Red, scaly patches and itching that, at times is so severe, it can drive you crazy — even while you’re sleeping! Psoriasis is the result of an immune system gone awry and sending the production of skin cells into overdrive. It’s estimated that up to 90 percent of people with Psoriasis experience it’s most common symptom — itching.
So, is scratching psoriasis bad?
Doctors and other health professionals are always telling those with Psoriasis not to scratch, a piece of advice most with the condition hate to hear, since it’s advice that’s easier to give than it is to follow. However, as much as scratching that confounded itch may give you a moment or two of relief, it can ultimately make your condition worse by aggravating existing patches, and yes, even causing psoriasis to spread rapidly elsewhere on your body. What’s required then, is an all-out assault on the itch!
Here are 10 “weapons” against the itch, and not a single one of them involves scratching:
- Moisturise – When it comes to Psoriasis, you can’t overdo moisture. A heavy layer of rich, creamy lotion will help lock in much-needed moisture to soothe your skin.
- Take a cold shower – Long hot showers will only aggravate Psoriasis. Keep your shower on the cool side and keep it short to avoid drying out your skin even more.
- Deal with your stress – Whether you meditate, do yoga, listen to soothing music, practise deep “belly” breathing — or do all of these, it’s essential find a way to minimize stress (which aggravates symptoms of Psoriasis) and make it part of your daily routine.
- Soften the scales – Use a product with urea or salicylic acid to soften psoriasis scales.
- Spice up your life – Try capsaicin — the ingredient found in hot chili peppers, which has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation from Psoriasis. You can find ointments and creams containing the ingredient (both prescription and over-the-counter) and give it a try. Just be sure not to apply it to cracked or open lesions.
- Wrap yourself up – Occlusion therapy involves slathering a rich moisturiser on scaly areas and then wrapping it with plastic wrap or large adhesive bandages. This is especially good at bedtime as it can help control nighttime itching.
- Get enough sleep – Give yourself the gift of plenty of sleep — at least 7 to 9 hours per night. Sufficient sleep can support your immune system and may also help you maintain a healthy body weight and manage stress.
- Try an antihistamine – An antihistamine can be especially helpful at night to help you sleep better. Talk to your doctor about a prescription antihistamine or try an over-the-counter version.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol – Smoking and alcohol aren’t exactly good for your health in general, but they’re known triggers for psoriasis flare-ups.
- Protect your skin – Use sunscreen daily, and follow the Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide method of sun protection. Skin injuries can also trigger flare-ups, so be careful to avoid them when you can.
In your search for relief from the itch of Psoriasis, be sure to check out Hopes Relief for some of the best natural psoriasis creams, moisturisers and other products for an itchy, flaky skin and scalp.
Feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions about any of our products.