Tired of psoriasis affecting your life? Dr. Adam Penstein and the team at Penstein Dermatology in New York, NY are here to help with personalized treatment and management solutions.
Guide to Psoriasis Triggers and Management
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that impacts millions of people around the world. For most sufferers, it causes red, uncomfortable, scaly patches on areas like the lower back, knees, elbows, and scalp, but it can flare up anywhere. In this guide, Dr. Penstein of Penstein Dermatology in New York, NY discusses the triggers of psoriasis and how you can manage the condition.
What Causes Psoriasis, and What Triggers Flare-ups?
An overactive immune system is the root of psoriasis, which causes skin cells to grow too quickly. Normally, it takes about a month for skin cells to develop, grow, and then fall off. However, with overactive immune systems, this process typically takes less than a week. This leads to a build-up of skin cells.
Many people are at risk of developing psoriasis due to a family history of the condition. Taking some medications can also play a role, as can medical conditions like type 2 diabetes.
As psoriasis is due to an overactive immunity, there are some factors that can trigger an immune response and lead to a flare-up. These include but are not necessarily limited to the following:
- Skin injuries or infections
- Alcoholic drinks, especially when drinking daily or too much
- Weather conditions, usually either cold, dry weather or warm, sunny weather
The first step in effective management is receiving a proper diagnosis. The symptoms of this condition can often be confused with other skin conditions, so it’s important to know which one you have.
Your dermatologist can prescribe topical treatments and oral medications to help reduce inflammation and calm the immune system.
Additionally, your dermatologist can help you determine what triggers might be to blame for your flare-ups and develop an effective management plan. This will often include steps such as the following.
- Stress management: Stress can put many bodily systems into hyperdrive, including your immunity. Yoga, meditation, and other stress management techniques can help.
- Quit drinking or smoking: Quitting – or at least cutting back – can reduce flare-ups.
- Weather protection: Keep skin moisturized during dry, cold spells, and use gloves. Use sunscreen when it’s sunny out.
- Address injuries quickly: If you have any skin injury, treat it as quickly as possible. And use bug protection when you spend time outdoors to avoid bites.
Get a personalized psoriasis management plan with the help of Dr. Penstein at Penstein Dermatology in New York, NY by calling (212) 517-5171.