Published on March 8, 2024

How to Create a Self-Care Routine with Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the skin and joints which results in pain and inflammation. It affects each person differently – while some people experience skin plaques first, others suffer from severe joint and muscle pain even though they don’t have any of the characteristic skin problems. This is why it is important to follow a psoriatic arthritis self-care routine that is tailored to your individual needs. 

5 Tips to Create Your Own Psoriatic Arthritis Self-Care Routine

Use Natural Remedies for Psoriatic Arthritis

Epsom salts, wintergreen, aloe vera, willow bark, and turmeric are just a few of the many natural remedies for psoriatic arthritis that have been proven to provide symptomatic relief. You can experiment with a few of these remedies to figure out what works for you. Natural remedies can take weeks or even months to show results so you will need to be patient and consistent. Once you identify a natural remedy that reduces your symptoms, make it part of your regular self-care routine. Natural remedies are not a substitute for your prescription medication, but they can help to make your day-to-day life easier. Talk to your doctor before you try anything new because some supplements are known to interfere with medications. 

Find the Right Moisturizer 

There are plenty of moisturizers in the market today but not all of them are suitable for those with psoriatic arthritis. Most moisturizers contain ingredients like ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, and methanol that act as preservatives but these alcohols can dry out your skin and increase itching and scaling. Similarly, lotions that contain sulfates and fragrances can cause skin irritation.  However, moisturizers that contain ceramides (lipids similar to what our skin produces) can help to reduce your symptoms. You may need to experiment with a couple of moisturizers to find the one that is best suited to your skin. It would be best to buy moisturizers approved by the National Psoriasis Foundation

Create a shower routine 

Your aching muscles will have you craving a soothing hot soak but this is one of the worst things that you can do when you have psoriatic arthritis because it will wreak havoc on your skin. Avoid hot baths or showers and stick with tepid or warm water instead. Water will strip your skin of its natural oils so ideally you should limit yourself to just one bath or shower each day. As a rule of thumb for those with psoriatic arthritis, a shower should be kept to 5 minutes and a bath should not be more than 15 minutes – you will have to experiment a little to see what works for you. Also, make sure that you use a mild soap and apply your moisturizer while your skin is still damp. 

 Follow a regular workout routine 

When your body is aching, the last thing on your mind is exercise but it has to be the first on your to-do list! When you skip your exercises, your muscles become weak and it increases fatigue and stiffness. Creating a regular workout routine will make exercising a habit which means that you are more likely to stick with it even when your joints protest. Most people with psoriatic arthritis report severe muscle stiffness in the mornings. A short session of stretches every morning will help to loosen your muscles and reduce muscle aches and stiffness throughout the day.

Maintain a Healthy Body Weight 

It’s not easy to lose weight or even maintain a healthy body weight when you have psoriatic arthritis because this disease can limit the intensity and duration of your workouts. Furthermore, a flare-up can be frustrating and stressful which can make people turn to their favorite comfort foods which are often high in calories, sugar, and fat. In fact, some studies show that up to 45% of people with psoriatic arthritis are obese. However, new research shows that weight loss improves disease activity in patients with psoriatic arthritis and obesity. This is why you should take steps to modify your diet to prevent weight gain. 

In addition to these steps, you should also follow a regular sleep schedule and manage your stress to help prevent flare-ups. You don’t have to do yoga or meditation, although these are good ways to lower stress; find whatever helps you relax, whether it’s a walk in the park or listening to music. Follow your self-care routine religiously to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. 

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