Itching and Burning Sensations
When your skin is red, scaly, or otherwise irritated due to a psoriasis flare-up, your skin may also become itchy, or have a burning sensation. Often, when someone with psoriasis is feeling itchy or like their skin is burning, it’s referred to as the psoriatic itch.
Psoriatic itch is felt by up to 90 percent of people living with psoriasis, and it’s been described as less of your normal itchy sensation and more of a biting sort of burn. It’s also only recently been recognized as an official symptom of psoriasis.
Another symptom of psoriasis affects the fingernails and toenails. In some instances, you may find that your nails are thickening. They may have ridges on the nails, or they may be lifting away from your nail bed.
Along with the thickening of the nails, there’s also the chance that you may notice other things happening to them. You may notice some discoloration that may look like blood drops under the nail, white patches, or black lines.
There may also be horizontal lines across your nails. If your nails end up becoming weak, they may crumble or fall apart. The last thing to be aware of is that people who suffer from nail changes as a symptom of psoriasis may also have psoriatic arthritis at some point in their life.
Swollen or stiff joints are the main symptom of psoriatic arthritis. Unfortunately, the stiffness or swelling can affect any part of your body.
When you’re suffering from this symptom, you may notice that your joints swell, feel warm, and are sore. This swelling is still a result of psoriasis being an autoimmune disorder because your body attacks healthy cells and tissue, causing the inflammation in the joints. This is the same as your body attacking healthy skin cells causing an overproduction.
Swollen joints and stiffness can also be a sign that you have psoriatic arthritis. If this is the case, swelling and pain are most often felt in the toes and fingers — but it can affect other areas of the body as well.
Depending on the severity of psoriatic arthritis, pain and swelling can be managed by non-steroid drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin. More severe instances may need different medication, but your doctor will be able to talk you through the options that are right for you.
To ease the pain you feel with psoriatic arthritis, or even just joint swelling, there are certain types of foods you can avoid. This includes dairy, potatoes, tomatoes, foods with refined sugar, and processed foods. Eating fish is a good idea, as the fish oils are good for inflammation.
Ways to Cope With Psoriasis and Psoriasis Symptoms
Psoriasis is one of those conditions that can’t quite be diagnosed completely perfectly, and there’s no sure-fire way to say how it was triggered, you have to manage it in a way that works best for you.
There are, however, several doctor-recommended approaches that you could adapt into your lifestyle to try and deal with psoriasis and avoid even getting the symptoms.
Keep Stress to a Minimum
When you’re feeling the symptoms of psoriasis, you can tend to panic and stress a bit. This causes a vicious cycle, where stressing can irritate your skin even more.
There are many ways you could incorporate calm and mindfulness into your routine to try to limit stress where possible. The art of yoga and meditation are great methods of keeping your mind cool, calm, and collected. Even 10 minutes a day of meditation using an app like Headspace can be beneficial.
Also, remember to make time for yourself. It’s hard to stay stress-free when you’re rushing around doing things for everyone else. Even if it’s just taking time out for a bath instead of a shower once a week, or watching a TV show, you’ve wanted to watch for a while, or maybe you want to curl up with a book for an hour or so.
Get More Sleep
You must remember your parents telling you that the more you slept, the more you’d grow or the better you’d feel. Well, getting sufficient sleep can help your skin do the repairing it needs to do. So you can help ease psoriatic itch with a proper sleep regime. However, this is another one that can exist in a bit of a vicious cycle.
Although you may know that psoriasis will benefit from getting more sleep, when you’re suffering from psoriatic itch, you can be incredibly uncomfortable, meaning it’s a lot harder to get quality sleep. Also, when you’re feeling irritable from not getting enough sleep, you get stressed and end up more exhausted, which are both different triggers for psoriasis.
It’s an incredibly difficult cycle, but if you can keep calm and remind yourself that the flare-up won’t last forever, you may be able to settle into slumber.
Next page: More ways to cope with psoriasis symptoms.