6 New Year's Resolutions to Better Manage Your Psoriasis

Man fishes of a dock while a woman reads beside him

The New Year always brings new opportunities for reflection and self-improvement. If you have psoriasis, there are small changes you can make in your life to not only improve your skin and joints but also your overall health. Here are my top 6 recommendations for better managing your psoriasis this year.

See Your Dermatologist or Rheumatologist

Maybe it has been years since you have been to the doctor about your psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.

You may have been frustrated in the past by treatments that didn’t work or a doctor who was less than sympathetic. There is, however, hope for the future! Many new treatments for psoriasis have come on the market in the last few years and they are often useful even for people who have failed older treatments (like topical creams or methotrexate) in the past. Visit the National Psoriasis Foundation or the American College of Rheumatology to find a doctor near you that has expertise in treating psoriasis.

Make Small Changes to Your Diet

It can be hard to face a complete overhaul of your diet, like giving up sugar or going gluten-free. The good news is, small changes can make a big difference over the long term. Start by adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your daily routine. Then, replace sugary drinks like sodas or juices with unsweetened tea or water. From there, consider replacing breads and pastries with lean protein or fresh fruit.

Over time, these changes can lead to weight loss, which we know can help your psoriasis. It may also make your treatments work better.

Commit to a Realistic Exercise Regimen

You don’t have to commit to a marathon or daily trips to the gym to experience the many benefits of exercise. Walking, bicycling, swimming, and water aerobics can all help with weight loss, joint pain, and stress reduction.

Be sure to check with your doctor to see what regimens are safe for you, or if you experience pain with specific exercises.

Manage Your Stress Level

We know that stress worsens psoriasis and causes flares. The holidays can contribute to stress which can lead to poor eating and exercise choices. Taking some time for yourself can definitely help. Exercise, massage, meditation, yoga, hobbies, and volunteer work can all help combat the stresses of daily life and improve your skin and your overall health. If stress or anxiety is getting overwhelming, see you doctor to discuss treatment options.

Be Consistent with Your Treatment

Since psoriasis is a chronic and lifelong condition, it is important to be consistent with your treatment plan, even when things are going well. New regimens can sometimes take several months to work, so don’t get discouraged. If your treatment is not working as well as it used to despite consistent use, see your doctor to discuss possible triggers or other treatment options.

Control the Cost of Your Treatment

The New Year can bring changes to insurance or prescription coverage, as well as a new deductible to meet. Be sure to visit the website of a new insurance carrier to review their policies and preferred treatment choices.

Talk to your doctor and your insurer about ways to control the cost of your treatment. There are often different programs offered by the pharmaceutical manufacturer, state or federal government, or charitable organizations that can help lower the costs of your medications.

Final Thoughts

The New Year offers a fresh start and new promise in improving your health. Slow but steady progress is the best way to stick with a new routine and achieve your goals. By making small changes over time you can improve your skin, joints, and overall health.

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