When it comes to minimizing the effects of psoriatic arthritis on the body, it is important to visualize the two contributing conditions as unique problems. Psoriasis is far different from arthritis, even though the two conditions fall under the tent of a psoriatic arthritis diagnosis.
Keeping Psoriasis at Bay
The most effect way of minimizing psoriasis outbreaks is to take care of the skin. This includes treating the body well from the inside in order to optimize the skin’s ability to protect itself. Patients need to maintain a healthy diet that is rich in essential fatty acids which work to improve overall body health and decrease the inflammation associated with both psoriasis and arthritis.
Triggers are also an important part of keeping skin flare-ups at bay. Triggers can include medications, alcohol consumption, smoking and stress. Quitting drinking and smoking will go a long way toward keeping skin effects at bay and may also help improve joint health. Keeping a journal of any medications that cause a skin flare-up is also important. If a doctor tries to prescribe the same medication again, you can advise him or her of the previous affects on the skin and a new medication can be chosen.
Physical care of the skin is also important. Moisturizers can be used to keep skin from drying out and developing itchy spots. In addition to applying moisturizes directly to the skin, an internal moisturizer can also help. Many people do not consume enough water which can leave the skin dry. Increasing water intake is an easy way to moisturize the skin naturally.
Keeping Arthritis at Bay
Some of the same life changes made to keep psoriasis flare-ups from occurring will positively affect joint health. But, there are some specific changes that can directly affect arthritis. The most important is the addition of exercise and reduction of weight.
The joints are protected by sheaths of natural cushioning that stop the bones from rubbing together. These cushions deteriorate, over time, when arthritis affects the joints. Additional weight will increase the deterioration dramatically. Exercise can help to reduce weight and inflammation associated with arthritis. In addition, the healthy dietary changes made to treat psoriasis can also be adjusted to reduce caloric intake and thus reduce weight. Increasing water intake and essential fatty acids will also positively affect joint health. These are both good choices for psoriasis treatment as well.
Exercise is also an important step in reducing inflammation. Even if the patient is not overweight exercise is important. While the joints may be a bit tender at first, movement will distribute the built up fluid and the swelling will go down. It is important to take your time when starting a new exercise program to minimize the muscle pain associated.
There are some treatments and prevention tactics that will help both psoriasis and arthritis. These changes will have the greatest impact on psoriatic arthritis as a whole. But, it is also important to make changes that will affect each branch of the condition as well. Treating the parts can often result in a reduction of symptoms as a whole