Living with psoriasis can prove to be very difficult on the individual not only physically but emotionally, as well. In fact, according to Everyday Health, not only can psoriasis be linked to depression but depression can actually cause for your psoriasis symptoms to get worse. It’s the ultimate catch 22, so what can you do about it? Below are four helpful tips to help you fight depression associated with your psoriasis.
Helpful Tip 1: Get Educated
Psoriasis affects over 7.5 million Americans, so trust that you are not alone! Becoming educated about this autoimmune disorder will help you to better understand your condition, assist you in identifying your triggers and provide the foundation, for which you can build upon in learning to live with psoriasis.
Helpful 2 Tip: Care for Your Flare
Treat and care for your psoriasis. Obviously the best way to ward off bouts of depression associated with your condition is to improve upon it. Neglecting to care for your disease will not only allow for it to become worse but will also aid in slipping into those depressive states.
One of the moist imperative parts of caring for your flare ups is by properly cleansing and moisturizing. Finding a skin care regimen that works best for you can prove challenging at first. Be sure to avoid harsh soaps, shampoos and other topical irritants.
Your moisturizer should focus on skin barrier optimization (SBO). What does that mean? To put it simply, you will want to utilize skin creams, ointments and lotions that contain the healing properties of ceramides, as well as, ones that work to restore your essential skin lipids. In addition, when dealing with skin disorders, it is safe to say you have sensitive skin, so be sure and only use products that are hypoallergenic.
Helpful Tip 3: Reduce Stress
Stress is a nasty side effect of many daily encounters. It has been linked to health issues including: heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and as you may have already guessed, skin disease including psoriasis. While some amount of stress in life is unavoidable, there are several measures you can take to guard against it such as:
- Get your sleep! Find the right amount for you. Remember sleeping too long will cause you to spend the day wasted in bed; whereas, not getting adequate sleep will cause you to be less productive, tired and ultimately adds to the depression.
- Try committing yourself to relaxation activities such as Yoga, Pilates and deep breathing exercises.
- Find others who are like minded and are supportive with learning to cope with the disorder.
- Keep a journal about how you are dealing with your psoriasis. In addition, a journal will help you to identify triggers and upsets.
Helpful Tip 4: Eat Healthy
Poor diet has also been linked to both psoriasis and depression. Choose foods that are healthy to avoid further upsetting your condition. Avoid excessive amounts of sugar, limit caffeine intake and avoid deep fried and processed foods. Replace them with fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and leaner cuts of meat. Limit your red meat intake. Whole wheat and grains are healthy alternative to white breads, rice and other starches.
There is conflicting information about going gluten free altogether when suffering from psoriasis. While there have been some people to report significant changes in their flare ups when eliminating gluten from their diet, the National Psoriasis Foundation advises against going gluten free unless you are certain it is your culprit.
Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting is a board certified dermatologist who has dedicated her career to research and treatment of skin ailments. She writes regularly on her Sensitive Skin Care blog.