Living better with psoriasis
Psoriasis is a medical condition that you have – it does not define who you are. A number of different healthcare professionals may be involved in your care, but the most important person is you. There are many different things you can do to help manage your psoriasis and make your life better.
Coming to terms with your diagnosis
Learning you have psoriasis can raise a lot of questions about how it could affect your life.
A diagnosis means you can receive treatment, so you can expect to see some improvements in your symptoms, which may also improve other aspects of your life.
Letting your doctor know how psoriasis affects your day-to-day life is the best way to ensure your treatment best targets the things that bother you. Treatment may improve your symptoms, but may also impact your day to day life. It’s also important to discuss this aspect with your doctor.
Treatment is only effective if administered correctly, so if you have trouble with any treatments that have been prescribed for your psoriasis, such as applying lotions or you don't have time to attend three-times weekly phototherapy sessions, discuss these with your doctor.
How you can help yourself
One of the best things you can do to manage your psoriasis is stick to the treatment plan prescribed by your GP or dermatologist. Lifestyle changes may also have a positive impact on your condition.
Manage stress levels
Stress is a trigger for symptom flare-ups, so it is important to do what you can to reduce and manage your stress levels.
For more information about stress, including management tips, visit lifeline.org.au
Avoid skin damage
Try to prevent skin ‘damage’. Cuts, insect bites, scratching and even sunburn can all trigger a psoriasis flare-up or make it harder to treat.
Know your triggers
Keeping a ‘health journal’ can help you figure out what triggers, or contributes to a psoriasis flare-up.
Keep a record of everything from your moods, new products you’re using, and anything that happens to your skin.
Stay active and eat well
Exercise improves mood, sleep quality and is a useful stress-reduction technique, while eating a healthy, balanced diet can help maintain good general health.
Look after yourself
People with psoriasis are at increased risk of developing other chronic and serious health conditions.
It is important that you take care of all aspects of your health, not just your psoriasis.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle, wear sunscreen and a hat when outside, keep your vaccinations up to date, and take any prescribed medication as your doctor instructed.
As well as increasing the risk of developing psoriasis in the first place, smoking can also make your psoriasis worse.
For advice and help to quit smoking, call Quitline on 13 78 48 or visit quitnow.gov.au
Know your alcohol tolerance
Drinking too much alcohol may make psoriasis worse.
For adults, experts recommend no more than two standard drinks per day.1