Dr Jennifer Crawley talks about some simple measures you can take if you have psoriasis
Psoriasis is a very troublesome skin condition. As well as treatment with a combination of creams, drugs and light therapy, measures can also be taken to avoid aggravating factors such as stress and alcohol, in addition to controlling factors such as weight and smoking.
Miss Jane Olver: On the opposite spectrum from these exciting new drugs for psoriasis, what are the simple measures that patients can take at home to improve their symptoms? Are there triggering factors which can make psoriasis worse and which they can avoid?
Dr Jennifer Crawley: Yes, Jane. So we know that there are definitely some things that make psoriasis worse. Research over the years has shown that stress is a definite trigger for psoriasis, as is alcohol. It is challenging in everyone’s busy lives to avoid stress altogether, but I always advise my patients to try keeping stress level to a minimum.
Miss Jane Olver: What are the other triggers?
Dr Jennifer Crawley: Sometimes psoriasis is also made worse by infection, especially streptococcal throat infections. Infections are common and difficult to avoid completely, but in patients prone to psoriasis it is important to seek advice early if an infection is a problem. Also, some drugs can make psoriasis worse. Obviously, there are medicines that you will need for other medical conditions, but it would be important to discuss that with your doctor and to ensure that…
Miss Jane Olver: To discuss it with you too.
Dr Jennifer Crawley: Exactly, with me as the Dermatologist. To ensure that there are no alternative drugs that may be used instead. As already mentioned alcohol is a definite trigger for psoriasis, so obviously keeping your alcohol level to a minimum is advised. I always recommend Jane, that a proper healthy diet is essential in addition to regular exercise. Particular food groups don’t necessarily make psoriasis worse, but for all of us to maintain good skin health in general, it is essential to have a varied and balanced diet.