Psoriasis: Treatment and Tips During the Holidays

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’Tis the season for good cheer, good friends, good food … and, if you have treat psoriasis, so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before you drink.

Cigarettes Trigger Psoriasis

If you tend to smoke when you drink alcohol, it’s important to recognize that cigarettes are a known psoriasis trigger. Studies have found that people who smoke tend to have more severe psoriasis than non-smokers, with people who smoke heavily faring worse than light smokers.

What About Foods and Psoriasis?

“Some people even say certain foods cause flares, though this hasn’t been proven scientifically,” says Melissa Magliocco, the acting chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “But, by avoiding these foods, some patients say their symptoms improve a little bit.”

If you notice that certain foods or overeating tend to worsen your psoriasis symptom, ask your doctor about modifying your diet to see whether your skin condition improves.

(Keep in mind, psoriasis experts agree that it’s important to follow a healthy lifestyle year-round, including during the holiday season. Eating healthy foods and getting regular exercise will help keep your body in top shape and may make psoriasis treatments more effective.)

Taking care of yourself during the holiday season may also bolster your immune system, making it less likely you’ll catch a cold or the flu. Since psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, anything that dampens your immune system, such as a virus, can cause your skin condition to worsen as well.

Psoriasis Treatment Tips for Wintry Weather

When the weather outside is frightful, your psoriasis symptoms may worsen.

“Weather changes can be hydration into your skin.

  • If you have certain areas where your psoriasis plaques are particularly troublesome, ask your doctor about occlusion. This technique consists of applying moisturizer to your skin, covering it with plastic wrap and leaving it on overnight. The plastic will intensify the effect of the moisturizing and in the morning you can gently exfoliate the area with a towel.
  • Keeping Warm and Camouflaging Psoriasis During the Holiday Season

    If you and the kids are headed outside for a day of sledding, the right choice of clothing could make the day much more enjoyable.

    • Even though wool might seem like a nice, warm option, many patients with psoriasis find that the texture of the fabric makes the itchiness of psoriasis more bothersome. Instead, try wearing layers of natural fabrics, such as silk or cotton, instead.
    • If you have psoriasis on your scalp that is prone to flaking, wear lighter colored tops and scarves to help disguise any white flecks that do fall.
    • If you can’t or don’t want to cover your psoriasis with clothing, there are cosmetic creams and cover-ups to help camouflage psoriasis. Though not foolproof, these creams can be applied to unbroken areas of skin and may minimize the appearance of psoriasis plaques and lesions.