As a dermatology nurse practitioner, my specialty areas mostly include skin cancer detection, inflammatory and non-inflammatory dermatoses and other women’s health issues including acne, GYN dermatology, hair loss and anti-aging.

However, I have also found a niche in managing patients with plaque psoriasis, and today I want to share some lifestyle changes that can help manage this condition.

Plaque psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory, multisystem condition of skin and joints. It affects more than three percent of the U.S population according to the American Academy of Dermatology. There are many different ways that psoriasis will present itself, but most of the time it presents as patches of thick raised skin covered with a silvery scale.

Psoriasis is complex and has negative physical and psychological effects. A dermatology practitioner can work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan with the option of using advances in modern therapeutics to help treat psoriasis safely and effectively.

Besides modern-day therapeutics, these lifestyle changes could make a major difference in how your psoriasis is managed.

Stop smoking. Smoking increases your risk of psoriasis flare-ups and skin cancer. Smoking can also lead to premature lines and wrinkles, accelerated loss of elasticity and dry skin.

Eat healthy. Some patients report better control of their psoriasis with healthy eating. An anti-inflammatory diet that is full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats will improve your health in other areas as well.

Alcohol consumption. Alcohol can cause inflammation and can lead to inadequate control of psoriasis. Quit drinking or greatly reduce how much you drink in a given week.

Skin injury. Be aware that small injuries to the skin can induce a flare-up. This may include bug bites, intense scratching, sunburns, tattoos and piercings, and nicks or scrapes while shaving.

Stress is a common trigger for psoriasis. Are there emotional stressors in your life that you can work on managing? Your dermatology practitioner can help you find ways to cope with stress.

Prioritize sleep. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol fall during sleep, which helps skin repair overnight.

Are you wondering if you have plaque psoriasis? Please see your dermatology practitioner for diagnosis and treatment.

Northeast Dermatology Associates has served New England communities for over 70 years. Their offices are all full service, in-house providers.

NEDA Portland is now accepting new patients with immediate openings for appointments. Call 978-691-5690 or book online at nedermatology.com.