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Living Well with Psoriasis

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This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, balance and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the Healthgrades advertising policy.

6 Ways to Reduce the Stress of Psoriasis

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Susan Fishman, APC, CRC on October 13, 2021
  • portrait-of-stressed-man
    Psoriasis and Stress: A Vicious Cycle
    While stress is a common trigger for psoriasis, living with the chronic skin disease can often cause stress. Some days you may feel like you just can’t get away from it. The good news is, you can. Having a few good stress relievers on hand when psoriasis stress ramps up can quickly bring you down to a place of cool and calm. And that, in turn, will help reduce your psoriasis flare-ups. 
  • woman-stretching-leg
    1. Get moving.
    Research indicates women who regularly participate in vigorous exercise are less likely to get psoriasis than less-active women. Exercise has also been shown to improve sleep and decrease anxiety by increasing production of endorphins, chemicals that help improve mood and energy. Start with an activity you enjoy, or an exercise hobby, such as golf or gardening, and work up to 30 minutes a day of exercise, five days a week. The more active you are, the less stress you are likely to have.
  • Woman doing yoga
    2. Try yoga, deep breathing exercises or meditation.
    Relaxation exercises, such as yoga and deep breathing, are great for ridding the body of stress. While yoga is more of a stress prevention technique, you can use deep breathing anytime you feel stress coming on. Start by breathing in slowly and deeply. When you can’t breathe in anymore, begin to breathe out right away (don’t hold your breath) until you have emptied your lungs. Repeat this at least five times. Many people find meditation to be a significant stress reliever. The process of sitting in a comfortable position with closed eyes and focusing on your breathing helps to clear the mind, slow down racing thoughts and relieve stress and anxiety. Some people have even found this helps improve their psoriasis. There are many meditation techniques to choose from; start with a short, simple routine that you can easily work into your schedule.
  • Woman talking to doctor
    3. Open up.
    The stress of living with psoriasis can leave you feeling vulnerable and can do a number on your self-esteem. Having a strong support system is extremely helpful when you have a chronic condition like psoriasis. If you can open up to close friends and family members when you are going through a rough patch, they can offer understanding and emotional support, and this can be a huge stress relief. Also, be open and honest with your doctors about your condition and how the stress of it is impacting your life. Ask about any additional options for psoriasis treatment that can help you look and feel better.
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  • Woman choosing clothes from wardrobe
    4. Focus on your wardrobe.
    Women, in particular, seem especially vulnerable to stress due to psoriasis. This may be due, in part, to the effects psoriasis has on appearance and feelings of attractiveness. Many women try to cover up their psoriasis plaques with long sleeves and long pants, but this can sometimes lead to perspiration, which can make symptoms worse. Try wearing loose-fitting clothes and breathable fabrics. Focus on aspects of your appearance you can control, such as your hair or wardrobe, which can help relive anxiety and give you a boost of confidence.
  • woman talking to therapist
    5. Reach out for help.
    If you’re finding psoriasis stress difficult to manage on your own, consider counseling. Often talking to a professional can help you get your stress under control when other techniques aren’t working. Find a counselor or therapist who specializes in stress management, or take a course in your area. Support groups for people with psoriasis are also great for helping you connect to others who are having similar issues.
  • Doctor Writing Medical Prescription
    6. Ask about medication.
    Some people with psoriasis find that anti-anxiety medication, or counseling along with medication, has a positive effect on their level of anxiety and stress. If you’ve tried other measures, and counseling alone is still not helping, talk to your doctor about whether medication might be helpful for you.
Reducing Psoriasis Stress | Psoriasis and Stress

About The Author

Susan Fishman, APC, CRC is a veteran freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience in health education. She is also an Associate Professional Counselor and Clinical Rehabilitation Counselor, adding mental health and wellness to her area of expertise.

You can follow Susan’s work at http://www.writingbyfishman.com/ or https://twitter.com/@fishmanwriting on Twitter.
  1. Stress and psoriatic disease. National Psoriasis Foundation. https://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriasis/stress
  2. Stress as an influencing factor is psoriasis. Pubmed.org. US National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21611682
  3. Psoriasis – a simple explanation. The Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance. http://www.papaa.org/psoriasis-simple-explanation
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Last Review Date: 2021 Oct 13
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