Why should psoriasis sufferers care about developing consistent habits to successfully treat their condition?
Because truly successful treatment of psoriasis is a long game, played over multiple seasons of life, and for which you need a multi-pronged offense to tackle.
The Big Question: Is Psoriasis Curable?
Although amazing research is ongoing, there is currently no cure for psoriasis.
However, while there is no cure, remission from psoriasis and its symptoms is real and achievable.
As a multifactorial, chronic, condition, psoriasis attacks on multiple fronts, so most psoriasis sufferers have no choice but to routinely treat themselves along with the help of their healthcare providers.
But that requires more than just one line of treatment, especially when full remission is the goal. Psoriasis treatments may involve prescription drugs as well as a combination of OTC products like Prosoria, supplements, and lifestyle changes to be truly successful.
On and Off the Field: Psoriasis Treatment Game Plan
A good treatment regimen is very much like the full lifestyle changes that athletes habitually adopt to ensure optimal performance.
In his book Atomic Habits, author James Clear highlights a case study of the British Cycling team’s adoption of a series of “micro-habits” to improve individual performance times. Over the course of a few years, these small changes in everything from what beds each team member slept on, to how they washed their hands, incrementally improved overall team performance by just a few percentage points each year.
Not surprisingly, within five years the aggregation of these small changes compounded, and beginning in 2007, led to a 10-year, championship run where the team won a total of 178 world championships.
Successful psoriasis treatment should incorporate similar healthy lifestyle habits to improve results, including:
- Regular sleep and exercise to reduce stress.
- A diet of non-inflammatory foods, which improves your gut health and helps brings the inflammation inherent to psoriasis under control.
- A holistic psoriasis treatment regimen that helps you monitor what does and doesn’t work for treating your type of psoriasis.
Without a full lifestyle change, you may misjudge the effectiveness of a treatment regimen before you’re off chasing the next thing.
Moving the Ball Down the Field: Consistent Psoriasis Skincare
Sometimes it’s a game of inches. You gain yards but fail to make goal and the opposing team takes possession of the ball after your unsuccessful drive.
Psoriasis in all its forms is notoriously tough to treat because there are three critical steps to achieve for products like topicals to work their best:
- Exfoliate to remove the dead skin cell so it is easier for medication to work by allowing it to penetrate the top layers of the skin. Using products with salicylic acid is a gentle way to exfoliate the skin and do this daily. Avoid physically scraping away scaly skin as it can trigger more psoriasis.
- Treat the skin with effective anti-inflammatory treatments. You must treat the underlying inflammation that is occurring under your skin. Salicylic acid and coal tar are two OTC agents proven to reduce inflammation. There are also potent botanicals that are anti-inflammatory and have beneficial antioxidant activity to help control the inflammation, redness and itching.
- Maintain the gains achieved in the treated areas through moisturizing. Use a daily moisturizer to seal in the moisture. Your skin heals faster when you keep it hydrated. Daily moisturizing will heal the damaged skin barrier caused by inflammation and help speed up the results of your psoriasis treatment. Add a highly emollient night cream to boost your results even further.
Skipping a step or inconsistent application is like a big hole in your offensive line, allowing inflammation to get out of control and results in more flare-ups.
Making Goal: Give Your Psoriasis Medication Enough Time to Work
Fact: The number one reason a psoriasis treatment fails is because you give up on your medication too early.
Even with topicals, psoriatic skin heals from the inside out and because of this, progress often appears very slowly over time.
But stopping a psoriasis medication because you don’t see progress yet is like fumbling the ball when you’re 12 yards out from the goal line. Once you lose possession of the ball, you have to scramble your defense to keep the opposing team from gaining yardage.
Psoriasis behaves the same way. It’s a tough condition to get under control and it flares up again the moment you stop your treatment.
And because it takes time to see progress, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) published a set of treatment targets in 2016, to help psoriasis patients and their healthcare providers gauge how well a treatment regimen is progressing.
According to the NPF website:
“The goal is to eventually get your psoriasis down to 3% of your body surface area (BSA) or less. Your objective is to seek a 70% improvement by the time you’ve been on a treatment for three months.”
The NPF website goes on further, advising that after three months, your goal should be to achieve a 1% BSA in 6 months. The key is to allow a minimum of three months before you decide if your new treatment is working or not working.
If you are seeing improvement, however minimal, then stick with your treatment until it’s under control. Too many people stop or switch their treatments before they allow enough time for the medication to do its job. So, don’t stop for the first three months.
Every Day is Game Day: The Psoriasis Warrior Mindset
In Atomic Habits, author Clear defines mental toughness as “grit,” and adds that “Grit comes down to your habits. It’s about building the daily habits that allow you to stick to a schedule and overcome challenges.”
According to Arthur Clapp, creator of Prosoria – a once-daily, non-steroidal, non-prescription, psoriasis treatment regimen – the psoriasis “warrior” mindset comes down to self-care.
“I think hope and mental toughness are what define those with psoriasis. They’ve tried so many things to treat their psoriasis, they’re savvy about what works for them.” He adds, “They find our product, read the wealth of information we share and see the photos of real people who have achieved remission with our product and say, ‘I will try again.’ We’ve engaged with so many clients one-on-one and we’re thrilled we can make their lives better.”
Prosoria is a 2018 recipient of the National Psoriasis Foundation’s “Seal of Recognition” as an over-the-counter topical that meets the NPF standards to safely, and effectively relieve psoriasis symptoms. Check out what our clients have to say about how Prosoria has helped them.