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I still remember sitting in the doctor's office, being told that I had psoriasis. I had no idea how to pronounce it, never mind spell it, nor did I have any clue as to what it was.
Looking back I did not feel that my doctor had explained the condition well, and I was in shock that I had something that sounded so serious. I thought I just had a mark on my face, a rash or something. Not a condition that I had no idea even existed. Below, I have detailed all the tips I wish someone with psoriasis had told me in the first few months of being diagnosed. It would have helped massively!
Psoriasis is manageable, but sadly not curable.
One of the first things I wish my doctor had told me is that there is currently no cure for psoriasis. It can be managed, however, it may take a while for you to find the right plan for you.
For me, it has taken almost six years to find something that works for my skin. The medication I am on currently, alongside my holistic routine, keeps my flares down and though my psoriasis isn't completely clear, I have no side effects and no irritations from my psoriasis. Just a red patch or two that aren't rough, flaky or quite as irritable as they use to be. It took a while to get to this point but working with my doctor helped, which brings me on to my second point.
Speak to your doctor/dermatologist regularly
Seeing your doctor or dermatologist regularly to seek treatment about your psoriasis is vital. Remember, psoriasis is not just a skin condition. Though known mostly for the skin aspect of the condition, psoriasis is related to the immune system and can be impacted by various factors such as stress or lifestyle choices like your diet. It also means that psoriasis can affect many parts of your life, so by regularly checking in with your doctor or dermatologist, they can keep an eye on all other aspects of your body and health.
A holistic routine can be helpful
Holistic routines take into consideration exercise, environment, diet and sleep, to name a few things.
For example, the environment around you can affect your psoriasis. You might discover that your skin is distressed more during certain times of the year. It might be that cold, winters make your skin irritation worse. Stress can also be a significant factor in many people's lives and a key trigger for psoriasis. Finding ways to deal with stress and removing yourself from stressful situations can help. Sometimes these stresses can be caused by work or school and be a little harder to remove yourself from. I have found exercise, and in particular yoga, as well as meditation to be great for my psoriasis and in helping me to de-stress. If you are struggling to find time to exercise, make simple changes if you can: walk to work, take the stairs or park your car a little further away to get some extra steps in - every little bit helps!
It's not all negative
I have found that at times psoriasis can make you self-conscious, lonely and anxious. However, you may find like me that not all aspects of psoriasis are negative.
If it weren't for psoriasis and the beautiful online community, I wouldn't have had many of the experiences I have had over the past six years nor would I have made some of the incredible friends that I have today.
The world of psoriasis can be daunting, but there are many people out there, just like you, to talk to when times are good and when flares get tough.
I hope this article helps you come to terms with your psoriasis and put a plan in place for how to deal with your psoriasis journey.
UK/IE MAT-26129 Date of preparation: June 2019
Blog post developed in partnership with LEO Pharma.