Psoriasis is a common, long-term (chronic) disease with no cure. It tends to go through cycles, flaring for a few weeks or months, then subsiding for a while or going into remission. Treatments are available to help you manage symptoms. And you can incorporate lifestyle habits and coping strategies to help you live better with psoriasis.

Take daily baths

A soothing daily bath can ease inflamed, itchy skin and loosen patches of dry, raised, red skin (plaques). To get the most out of your bath: use warm water (hot water can dry out skin and worsen itching; keep it short (around 10 minutes to prevent dryness and irritation; choose a gentle cleanser (choice a little bath oil or colloidal oatmeal); gently pat dry skin. Avoid rough towel drying, which can irritate skin.


Using moisturizer every day can help your skin look and feel better, as well as reduce itching and discomfort. To effectively moisturize your skin: apply when skin is moist (during cold, dry weather, you might need to apply moisturizer several times a day; opt for a thick, rich moisturizing cream or ointment (petroleum jelly is an inexpensive and effective moisturizer; the effectiveness of avocado, coconut, olive and other oils as moisturizers hasn't been proven).

A little light

Controlled exposure to ultraviolet light can improve your psoriasis. Your dermatologist might recommend light therapy (phototherapy)

To start, you'll go outside at noon and expose skin affected by psoriasis for about five minutes, gradually working up to sunning affected areas three times a week. Remember that too much sunlight can cause sunburn or a psoriasis flare, especially if you're using certain medications. Protect skin that isn't affected by psoriasis with sunscreen.

Manage stress

Psoriasis can cause stress and stress can worsen psoriasis symptoms. Research suggests that managing stress can help improve the appearance of your skin. To reduce stress: exercise regularly; get plenty of sleep; try relaxation techniques, such as meditation (a minimum 15 minutes a day).

Avoid alcohol

Alcohol and psoriasis don't mix. For example, alcohol can: make your psoriasis treatment regimen less effective; interact with many medications used to treat psoriasis; increase your risk of developing liver disease, which is already more common among people with psoriasis due to use of certain medications

If you have psoriasis, avoid alcohol. If you do drink, keep it moderate.

Track your triggers

Your psoriasis — and your psoriasis triggers — are unique to you. If you want clearer skin, you need to figure out what aggravates your psoriasis so you can avoid it.

Start by keeping a psoriasis diary. Note when your psoriasis symptoms flare and details such as sources of stress, your diet, recent illnesses and even the weather. Look for connections between your flares and daily variables. Consider using a smartphone app to help you log symptoms and track the causes of your flares.