The world of psoriasis can be daunting, but the psoriasis community is here for you when times are good and when flares get tough.
I still remember sitting in the doctor’s office, being told that I had psoriasis. I had no idea how to pronounce it, never mind how to spell it. I also had no clue as to what it was.
Receiving a new diagnosis can be scary, especially if you don’t know much about the condition.
Because of this, I decided to write down all the advice I wish someone living with psoriasis had told me in those first few months after I was diagnosed. I know it would have helped me massively, and I hope this information helps you.
One of the first things I wish I’d known is that there’s currently no cure for psoriasis. However, the condition can be manageable through holistic and medical approaches.
It’s also important to know it may take a while for you to find the right plan that’s right for you. It’s tough to learn the condition is chronic, but understanding this from the beginning can help you start your journey.
As the National Psoriasis Association says, “Everyone experiences their own unique expression of the disease.”
Not only can psoriasis symptoms impact people differently, but psoriasis can also affect different parts of the body. There are also five different types of psoriasis. If you’re lucky, like me, you may have more than one.
Treatments will also affect everyone differently. For some, a holistic-only plan works, whereas others may need medication. Some people find that a blend of both is what is best for them.
For me, it took almost 8 years to find a treatment plan that works for my body and my psoriasis. I say this because no two people with psoriasis are the same.
The way you decide to treat your psoriasis doesn’t make you or your journey any less valid or important. Remember that what works for one person may not work for another and vice versa.
Though we may share similar experiences navigating life with an autoimmune condition, our treatment plans will be as individual and unique as each of us is.
The medication I take currently, alongside my holistic routine, keeps my flares down. Though my psoriasis isn’t completely clear, it’s manageable. Now I have just a red patch or two that aren’t as rough, flaky, or quite as irritated as they used to be.
It took a lot of trial and error with many different medications and routines to get to this point, but working with my doctor helped. This brings me to my next point.
Seeing your doctor or dermatologist regularly to seek treatment and information about your psoriasis is important.
Remember, psoriasis is not just a skin condition. Although it’s known mostly for the skin aspect of the condition, psoriasis is linked to the immune system and may also be related to genetic or environmental factors. Factors, such as stress or diet, can impact your psoriasis flares.
Psoriasis can also affect other areas of your life. Checking in with your doctor or dermatologist can help you address concerns that may affect your physical and mental health.
Psoriasis isn’t just about the patches that appear on your skin. In fact, people with psoriasis are at a higher risk of developing other chronic health conditions, also known as comorbidities.
The word “comorbidities” might sound scary, but you don’t need to be afraid of it. Still, it’s good to be aware of some other conditions you may experience or need treatment for alongside your psoriasis.
Some of the conditions most commonly linked to psoriasis are:
As mentioned above, depending on your specific needs, a holistic routine can be just as important as a medical routine. Holistic approaches take into consideration the whole person and can include factors, like exercise, environment, diet, and sleep.
For example, you may find that the physical environment affects your psoriasis. You might discover that your psoriasis flares more intensely or frequently during certain times of the year.
Perhaps, cold, damp winters make your skin irritation worse but getting plenty of sunlight provides relief. Or you might be like me and find that sunlight and heat make your psoriasis symptoms worse.
Stress can also be a significant trigger for psoriasis. Finding ways to manage your stress or removing yourself from stressful situations when you are experiencing a flare may help.
Stress can be caused by work or school responsibilities that may be a little harder to remove yourself from. I have found exercise, particularly yoga, and meditation to be great ways to de-stress and manage my psoriasis.
If you’re finding it difficult to set a time to exercise, making simple changes can help. For example, try:
Having psoriasis can be a negative experience. It can make you feel self-conscious, lonely, and anxious. However, not all aspects of living with psoriasis are negative. The online community of psoriasis warriors is full of kind, respectful, inclusive, and supportive individuals.
There are so many people out there sharing their stories in order to raise awareness for psoriasis and help others to feel less alone.
If it weren’t for psoriasis and the beautiful online community I’ve found because of it, my life wouldn’t be what it is now. I wouldn’t have had many of the great experiences I’ve had over the past several years, nor would I have made some of the incredible friends I have today.
The world of psoriasis can be daunting, but there are many people out there, just like you. The psoriasis community is here to talk with, both when times are good and when flares get tough.
Fact checked on May 10, 2022
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