There is no way to prevent psoriasis. But you can take steps to improve symptoms or help reduce the number of psoriasis flare-ups. For more information, see Home Treatment.
Most of the time psoriasis can be treated at home. These tips may improve your symptoms or help reduce the number of psoriasis flare-ups:
- Take care of your skin, scalp, and nails. For mild symptoms of psoriasis, various over-the-counter products, such as aloe vera, may be soothing and keep your skin moist.
- Psoriasis: Skin, Scalp, and Nail Care
- Try some of the many psoriasis creams, ointments, and shampoos that you can buy without a prescription. For more information, see Medications.
- Follow your schedule for sunlight or ultraviolet light treatments.
- Be aware of possible medicine reactions. Certain medicines can trigger psoriasis or make symptoms worse.
- Limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks a day for men or 1 drink a day for women. Alcohol use can cause symptoms to flare up.
- Studies haven't found any "psoriasis diet" that can cure or improve the condition, despite claims over the years. Try to eat a balanced diet and stay at a healthy weight.
Avoid these triggers:
- Cold, dry climates. Cold weather may make symptoms worse. Hot, humid weather and sunlight may improve symptoms. (But hot, humid weather may make certain types of psoriasis worse.)
- Scratching and picking skin. And avoid skin injuries (cuts or scrapes). An injury to the skin can cause psoriasis patches to form anywhere on the body, including the site of the injury. This includes injuries to your nails or nearby skin while trimming your nails.
- Stress and anxiety. Stress may cause psoriasis to appear suddenly (flare). Or it can make symptoms worse, although this has not been proved in studies.
- Infection. Infections such as strep throat can cause one type of psoriasis (called guttate psoriasis) to appear suddenly, especially in children.
- Smoking. Smoking can make your symptoms worse. If you smoke, consider quitting.
Stress and psoriasis
Stress can make your symptoms worse. Some things that can help reduce stress include:
- Practicing relaxation with breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation.
- Getting active. Regular exercise may help you feel better mentally and physically.
- Finding support. To locate a support group in your area, contact the National Psoriasis Foundation online at www.psoriasis.org.
- Learning more about psoriasis. This can help you with your treatment and help you explain your condition to others.