Since my psoriasis diagnosis at 15, each new flare begins with the same sense of panic. It starts with a few spots here and there. Then they rapidly start multiplying and getting more and more uncomfortable. Within a few weeks or even a few days, my body is covered in spots. The parts of body that tend to be most affected are my back, stomach, chest, and legs. Additionally, I can get spots on my face, scalp, and arms.
It’s incredibly helpless knowing that another psoriasis flare will become a new chapter in my life. It becomes time to review past victories and develop a psoriasis flare attack plan.
Psoriasis Flare Attack Plan
Over the years, the plan has adapted and changed based on my current lifestyle and choices. When I was pregnant and/or breastfeeding, I stayed away from most prescriptions. Over the years, I’ve tried and failed medications or changed skincare products. I’ve made changes in the foods I eat and how I exercise. My body and skin have required different things as I’ve gotten older. The constants in my psoriasis flare attack plan are always treatments for mind, body, and skin. Those are in addition to whatever prescription medications I choose with my doctor. I also believe some overlap lies between one or all categories.
Choosing to take a prescription to treat psoriatic symptoms is a personal choice. After two biologic failures in the past six months, I am taking the biologic Tremfya. It manages both my psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The first two doses are administered in the doctor’s office. Then after those, I’ll start doing them myself at home.
In addition to the Tremfya, I have a prescription for a topical cream that reduces the itching and soreness. The instructions are to only put it on the affected areas. I probably have over a hundred spots, so it’s too time consuming to do my whole body. I only use it when certain spots are really making me uncomfortable.
- Body Soap: Dove White Beauty Bar
- It does not dry out my skin or leave it feeling tight. I’ve been using it for over 15 years!
- Body Lotion: Nivea Cocoa Butter
- My Grandma always said that cocoa butter saved her psoriasis. Therefore, I’ve been using some form of cocoa butter since I was 15 and agree.
- Facial Soap + Products: The Ordinary Brand
- Squalene Cleanser
- Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 for dryness
- “Buffet” for dryness, dullness, and fine lines
- Evening Facial Cleanser: Pond’s
- Cold Cream Makeup Remover Deep Cleanser
- Face Makeup:
- E.L.F. Hydrating Primer
- Beautyblender Bounce Liquid Foundation (one squirt) mixed with Pacifica Ultra CC Cream Radiant Foundation
- Psoriasis is an inflammatory condition. Therefore, my meal plan is full of anti inflammatory foods. Foods like berries, sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach, beets, pecans, etc. I do not follow a specific diet, but try to keep meals simple. I cook for the family, so that means everything is tiny human friendly.
- Vitamins & Supplements:
- Daily multi vitamin
- Turmeric Curcumin capsules include anti-inflammatory abilities
- Grape Seed Extract also includes anti-inflammatory nutrients
- Collagen Peptides (I put one scoop of powder in my morning coffee) can help fight inflammation that triggers psoriasis flares and joint paint
- I am aggressively obsessed with hydration. My water bottle is always full and with me. I’m always reminding my family to drink up. I’ve recently enlisted Alexa’s help, so I’m not the only nagging voice doing that reminding.
- I’m also obsessed with Orangetheory Fitness. Or as my husband calls it, my cult. I take 4-5 classes a week in the early mornings before the tiny humans wake up. Exercise is my main form of stress release and it’s one hour a day that I get to focus on my strength.
- I’m so obsessed I wrote it twice. This is one that definitely overlaps categories, because it benefits my body and mind. Stress is my biggest trigger for psoriasis flares, so I work really hard to manage it.
- To calm my mind at night, I listen to the Buddhify app to fall asleep.
- For me, writing helps me focus on my plans and a place to release my challenges. Sometimes it’s posts on my blog, writing in a journal, or a quick thought in a social media post.
- Connection & Communication:
- You know by now how grateful and inspired I am by the psoriasis community. I think it’s really important to talk about how your psoriasis flare makes you feel physically and emotionally. It can be a friend, family member, online community, or a professional.
I created this plan based on my personal preferences, research, and lifestyle. I am not a healthcare professional, so I encourage you to consult with your healthcare team before starting anything new.