Psoriasis and exercise are a good combination if you are looking for ways to minimise your psoriasis flare-ups. Regular exercise also helps to reduce stress levels, and stress is one of the leading triggers when it comes to flare-ups or psoriasis aggravations.
Dr. Alan Menter, chairman of the division of dermatology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, believes that exercise can certainly play a significant role in the holistic treatment of psoriasis. Menter mentioned to WebMD that those who have psoriasis are on average 7 percent heavier in body weight that those who don’t have psoriasis.
The most probably cause my guess is that those who have psoriasis have more inflammation in their bodies in general, particularly those who are obese. The fatter a person is, the more inflammation they will be producing as a consequence due to their increased number of fat cells, which produce inflammation themselves. So the bigger a psoriasis patient gets, the more inflammation they will be experiencing, the worse the skin flares and the worse the joint pain if they have psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriasis patients also tend to be at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and regular exercise will help them to lower these risks as well. Leading psoriasis experts also believe those who lose weight find that their psoriasis medications tend to work better, requiring lower dosages and consequently they will experience fewer side effects.
Psoriasis Exercise Has Its Challenges
I’ve discovered over the years after seeing many psoriasis patients in my clinic that many are embarrassed and ashamed of their patches of red, itchy and flaky skin. They may want to consider that the combination of psoriasis and exercise go a long way towards reducing these ugly red patches. And even know many who have psoriasis understand the benefits of exercise, most will not want to go out and bare their arms or legs at the local gym or swimming pool, and this is totally understandable. Playing tennis or a social game of golf may turn a lot of psoriasis sufferers right off.
To avoid people staring, many with psoriasis simply won’t go out much in the warmer weather or bare their skin. You can see the problems that this will eventually bring, not wanting to go out and exercise and feeling socially isolated make it a lot easier for a person gain weight. If you combine these kinds of behavior along with overeating or over drinking, you have a sure fire recipe for weight gain and obesity.
Psoriasis patients need to be mindful of the kinds of skin and joint aggravations that may occur with exercise. Friction and sweating in areas like the abdominal folds, armpits, breast or groin areas can worsen psoriasis, and anything that places excess stress on the skin may trigger a skin flare up within a week or two.
Those with psoriatic arthritis need to be mindful that exercise can place a lot of additional stress on their joints as well, causing joint pain ranging from mild to quite severe.
Here are some great psoriasis and exercise links for you to explore:
5 Tips To Prevent Psoriasis Flare-Ups When Exercising
- The first thing you will want to do is to prevent trauma to your skin by excess rubbing or friction.
- Be careful not to use water that is too hot, and no excess rubbing and scrubbing that may aggravate your skin.
- Wear loose exercise clothing to prevent constriction and areas of friction.
- Lubricate areas before you exercise, such as the groin, under the breasts or between the thighs to prevent chaffing. I’d recommend a little Jojoba oil, and not to use those petroleum (crude oil derivative) products.
- Consider training in the comfort of your own home if you have any skin flare ups, and be sure to venture outdoors when you feel OK about exercising around other people.