Living daily with psoriasis

Psoriasis has an impact on most aspects of daily life, and vice versa: working, washing, eating, sleeping, getting dressed, playing sports, going out, going on vacation, etc. Some changes may be needed but the disease need not and should not prevent you from living your life to the fullest!




Psoriasis and diet

The link between psoriasis and diet is at the heart of much current debate. Which foods should you eat more of? Which foods should you avoid? It is sometimes difficult to know which advice to follow. While waiting for clear and definitive answers from studies and scientific publications, a healthy, varied and balanced diet is recommended to limit weight gain. Overweight and obesity are frequently associated with psoriasis but also with many cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Beyond diet, overall lifestyle is important in managing psoriasis. Exposure to certain toxic substances such as alcohol and tobacco is to be avoided where possible because they can lead to psoriasis flare-ups. If you are highly dependent on these substances, get help to stop using them and therefore increase your chances of improving your psoriasis.

But excess food, tobacco and/or alcohol is sometimes the result of deep-rooted distress related to psoriasis. The psychological impact of psoriasis is very real and is characterized by a loss of self-esteem, withdrawal, anxiety, stress, depression, and so on. Psoriasis manifests itself physically and often leads to people with the disease distancing themselves from others. Under these circumstances, it can be difficult to ask for help and support. And yet it is by opening up to others and putting what you are feeling into words that you can really move forward and break out of this vicious circle.

Daily psoriasis treatment

If psoriasis is an integral part of everyday life, then so are the treatments! These may include creams, tablets, injections or even phototherapy sessions. The various treatments must be used in accordance with the medical prescription to relieve the patient and improve the condition of their skin. If necessary, a calendar stuck on your fridge, a reminder on your phone or a mobile app can be used, with the aim of promoting compliance and therefore optimizing treatment efficacy. A number of people with psoriasis want to treat themselves naturally and use natural recipes and traditional remedies. There is nothing wrong with this but you mustn't forget the treatment prescribed by your dermatologist!

In addition to the prescribed treatments, it is important to take care of your skin on a daily basis, taking care to choose dermo-cosmetic products adapted to psoriatic skin. Use a mild, soap-free cleansing product when showering. A shampoo to relieve scalp psoriasis, enriched with kerato-reducing active ingredients, should be used during flare-ups. For periods outside of flare-ups, use a mild, rebalancing shampoo, to allow frequent or even daily washing.
In addition to medicinal creams, some creams relieve psoriasis on a daily basis:

  • During flare-ups, creams enriched with keratolytic active ingredients will help to remove thick plaques.
  • But also outside of flare-up periods: recent publications* show that psoriatic skin that looks "healthy" (around plaques or outside of flare-up periods) is not really "healthy". There is subcutaneous inflammation in areas not affected by plaques that must be treated in order to reduce the frequency of flare-ups. To do this, hydrate and strengthen your skin with a hydrating cream. This cream should be applied over the whole body (not only to areas where psoriasis plaques appear during flare-ups). Regarding the overall management of your skin on areas other than plaques, it is not advisable to apply a cream containing keratolytic active ingredients (keratolytic active ingredients are useful, however, for reducing the thickness of plaques).

*Kermann et Al, Transcriptional landscape of psoriasis identifies the involvement of IL36 and IL36RN BLC (2015); Rachael A. Clark, Resident memory T cells in human health and disease. Sci Trans Med, 2015 January 7; 7(269)


Psoriasis: Habits to adopt in your daily life

When it comes to psoriasis, you need to take care of your skin all the time because no treatment can definitively eliminate the various symptoms of the disease. If you stop using a particular product or treatment, and the disease comes back, it doesn't mean that the treatment or product didn't work. It is natural for your psoriasis to come back as it is a chronic disease! It is essential to grasp both the chronic nature of psoriasis and the lack of any definitive cure in order to better understand the treatments available and the need to apply them every day.

You must therefore get into the habit of taking care of yourself all the time, even on holiday. Fortunately, psoriasis and the sun go together well, because the sun improves psoriasis, but you must still take measures (sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, etc.) to protect yourself. You should also check that the treatment prescribed by your dermatologist is compatible with sun exposure. It is important to prepare a "special psoriasis" travel kit with all the treatments and products you use in the daily management of psoriasis.

Sleeping well is important for your quality of life. However, the itching caused by psoriasis sometimes disrupts sleep. Keep a moisturizer, a fan, a spray or a stress ball on your bedside table to help you avoid scratching during the night!

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