The #1 Spot for Answers From Top Dermatologists

Lifestyle And Medical Interventions For Plaque Psoriasis

March 27, 2024
Piction Dermatology

Plaque psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the skin. It is characterized by red, scaly plaques that often appear on the knees, elbows, scalp, and lower back. The condition can be painful, itchy, and emotionally distressing, making it difficult for those who suffer from it to lead a normal life. While there is no known cure for plaque psoriasis, there are lifestyle and medical interventions that can help to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. 

Here are some lifestyle interventions that can help to manage plaque psoriasis:

  1. Diet

There is evidence to suggest that a healthy diet can help to reduce inflammation and improve overall health. Some studies have found that a Mediterranean-style diet, which is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats, may be particularly beneficial for people with psoriasis. Additionally, avoiding foods that trigger inflammation, such as processed foods, sugar, and alcohol, may also help to reduce symptoms.

  1. Exercise

Regular exercise can help to improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress, and boost overall wellbeing. Exercise can also help to reduce inflammation, which may help to improve symptoms of psoriasis. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking or cycling, most days of the week.

  1. Stress Management

Stress is a common trigger for psoriasis flare-ups, so finding ways to manage stress is important. Meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, and mindfulness practices can all be effective in reducing stress levels. It is also important to make time for activities that bring joy and relaxation, such as reading, listening to music, or spending time in nature.

  1. Sunlight

Exposure to sunlight can be beneficial for people with psoriasis. Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can slow down the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation. However, it is important to avoid getting sunburned, which can worsen symptoms. Aim for short periods of sun exposure, and be sure to wear sunscreen and protective clothing.

  1. Quit Smoking

Smoking can worsen symptoms of psoriasis and increase the risk of developing other health conditions. Quitting smoking can help to improve overall health and reduce the severity of psoriasis symptoms.

  1. Moisturize

Moisturizing the skin regularly can help to reduce dryness and itching, which are common symptoms of psoriasis. Look for moisturizers that are free from fragrances and other irritants, and apply them after bathing or showering, when the skin is still damp.

  1. Reduce your alcohol consumption

Alcohol is known to trigger inflammation in the body, and this can worsen the inflammation associated with psoriasis. Drinking less or abstaining from alcohol can reduce overall inflammation and thus the severity of psoriasis symptoms.

Here are some medical interventions that can help to manage plaque psoriasis:

  1. Topical treatments: Topical medications such as corticosteroids, retinoids, and calcineurin inhibitors can be used to reduce inflammation and skin cell growth. They are applied directly to the affected area and are usually the first line of treatment for mild to moderate plaque psoriasis.
  2. Phototherapy: Phototherapy involves the use of specific wavelengths of ultraviolet light to slow down the growth of skin cells and reduce inflammation. It can be administered in a dermatologist's office using a light box or at home using a handheld device. Phototherapy is usually reserved for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and may be combined with other treatments for maximum effect.
  3. Systemic medications: Systemic medications are taken orally or injected and work throughout the body to reduce inflammation and slow down the growth of skin cells. These medications are usually reserved for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis that has not responded to other treatments. They include biologics, which target specific parts of the immune system, and oral medications such as methotrexate and cyclosporine.
  4. Combination therapy: Combination therapy involves using two or more treatments at the same time to improve the effectiveness of treatment. For example, phototherapy can be combined with topical treatments, or systemic medications can be used in combination with phototherapy or topical treatments.

Lifestyle and medical interventions can both reduce symptoms of plaque psoriasis. It is important to work with a dermatologist to develop an individualized treatment plan that takes into account the severity of the condition and your lifestyle and preferences. With the right treatment plan, many people with plaque psoriasis can achieve significant improvements in their symptoms and quality of life. To learn more about plaque psoriasis and to discuss additional management options with a board-certified dermatologist, visit today.