If you experience symptoms of psoriasis, you’re not alone. Psoriasis affects 1-3% of the world’s population. It can show up as red or pink areas of the skin that look thick and raised. These areas will often present as dry and itchy and can occur anywhere on the body, though most often found in places that rub together or experience friction.

Super fun, right?

Though there is no known cure for psoriasis, there are ways to keep the condition as under control as possible, by modifying diet, skin care regime and the products you use.

In this resource, we’re going to dive skin deep with all the deets on why psoriasis occurs, how to treat it and what types of products to look for.

The Whys

Most people suffering from psoriasis have something called plaque psoriasis. This type shows symptoms of raised red or silvery patches of skin that may start out as smaller red bumps.

Dermatologists have been unable to pinpoint one particular reason that psoriasis occurs, but they believe it’s a combination of genes, the strength of the immune system and other environmental factors.

For people without psoriasis, it takes between 28-30 days for their skin cells to mature. The skin cells will regenerate and then shed off, within this monthly cycle. People with psoriasis only experience a 3-4 day cycle. This gives the skin cells no time to shed and leads to build up, which is what creates the thick skin patches. Though it’s not known why this happens, the result of psoriasis occurs due to the skin cells growing too quickly.

The Hows

So how do you manage your psoriasis symptoms. There may not be a cure, but you can still take steps to keep your skin as happy as possible.

Stress can play a major part in your symptoms, so make sure you have a solid destress routine to keep yourself feeling your best. Movement like yoga or dance can help, as well as meditation, aromatherapy or acupuncture/massage. Find a routine that works best for you so you can keep the psychological triggers of psoriasis as under control as possible.

Your diet may also play a role in managing symptoms. Lean toward foods with anti-inflammatory properties. Add some extra omega-3s to your diet with fish or nuts or by including an omega-3 supplement into your routine.

 Assess your skin care regime and tweak it as needed. Cleanse and moisturize your skin only once daily to avoid it drying out. Avoid loofahs or harsh cleansing tools. Use a soft face cloth or your hands when you are cleansing the affected areas. If you experience symptoms on your face, avoid harsh toners and products that may further dry out the skin.

The Whats

What type of products should we use on skin affected by psoriasis?

Avoid harsh toners or products that include lactic acid. Check on your laundry detergents or any products that may touch your clothes or skin, as they can further irritate the problem.

Look for anti-inflammatory ingredients like chamomile, oats, ginger, or red hogweed. You can pair this with an oil based product using argan, evening primrose, borage or sea buckthorn. Always finish off with a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to protect from UV rays.

Keeping your skin happy and healthy may seem like a chore when you’re experiencing a psoriasis flare up, but everyone deserves to love the skin they’re in. Hopefully these tips can help you, not only manage flare ups, but feel more in control of your psoriasis and it’s symptoms.

Article Author: Jennifer Doan a sex educator, coach and the host of the podcast Taking Back Slut. Jennifer is committed to helping people connect to their sexual power in a way that feels safe and comfortable to them. Connect with her on Instagram @jenn_doan