Our immune systems are constantly working to keep us healthy and functioning properly by fighting off harmful uninvited guests that come in contact with us. But sometimes our bodies do get exposed to germs and viruses that can cause infections to arise. Infections such as strep throat, earaches, thrush, bronchitis, and other upper respiratory infections can spark flare-ups. Make sure if an infection does arise that you seek professional medical help and treat it ASAP, so it won’t cause further psoriasis complications.
Out of all the damage drinking and smoking does to the liver and lungs, it can also trigger a psoriasis flare-up if consumed too heavily, and too often. I know drinking can be fun when you’re out trying to have a good time, but it’s best to be mindful of how much alcohol is consumed and limit your intake to about 1-2 drinks if you drink daily. However, the reason why little to no drinking is heavily influenced when you have psoriasis is that alcohol affects the potency of most psoriasis treatments, causing treatments to not work as effectively.
Drinking and smoking can be considered bad habits and affect your overall health. Avoiding alcohol and smoking altogether will not only prevent flare-ups but will strengthen your immune system. If you or someone you know has an alcohol and/or nicotine addiction while also suffering from psoriasis, encouraging getting help and quitting these substances could be a smart decision.
4. Weather and Temperature Changes
When it comes to weather and temperature changes, excess sun and cold, dry weather can worsen psoriasis symptoms. Moderate sunlight is actually good when it comes to relieving symptoms in some psoriasis cases. It’s when an environment is too hot and there’s too much sun exposure is when problems start to arise. If your skin is prone to get sunburnt easily, then it’s more likely a flare-up will happen. So, it’s important to keep yourself cool and body temperature leveled by getting minimum sunlight and wearing sunscreen when out in the sun to protect the skin. But also when spending time in air-conditioned environments, it’s recommended that you keep the skin moisturized, especially after bathing to prevent dry skin.
Cooler drier weather is another trigger due to the fact that moisture is taken from the skin and makes it dry, which then causes irritation and terrible outbreaks. The weather is usually uncontrollable and sometimes you can’t be in charge of temperature settings depending on where you’re at. To make flare-ups less likely to happen, just like in air-conditioned places, make sure shower times are limited and temperatures are neutral. Also, stay away from heating units that have direct contact with your skin, wear protective winter clothing when going out, remove wet clothes and shoes immediately after coming in from the cold, and invest in a good humidifier for your home if the air starts to feel too dry.
Exercising, as we all know, is really beneficial for our overall health and keeping us in shape. While working out isn’t negative in any type of way, it’s unfortunate that it may trigger an outbreak. Exercising with psoriasis can be difficult in that any harm to the skin can trigger psoriasis flare-ups; and when sweating starts to happen, chafing around the crotch, stomach, or breasts can make plaques appear in those areas. Working out is still recommended to do even when living with psoriasis, but some precautions may need to be made to ensure confidence, comfort, and control.
Some tips for making exercising easier include:
- Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water.
- Include swimming and other water exercises as a part of your workout routine.
- Wear looser clothing to avoid friction and extra tightness on sensitive skin.
- Shower immediately after a workout and use gentle products and/or prescribed psoriasis medication on the skin.
Depending on your health status, medications can help treat certain medical conditions and are very much needed. However, some medications can definitely trigger a flare-up due to the active ingredients in them and the body’s immune response to them. When starting a new medication, pay close attention to how you feel about it, and if it’s affecting your body with side effects. Usually, when a medication causes a flare-up you’ll begin to notice it within 2-3 weeks from starting the medication.
Now, you shouldn’t just go ahead and stop taking your medication. Instead, contact your health provider who prescribed it and find out if that certain medication is a reason why the flare-ups are happening. Sometimes, they will prescribe another alternative medication if the one being taken isn’t working for your best interests. You should make it a habit to remind your doctor you have psoriasis so they know what medication to look for, and which ones to avoid when treating you.
No one wants to spend the majority of their time worrying about when the next flare-up will happen, it’ll drive anyone crazy! That’s why it’s crucial to listen to your body, and become aware of the patterns that may be causing flare-ups to occur. Some psoriasis cases are more severe than others, and can negatively affect daily life activities. However, under proper monitoring and lifestyle modifications, living with psoriasis is possible, and many people have a fulfilling life. Just make sure to learn how to distinguish what triggers set your psoriasis symptoms off, so you can better handle a flare-up and prevent it from happening again in the future.