Skin issues can have a serious impact on your health and well-being. For the 7.5 million Americans living with psoriasis, itch can be the most bothersome part of their condition because it can make it difficult to sleep and hard to concentrate, as well as affect other aspects of their quality of life. To help relieve your psoriasis itch, a board-certified dermatologist from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) is providing four important tips to consider.
“What starts out as an itch can turn into an infection rather quickly if you break the skin and germs get in,” said David Pariser MD, FAAD, professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School. “That’s why it’s so important to know how to relieve your itch so this doesn’t happen.”
To ease itch caused by your psoriasis, Dr. Pariser and the AAD recommend these tips:
- Limit time in water to avoid drying your skin. Try to keep your showers to 5 minutes, and baths to 15 minutes or less.
- Moisturize your skin after every shower, bath, or hand washing when your skin is still damp. This helps seal in much-needed moisture and heal your skin, along with reducing redness and itch. Choose a heavy cream, ointment, or oil instead of a lotion, as these better hydrate your skin. Make sure it says “fragrance-free” on the label, as fragrance can irritate your skin. Avoid products labeled “unscented,” which may still contain fragrance that has been covered up. If you feel the need to scratch, apply your moisturizer instead.
- Use an itch-relieving product. Look for a product that contains menthol or camphor. If the itch-relieving product makes your skin feel drier, use a moisturizer with it.
- Apply a cool, damp washcloth to your itchy skin. Placing something cool on your skin reduces itch. You can also refrigerate an itch-relieving product for an additional cooling effect.
“While these tips can help to relieve your itch, it’s important to remember that psoriasis doesn’t just affect your skin, scalp, and nails,” said Dr. Pariser. “If you don’t treat your psoriasis, it’s more likely to get worse and it increases your risk of developing other health conditions such as psoriasis in your joints, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. I recommend that all patients with psoriasis partner with a board-certified dermatologist as we are the experts in the diagnosis and treatment of this skin condition.”
To find a board-certified dermatologist in your area, visit aad.org/findaderm.
American Academy of Dermatology
How to relieve itchy psoriasis (2023, March 23)
retrieved 24 March 2023
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