The winter season may leave skin feeling even more dry than usual. This can lead to irritated skin, flakes, and flare-ups. When psoriasis flare-ups get bad, you may feel the irresistible urge to scratch your skin. While scratching can lead to a quick fix, scratching can lead to greater irritation later on. For example, scratching your patches may worsen the plaques, increase the potential for infection, and can increase the healing time for those patches. Here are some alternatives that may provide you longer-lasting relief:
- Talk to Your Doctor
Before starting any new treatments, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist or skincare specialist. If you do not have a specialist, book a check-up with your primary care physician. You and your doctor can brainstorm various treatments for finding relief. They can also clarify any questions you may have about how to correctly and safely treat your psoriasis. You do not have to take this journey alone. It is okay to ask for help from the medical professionals and peers in your life.
- Descale instead of scratch
Suffering from scales on your scalp? Descaling may provide some relief. What is descaling? Descaling is the process of safely and patiently removing the scales from your skin. It is important to be patient when removing flakes as to not remove healthy skin by mistake. What are the benefits of descaling? By removing scales and flakes you can provide relief from any pain and provide a greater surface area for your skin medications. Here are some tips in order to de-scale your skin safely. If the targeted area is covered by hair, choose a medicated shampoo to soften the scales. If the area is hairless, apply a topical spot treatment for a stronger effect. Ingredients that can help soften the scalp include: salicylic acid, coal tar, and lactic acid. Keep your eyes peeled for these ingredients when searching for a product. Once the skin has been softened with shampoos, spot treatments, and/or scalp masks you may start to physically remove the scales. Gently remove any flakes now in your hair with a fine-toothed comb. Consistently using medicated shampoos can provide long-term benefits against flaking. Remember to talk to your doctor before you get started.
When you really want to scratch grab your bottle of lotion instead. What should you look for in an ideal moisturizer? Look to see if they have any of these 4 beneficial ingredient pillars: emollients: to preserve the softness and smoothness of your skin, water-binding agents: to maintain your skin’s water concentration, anti-irritants to quiet the skin, and antioxidants to help clear scales through increased cell-turnover. For example, Psoriasis Honey Body Lotion contains a lot of these positive and hydrating ingredients. Honey, Shea Butter and Glycerin act as emollients, and it contains rich products high in fatty acid count that maintain hydration as water-binding agents. When searching for that perfect lotion for your skin, make sure it contains ingredients from at least one of those four pillars.
Wet-wrapping is a method in treating flare-ups. How does the process work? It’s best to start the process after bathing. Wet-wrapping involves 3 main steps: apply moisturizer or medical creams to the irritated sections; wrap the area in a layer of warm and damp bandage; cover the damp bandage in another layer of dry bandage. Leave the treatment on your skin for at least 2-3 hours. How can wet-wrapping help? The process will rehydrate your skin, keep the creams from evaporating, and provide a layer to prevent scratching. Be sure to consult with your doctor or dermatologist before giving it a try!
- Limit Shower Time
In the cold winter time sometimes all we want is to be able to take a scalding hot bath or a steaming hot shower. But while those may help us warm up our bodies, hot showers can irritate and dry out our skin! Instead try taking a lukewarm shower for 5-10 minutes instead. You can enjoy the shower without the irritation. If you’re still a bit chilly after the shower, throw on some blankets and rock some cotton layers.
- Be Kind To Yourself
Your psoriasis journey is unique. Treatments that may work for one person may not work for you. You’ll have your good and bad days. It can be easy to become frustrated. Be patient with yourself and your body. You may occasionally do something that irritates your psoriasis, like scratch your skin. That’s okay. You are on the journey to relief not yet at the destination. You’ll eventually find the products and methods that work for you.
While your individual journey will carve its own path, you are not alone with your psoriasis. Many people are currently experimenting to figure out their next steps. We at Psoriasis Honey are here to help you find that community. Connect with others in our Facebook group and learn more tips in our blog. And check out our all-natural skincare line that may help you in finding relief.