Medically Reviewed by Neha Pathak, MD on October 15, 2021
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Good Support Is Key

It's important to find a support group and surround yourself with people who encourage you. When you’re not feeling your best or you feel like you’re letting psoriasis get the best of you, someone who says, “You’re still beautiful,” or “You’re doing fine” always seems to help.  

-- Alisha M. Bridges, psoriasis advocate; volunteer, National Psoriasis Foundation, Atlanta

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Don’t Blame Yourself

I've had psoriasis for 35 years. I used to feel that if I had a flare, I must have done something wrong. But it’s important to be kind to yourself and remember that you didn’t do anything to get psoriasis.

-- The Rev. Howard Chang, volunteer, National Psoriasis Foundation, Sacramento, CA

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Have a Routine

I've found that structure can restore order to the unpredictability of living with psoriasis. It can be hard to deal with the idea that an outbreak might happen at any time. But establishing daily morning and evening routines has helped with that.

-- Howard Chang

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Give Your Medication Time to Work

It's important to understand that your doctors are treating the disease as well as your symptoms. So it’s not just about your joints, but also your cardiovascular system and other areas. Some medicines can take several weeks to work, so realistic goals and expectations -- as well as patience -- are key.

-- Nilanjana Bose, MD, rheumatologist, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, Pearland, TX

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Start the Day Right

Take a hot shower in the morning to get your joints warmed up. That morning shower has helped ease my pain and stiffness to get the day off to a good start.

-- Lilly Stairs, head of patient advocacy, Clara Health, Boston

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Ergo Is the Way to Go

I take advantage of all gadgets and equipment available. For example, my workstation has an ergonomic keyboard, ergonomic scissors, a chair with a special pad, and a soft-touch stapler. Don't be embarrassed to use all these things, because they can make a big difference.

-- Jody Quinn, National Psoriasis Foundation volunteer, advocate, and community ambassador, Plymouth, MA

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Find Ways to Be Active

If you have joint inflammation with psoriatic disease, weave walking, climbing, and upper-body exercises into your day-to-day activities. For example, it can be easier to walk with a buddy, so you might team up with someone and walk every day. If you work from home, investing in a standing desk or a desk exercise bike could help, as well.

-- Elena Schiopu, MD, rheumatologist, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI

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Exercise Caution

While staying active is important, you also want to make sure you don’t overdo it. Listen to your body and take time to recover if you’re tired or sore. Since fatigue can be a nearly constant issue, rest is important. You may not be able to do even simple tasks well -- much less work or raise a family -- if you don’t get enough.

-- Jody Quinn

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Knowledge Is Power

Read up on your diagnosis and ask your doctor questions so you fully understand the disease, the treatment options, and the recommended lifestyle changes. The more you know, the better you can live with psoriatic disease. 

-- Nilanjana Bose, MD 

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Try Not to Scratch That Itch

Willpower is important to keeping your skin healthy. As hard as it might be, try not to scratch or pick. The more you do, the larger the area can become. Moisturizers or a humidifier can help, as can over-the-counter antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and cetirizine (Zyrtec).

-- Donna Naranjo, physician assistant who specializes in dermatology, One Medical, Phoenix, AZ

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Find Dr. Right

It’s crucial to find the right doctor to help you manage your condition. It can sometimes get a little confusing, but working with the right rheumatologist can get you on the right treatment early and prevent future joint damage.

-- Nilanjana Bose, MD

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Make Lifestyle Changes

You can control three important things:

Diet: Studies have shown that a plant-based diet may not only help with joint inflammation, but it could also prevent heart issues.

Weight: Your joints -- even non-weight-bearing ones like your hands and shoulders -- can break down faster if you’re overweight.

Smoking: Quitting can help your treatment work better and ease pain.

-- Elena Schiopu, MD

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Talk Things Out

I've been riding the ups and downs of plaque psoriasis for 2 decades. Talking can be effective medicine. Therapy can help you talk through your issues and find tools to cope when you’re having a hard time. Blogging and talking about psoriasis has allowed me to take something that really hurt me and help other people. 

-- Alisha M. Bridges

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Look Into Modern Medicine

Newer medicines, like biologics, can lead to clear or almost-clear skin, which was almost unthinkable 25 years ago. If you haven’t seen your dermatologist for a while because nothing seemed to work well, make an appointment. Several modern options really work well, with manageable side effects.

-- Donna Naranjo

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Alisha M. Bridges, psoriasis advocate; volunteer, National Psoriasis Foundation, Atlanta.

The Rev. Howard Chang, contributor, Everyday Health; volunteer, National Psoriasis Foundation, Northern California Division, Sacramento, CA.

Jody Quinn, volunteer and community ambassador, National Psoriasis Foundation, Plymouth, MA.

Lilly Stairs, head of patient advocacy, Clara Health; board member, American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA); founder and principal, Patient Authentic, Boston.

Nilanjana Bose, MD, rheumatologist, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, Houston.

Elena Schiopu, MD, rheumatologist, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI.

Donna Naranjo, physician assistant, One Medical, Phoenix, AZ.