Take charge of your psoriasis and protect your whole body!

With today’s treatment advances, your skin may be smoother and clearer than ever. Yet it’s important to remember psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that can affect other systems of your body. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to keep yourself healthy from head to toe.

Your skin

You know that exposing your skin to the sun can help relieve your psoriasis. And you may even undergo UV light therapy. However, it’s still important to be mindful of your skin cancer risk.
What you can do: Discuss your skin cancer concerns with your dermatologist. Wear sunscreen when outdoors (but do not apply to psoriasis lesions). Perform skin self-exams, report unusual lesions promptly and get screened for skin cancer.

Your heart

People with psoriasis are 21% more likely to have a heart attack (and 54% more likely to suffer a stroke) than people without the skin disorder, according to a Danish study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology.
What you can do: Get regular screenings to stay on top of your blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. And feast on at least 4½ servings of fruits and veggies a day, as recommended by the American Heart Association.

Your mind

People with psoriasis are more likely than people without the disease to suffer from depression or anxiety, according to a study published in the Archives of Dermatology.
What you can do: Discuss any symptoms, such as persistent sadness, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, loss of interest in hobbies and activities, or difficulty sleeping or concentrating, with your healthcare provider ASAP. Also, try making activity a part of your daily routine. A 10-minute walk can help lift your spirits, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

Your weight

Unfortunately, having psoriasis means you’re more likely to carry extra pounds—especially around your belly, according to the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Not only is abdominal weight linked to heart disease, it’s also associated with more severe psoriasis as well as psoriatic arthritis.  
What you can do: You surely know the basics—fruits and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats—but if diets have failed you in the past, talk to your doctor about finding a weight-loss program that makes sense for you. Things to consider: diets you’ve tried before, your desire for support, flexibility, time and expense.

Your joints

Nearly one in three people with psoriasis may have undiagnosed psoriatic arthritis, a painful form of arthritis that can cause joint damage, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
What you can do: Let your doctor know if you’ve experienced: joint pain; joints that are tender, stiff, red or hot to the touch; swollen, sausage-like fingers and toes; or changes to your nails, such as pitting or separation from the nail bed. Early treatment is necessary to prevent or slow joint damage.

Published September 2013

Basics
Overview
Causes & Risk Factors
Symptoms
Diagnosis
Your Healthcare Team
Questions to Ask
    Your Doctor

Quiz: How Severe
    is Your Psoriasis?


Treatments
Never Tried a Biologic?
What Your Dermatologist
    Needs to Know

Topical Treatments
Phototherapy Treatments

Body-Wide Medications
When Your Treatment is Denied
    by Your Insurance Company


Features
Look Your Best With Psoriasis!
Feel Your Best With Psoriasis
Your Answer to Smoother, Clearer Skin—Found!
Take Charge of Your Psoriasis and Protect
    Your Whole Body!

Try These Simple Skin-Care Tips
Quiz: Test Your Psoriasis Smarts
Simple Ways to Better Your Life
Ask the Experts: Dating Tips and More
Let Summer Soothe Your Psoriasis
Lifestyle Adjustments to Help Ease Psoriasis

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