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Avoid triggers whenever possible

First identify the triggers that bring about your flares or make your symptoms worse, and then try to avoid them. For example:

  • Infections (including strep throat or skin infections): try to avoid them and if you do get an infection, treat it as soon as possible. 
  • Avoid alcohol. It’s a potential trigger, and may decrease the effectiveness of some psoriasis treatments.
  • Choose not to smoke.
  • Stress: find ways to manage stress such as yoga, meditation and support groups. If you find yourself feeling stressed, take a deep breath, hold it and then breathe out slowly.
  • Injuries to the skin (for example, a bug bite, severe sunburn, scrape or cut): Opt out of activities or situations that could injure your skin. If injuries happen, treat them quickly. If the injury becomes itchy, take action to calm the itch. 
  • Cold dry weather (and drying heat): apply moisturizer throughout the day and use a humidifier. Dress warmly when you go out in the cold and stay away from direct sources of heat such as a fireplace. 
  • Scratching your skin is a trigger, keep your nails short and never scratch.
  • Keep a food diary. While science hasn’t proven that certain foods either improve or aggravate psoriasis, you can track whether certain foods affect your symptoms
  • Avoid staying in the sun for prolonged periods to prevent sunburns, use sunscreen.
  • Certain medications: talk to your doctor if you think one of your medications is a trigger for your psoriasis.