Psoriasis causes skin cells to mature faster than they should, leading to a build-up of excess, immature cells on the skin’s surface. These surplus cells appear as flaky, crusty, raised patches of skin and cause itching, redness, and hardened or dry skin. Although psoriasis most commonly affects the face, back, elbows, knees and legs, about half of sufferers also experience scalp psoriasis, which can lead to hair loss in extreme cases.
But help is at hand! Here are our expert tips on managing the condition:
- Daily baths – use a hypoallergenic soap or emollient wash in your bath to help soothe itchy spots and dry skin. For added relief add finely ground oatmeal or Epsom salts to lukewarm running water and remember to avoid very hot water and harsh soaps, which can dry out the skin.
- Stay moisturised – moisturising regularly will keep skin hydrated and reduce flakiness. To avoid irritation smooth lotion over your body using gentle upwards strokes and look out for products that are fragrance free and specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Keeping your skin moisturised as well as using an effective treatment will help keep flare ups at bay.
- Layering – as we move into winter, remember to layer up with a hat, scarf and gloves to protect your skin from the cold winds and icy rain. Try to avoid wool and synthetic fabrics as these can irritate dry skin; opt for natural materials like cotton and linen instead.
- Take care of your health – eating a healthy diet, exercising, not smoking and limiting alcohol intake will all help to keep psoriasis under control. Initial research suggests that people with psoriasis may have an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure, so maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential.
- Get some sun – the UV in the sun’s rays slows the growth of skin cells, so getting a moderate dose of daily sunlight where possible will help keep flare ups under control. Remember to use a sunscreen that is designed for sensitive skin.
Dermalex Repair Psoriasis treats psoriasis symptoms and helps prevent future flare ups by activating the skin’s own repair mechanism, whilst also forming a moisturising micro-shield on the skin which calms and soothes irritation. The cream normalises skin cell maturation and is available in two pack sizes 60g and 150g £18.99/£29.99 from Lloyds Pharmacy, selected Boots stores and online at www.lloydspharmacy.com and www.boots.com