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5 psoriasis skin care tips

Your skin is supposed to serve as armour against the outside world. However, if you have psoriasis, you need to guard your skin against potential irritants. Build up a routine that includes these skin protection measures, and you'll not only soothe psoriasis symptoms, you'll be helping to reduce the dryness that sometimes comes with having psoriasis.

1. Prioritize treatment
The best way to take care of your skin is to find the right treatment option to help you control symptoms. Don't give up – you will find one that satisfies you.

2. Moisturize
Using "emollient" soaps and moisturizers is key to reducing dryness, itching, redness, soreness, and scaling. Emollients are non-foaming and un-perfumed chemicals that trap moisture in the skin. Not only do emollients help remove superficial psoriasis scaling, which allows your topical medicine to penetrate better, but they may soften psoriasis patches, making them more comfortable and less likely to crack.
Shopping tip: Dermatologists recommend heavy creams and ointments to lock water into the skin. Look for ingredients such as  ceramides and zinc pyrithione. If your skin is very dry, consider ointments instead of creams. After a shower, wait until your skin cools down, then apply any topical medication you are prescribed first, followed by the moisturizer over top. Apply moisturizer again after washing your hands and throughout the day as needed. Unlike prescription topical treatments, moisturizers can be used liberally and often.

3. Avoid skin irritants
Try not to apply personal care products that contain harsh chemical ingredients such as alcohol. Even some laundry soaps can leave a residue on clothing that, during wear, irritates psoriasis symptoms. Opt for lanolin-free and fragrance-free detergents. And definitely choose clothing that is itch-free (for example, wear a cotton long-sleeve shirt under your favorite wool sweater). Hot water is also a skin irritant, as it tends to dry your skin out; keep your showers lukewarm and under 10 minutes.

4. Try not to scratch or pick
An itch is tough to not scratch, but any minor tear in the skin can worsen psoriasis lesions or lead to infection, and any scratch can cause a new lesion to appear. Opt for a soothing moisturizer or a bath instead. Consider cutting your nails short to prevent damage to your skin from scratching. Pus, crusting, increased redness, or pain on the skin are signs of possible infection.

5. Take a bath
A warm bath with a gentle soap can provide relief for psoriasis lesions. Try adding a moisturizer to the water such as oil, colloidal oatmeal, Epsom salts, or Dead Sea salts. Limit your soak to 15 minutes. When towel drying, pat yourself instead of rubbing. Then reapply your favourite moisturizer after your prescribed topical medications. The best time to apply moisturizer is after a bath because your skin is well-hydrated.  

Giving a little extra thought to your skin protection can go a long way to boost your treatment progress. Your doctor and pharmacist are also excellent sources of information if you have any questions about how to take care of your skin.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2024. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

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