Psoriasis can be a devastating skin condition. It typically affects people in a series of dormant periods and flares, and an important part of treatment is identifying the triggers that cause symptoms to begin. If you have psoriasis, a significant trigger you may be overlooking is a stress. Here is a closer look at the link between stress and psoriasis and what you can do about it.
Stress and Psoriasis
Stress and psoriasis can cause a troubling cycle of symptoms. Stress may lead to a psoriasis flare-up, while a psoriasis flare-up can cause more stress to occur. Although anyone can suffer from this kind of stress-related psoriasis flare-up, women tend to experience it most often.
Psoriasis and stress are thought to be linked because of the action that stress causes in the body. Doctors believe that the body responds to stress in the same way it does to a physical injury—by activating the immune system to attack inflammation and promote healing. In people with psoriasis, the immune system over-responds, which in turn causes a flare-up to occur. Stress triggers the immune response, which is overactive, so a psoriasis flare-up happens.
Reducing Stress to Control Psoriasis
Among the many things your dermatologist will do to help you manage your psoriasis is to identify and control the things that trigger flare-ups. Reducing stress can play a big role in this process. If you’re dealing with stress that is affecting your psoriasis, there are many things you can do to reduce its impact. Exercise can be beneficial in managing stress symptoms, as can mediation. Be sure to get sufficient sleep and aim to maintain a healthy diet. If you think you need additional help in managing your stress, ask your doctor about options for counseling in your area.
Arlington Dermatology can help you treat a comprehensive range of skin conditions, from psoriasis and rosacea to melanoma. To make an appointment for psoriasis treatment in Arlington Heights, call 847-392-5440.