hashtags. This will give you a wide range to choose from. Find a group that has similar interests or sense of humor that you do. That way you feel comfortable and are more willing to reach out and participate in conversations.
You can also talk to your doctor about groups. Sometimes they will have a list of resources that can help you to find a support group. It is important that you have an outlet to talk and voice your concerns. It isn’t about finding a quick fix to your problem, but rather a way to handle the problems that psoriasis can throw your way. A little support can go a long way in helping you build your confidence and handle anything that life throws your way.
- Keep your skin moist
Dry skin can cause more problems for people who have psoriasis. It can make flare-ups act worse and feel worse. The way to combat this is to use lotions regularly. Don’t go out in the sun without protection or keep your skin covered while outside. Not just any lotion will work. You need lotions or creams that are alcohol-free. Even though Eczema is a different condition, Eczema specific lotions could help you to control and hydrate psoriasis. The thicker creams that leave a layer on the skin will work better because it creates a barrier to keep moisture in and bacteria out. You will need to keep your skin clean and dry. Don’t use bandages because it does not allow the skin to breathe. Besides keeping your skin moist, creams and salves can also help with the itching and burning that comes along with having psoriasis.
- Never underestimate the power of a bath
There is nothing better than relaxing in tub after a long day of stress. However, there are so many more benefits to taking a bath. A long soak in an oatmeal bath can help to remove scaly skin and promote the building of new cells. Epsom salts and dead sea salts can also help to exfoliate dead skin. Just be careful not to dry your skin out by using too many salts.
There are lines of soaks and baths by Aveeno that can help you treat your psoriasis. A good soak of about twenty minutes can help heal your skin, relieve that crazy itching, and do away with the burning completely. Take a book to the bath. Light some candles. Not only will you physically feel better but having a small digital detox away from your phone can help you to boost your mood and decrease your stress levels.
- Your skin reflects your diet
You are what you eat. That age-old adage remains strong as the first time you heard it. If you want better skin, you must eat for better skin. Remove oils, saturated fats, and additives from your diet. MSG, gluten, and preservatives can make your skin worse. You may be sensitive to it. You may not be able to process it. Of course, it just plain isn’t good for you and so it comes out your pores. Keep a food diary. See what you eat for a few days and then remove one thing from your diet. Keep track of when you have a flare-up and when you don’t. See what the correlation is.
If you are like most of us, we want fast and easy. That is why there are so many successful restaurant chains. Who has time to cook? Why cook if you can call in an order, order from an app, and just go pick it up on your way home? You get home with a hot meal that is table ready. To get around that, use your crockpot. You can have food ready just a quickly as if you picked it up. Start your meal before you leave for work. Eat when you get home. Or meal prep. Have everything ready so that you can take your lunch with you to work and so that you don’t have to prep your dinner. With the meal prep already done, you have dinner on the table in less than half an hour.
Ways to Build your Self-esteem
Psoriasis is not who you are. It is something that you have. Like any condition, your outlook on it effects how you treat yourself. If you feel bad about yourself, you are going to do less to overcome your situation. That is why we want you to build up the way you feel about yourself. There are three key ways to do this.
First, daily affirmations will help you to grab and hold on to the things that you love about yourself. Write them on your mirror. Place them on your fridge. Make them your background on your phone. Make sure that you see them every day. Every time that you see them, say them out loud. Need an affirmation? Google it! Or try one of these:
- I am enough
- I am loved
- I love myself
- I am beautiful
- I am smart
These are just a few that will make your heart sing when you repeat them. The more you repeat them the better.
Second, never post or say anything negative about yourself. If you wouldn’t allow someone to say it about you or someone you love, then you should not say it about yourself. This is a hard habit to break because most people will not stop you from talking bad about yourself. Also, if you hear someone talking bad about themselves, counteract with something positive about them.
Finally, set goals for yourself. These do not have to be huge goals. These can and should be, baby steps leading towards a bigger goal. Celebrate every goal you reach, no matter how big or small that it is. Remember that every small step leads to something bigger.
Psoriasis can be life-changing, but it doesn’t have to be. You are in control. Do not let it control you. That is probably the biggest thing that you can do for yourself. Be proud of who you are and learn to love the skin that you are in, even if it isn’t the skin that you want to love. Loving yourself is the most important thing because it empowers you to make choices that will improve your life without being afraid of the negative. After all, who couldn’t benefit from embracing the positives in life.