March 9, 2022 |  written by IVX Health

How to Prevent and Treat Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic immune-mediated skin disease that affects approximately 7.5 million adults in the U.S.

The most common form of this autoimmune disease is plaque psoriasis. When an overactive immune system causes the body to produce skin cells too fast, these cells buildup on the surface of the skin, causing the development of thick, shiny, dry, scaly patches (commonly referred to as plaques) of various sizes on the skin. Psoriasis plaques usually form on the hands, feet, knees, elbows, and scalp. These plaques can cause pain, itching, stinging, and a burning sensation.

Although there is no cure for plaque psoriasis, the symptoms arise sporadically and there are lifestyle changes, home remedies and medical treatments available to reduce the severity of the symptoms and psoriasis flare ups. The best way to prevent psoriasis to avoid known triggers.

Woman sitting while itching her arm due to a psoriasis flare up
Woman sitting while itching her arm due to a psoriasis flare up

What Causes Psoriasis to Flare Up?

In a recent study on psoriasis, researchers investigated every aspect of psoriasis — from causes to symptoms to psoriasis flare up treatment. According to this study, psoriasis flare up causes include stress, alcohol consumption, obesity, vitamin D deficiency, and tobacco use. Certain medications can also trigger flares as they can impede the body’s natural autoimmune response, leading to inflammation. Inflammation is additionally a common trigger for flare ups.

Medications that trigger psoriasis include:

  • Hemangeol – treatment of hypertension
  • Lithium – prescribed for mental health disorders
  • Indocin – treatment for arthritis
  • Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine – anti-malarial drugs for preventing malaria
  • Plaquenil – treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Beta-blockers (e.g., Propranolol) ¬– treatment for cardiovascular conditions
  • Quinidine ¬– treatment for cardiovascular conditions

If a patient thinks their medication could be causing flare ups, they should continue taking his or her medications as prescribed and schedule an appointment with their prescribing physician to discuss further.

How to Prevent Psoriasis

There are several ways to help reduce the severity and frequency of your psoriasis.

Reduce Stress

To prevent stress induced flare ups, patients should incorporate relaxing activities into their daily routine such as meditation, yoga, or a professional massage.

Keep the Skin and Scalp Moisturized

When the skin is dry, plaques may develop. To keep the skin moist, patients need to stay hydrated. In addition, the use of a humidifier, lotions, and creams can help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis.

Be Mindful of Your Skin and the Scalp

Patients should avoid picking at their skin patches as it could cause more patches to develop.

Cold, dry environments can intensify many cases of psoriasis, and many patients find hot weather is beneficial for their psoriasis.

Eat a Healthy Diet

A diet full of fruits and vegetables is beneficial. Some people find it helpful to omit dairy and gluten from their diets, but every person’s diet needs are different.

You may be able to learn how to prevent psoriasis flare ups by changing your diet. Knowing which foods can cause inflammation can help people with psoriasis create a menu that is free of these foods.

Foods that may cause inflammation include:

  • Dairy products
  • Foods high in fat
  • Red meat
  • Processed foods
  • Citrus fruits
  • Refined sugars
  • Nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers)

Foods patients can add to their diet to help psoriasis remain in remission or potentially reduce symptoms:

  • Seeds (such as pumpkin and flax seeds)
  • Fatty fishes like tuna and salmon
  • Nuts
  • Green leafy vegetables, including kale and spinach

Vitamins and supplements may also be beneficial. However, before starting any new vitamin or supplement, patients should speak with their physician.

How to Treat Moderate to Severe Psoriasis

If at-home treatments are not reducing your psoriasis flares as well as you’d like them to, consider speaking with your doctor about psoriasis treatment options available at IVX Health. At IVX Health, you can receive revolutionary psoriasis biologic medications, including Remicade and Cimzia, administered via an injection or an infusion. To find your closest IVX Health center, click here.

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.