February 8, 2023 |  written by IVX Health

How to Manage Psoriasis Symptoms at Work or School

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes raised, red patches of inflamed skin covered in silvery white scales. These patches, or plaques, can occur anywhere on the body. However, they occur most often on the scalp, knees, elbows, and lower back. As with other autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis may significantly impact your day-to-day life, including work, relationships, what you wear, and how you sleep.

A group of businesspeople smiling in a coffeeshop meeting
A group of businesspeople smiling in a coffeeshop meeting

Depending on the severity of your condition, your dermatologist may even prescribe a biologic infusion therapy, which may require ongoing treatments at home or in an outpatient infusion center. Read on for methods to help you live more comfortably with psoriasis at school or in the workplace.

Practical Symptom Management Tools

Living well with psoriasis entails educating yourself about the condition, understanding your limitations, and knowing what laws or policies may protect you in the workplace.

  • Learn about which triggers can cause flare-ups. Examples include poor eating habits, not getting enough sleep, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and insufficient exercise.
  • Try to avoid situations that can cause stress.
  • Manage your workload so that you don’t become overwhelmed.
  • If you experience difficulties with colleagues or employers, find out about policies that protect you in the workplace.

How to Manage Psoriasis Symptoms in the Workplace

Going to school or working a typical nine-to-five job while balancing the needs of your psoriasis is challenging. It is critical to find ways to create a healthy work environment. Learn to listen to your body so that you don’t overdo it and risk exhaustion and worsening your symptoms.

Talk to Your Employer or Educator

Awareness about psoriasis is increasing. However, your boss or teachers may not know how to accommodate your needs to ease your psoriasis symptoms in the workplace and at school.

  • Engage with them about needing more flexible working hours to attend medical appointments.
  • If you wear a uniform at work, explain that you might need extra sets.
  • If appropriate, request protective clothing such as gloves to prevent psoriasis lesions or plaques from worsening.
  • Explain the need for a private space to apply emollients regularly.

Practice Self-Care

Even people who don’t live with autoimmune diseases can struggle to achieve a satisfactory work-life balance. For individuals with psoriasis, it is imperative to maintain healthy habits to prevent the condition from worsening. Ensure you get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, and engage in regular physical activity. To achieve healthy routines at home, it is vital to keep your work hours under control. Don’t forget the importance of keeping your skin moisturized throughout the day. For easy application at work or school, keep some moisturizer in a travel-size container in your bag or locker.

Dress for Success

The global pandemic has shifted how and where many people work. Working from home certainly makes it easier to dress to accommodate uncomfortable skin lesions. However, if you work in a corporate or retail environment and must dress a certain way, psoriasis plaques can make it challenging. Here are a few tips for dressing professionally with psoriasis:

  1. Wear lighter-colored clothes near affected areas. This will help to lessen the visibility of skin flakes on your clothing.
  2. If you like to wear dresses or skirt suits, try pairing them with opaque tights to help hide skin lesions on your legs.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes. If you have plantar psoriasis, wearing high heels and tight shoes can worsen your condition. Wear spacious, flat-soled shoes where you can. If you must wear heels, keep a pair of comfy slip-on shoes in your office for when you are working at your desk.

Manage Psoriasis with Safe Exercise

Exercising is a practice that can only help improve your overall well-being and disposition – when done so safely and effectively. When exercising with psoriasis, always consult with your doctor first if you’re unsure of how an exercise will impact your health, and always try to have fun with it! 

Exercise Benefits for Psoriasis

If you engage in exercise that doesn’t impose any physical stress on the body, it can be a helpful tool in the management of psoriasis symptoms. Exercise can help manage your weight, improve heart health, reduce stress, and limit inflammation. Further advantages include:

  • Decreased stress levels lead to less frequent flare-ups.
  • Physical activity encourages your body’s inherent detoxification process.
  • Exercise promotes endorphin production which can boost your mood and energy levels.     
  • Improvement of circulation can help increase the effectiveness of psoriasis treatments and medications.

Change Your Mind Set About Your Psoriasis Symptoms

Your mind can play a pivotal role in how your body deals with your chronic health condition. When we don’t see results quickly enough, and symptom management tools don’t work as well as we expect, we can become stuck in a stress cycle. For many individuals living with psoriasis, stress may have a significant impact on flare-ups and the frequency and severity of psoriatic plaques. Consider contacting a health care practitioner who can bridge the gap between your skin condition and your mental well-being (psychodermatology). They may be able to help you fortify a sense of self-worth despite your skin disorder.

Break the Negativity Cycle

The physical manifestations of autoimmune skin disorders can cause feelings of loneliness and rejection in your head. Try to break that cycle by connecting with people dealing with the same issues as you. Speak to a therapist or join a support group. Sharing your experiences will help normalize your feelings and give you tools to work towards a more positive frame of mind.

Psoriasis Treatment at IVX Health

If you are struggling with psoriasis symptoms, consult a dermatologist or other health care practitioner about psoriasis treatment options available. If biologic infusion or injection therapy is prescribed by your dermatologist or other specialist, you may consider receiving ongoing treatments at an IVX Health center. In the comfort of a private suite, IVX patients receive biologic injections or infusible medications such as IlumyaRemicade, and CimziaContact us to find an IVX Health infusion center near you.

Treatment at IVX Health

If biologics like Remicade, Actemra or Orencia  are a part of your chronic illness treatment plan, then consider choosing IVX Health for your ongoing care needs. IVX Health makes it possible to receive your therapy in a comfortable, convenient, and private environment.

With a private suite for every patient, you can watch your favorite Netflix show or movie on the big screen TV in each room, use a laptop or other mobile device to surf the web, or simply hang out with family and friends. We always have chairs for guests, and each center has a family room that is spacious and private if you need to bring your kids to your treatment. We also offer flexible appointment scheduling – including evenings and Saturdays – at any of our convenient locations.

At IVX Health, we truly are invested in helping you live your best life. If you’re ready to experience a new kind of infusion clinic, click here to learn how to move your infusion or injection therapy to IVX Health.