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Skin Care

Skincare Blues: Dealing with Psoriasis

Photo from my trip to Bora Bora when my skin was clear and my metabolism was fast ;)

Photo from my trip to Bora Bora when my skin was clear and my metabolism was fast ;)

It’s been such a long time since I’ve made a post, and I figured I should start the new year with something that’s been top of mind for the past few months: SKIN!

As some of you know, I’ve had psoriasis since I was 8 years old and I feel as though I’ve been on a roller coaster ride with my skin for a majority of my life, especially the past few years. For those of you who don’t know what psoriasis is, it’s a persistent autoimmune disease where your skin cells multiply 10x faster and causes new cell growth that produces raised scales on your skin.

Sexy right?

I know, it’s a real buzzkill when crop tops are in style but the only thing you can wear is a turtle neck..
With this most recent outbreak, my typical routine of oatmeal soap, Clobetasol, Cetaphil and  phototherapy wasn’t working. This HAD to happen during the winter time so my skin was already dry from the weather. To prep you, this blog is about healing and MOISTURIZING! There will be a ton of steps listed below, and they've all worked for me. So basically yes, I baste myself in creams and oils to the point where I look like a glazed donut before I go to bed. #Moisture  

So now onto the blog, below I’ve listed a few of the steps I made to help heal and calm my skin from the inside out.

Meditation:
For me, a lot of my psoriasis stems from an accumulation of stress so meditating has helped me to block out the drama and pressure from my everyday life. Because I know stress is a trigger, I have to do the work within myself and my mind first before any of the below steps can take an effect on my skin.  

Diet:
90% Plant based diet – Avoiding carbs and sugars is good for your (body, mind and) skin, so incorporating more greens into your diet will help to decrease inflammation.
*As an advocate for burgers and lemon pepper wings, this was the hardest change I had to make. 

Fish oil pills/Coconut oil Pills – Fish oils contain Omega 3 Fatty Acids that help reduce inflammation, anxiety and stress. Coconut oils provide moisture to your hair, skin and nails, which is really good as dry skin irritates psoriasis.

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Cleansers/Soaps:
African Black Bar Soap (Major Key) 
Important Ingredients:
Aloe Vera - moisturizes and calms dry sensitive skin
Lemon Balm - cleanses skin while preventing moisture loss. (And is a good source of antioxidants)
Sea Wrack - a mineral-rich soothing ingredient. Improves skin conditions like psoriasis.
Gotu Kola - helps promotes skin repair and renewal

*I purchased the black bar soap from the local beauty store for $3.99. But for more convenience I purchased the Shea Moisture liquid body wash, and while I don’t think it’s as strong as the bar of soap, it still provides healing and soothing to my skin.

Because I underwent a month and a half of phototherapy, I have a significant amount of dead skin from all the burning. So to help heal and refresh my skin, I purchased the Shea Moisture Hand and Body Scrub with Coconut Oil and Hibiscus. Below are ingredients that help the skin's surface:

Coconut Oil - Nourishes and helps firm skin with Vitamins E and K, iron and fatty acids
Hibiscus Flower - This natural emollient treats dry, rough skin and helps improve skin tone
Vitamin E - A powerful antioxidant highly effective in protecting skin from free radical damage

Moisturizer:
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream – When you have sensitive skin, you have to avoid moisturizers that contain perfumes, fragrances, alcohol & lanolin. The Cetaphil cream is ideal for the dry patches of skin or psoriasis spots to keep the moisture in.

Medicine:
So yes, I do take a pill to supplement my daily routine. I am currently on a low dose of Methotrexate and while it is a very strong medicine-- it HAS to be prescribed to you by a dermatologist who has diagnosed you with severe psoriasis. And I can tell you first hand, that It SUCKS. You're nauseous, you're tired and you crave meat and carbs (See: Diet portion). but I know it's beneficial for my skin-- so until I find a better alternative, I will continue to crave tacos while scarfing down carrots. 

So to summarize: moisture, Moisture, Meditation & MOISTURE! Everyone's skin is different, so everyone's trigger for this disease is different, but to better your skin you have to make a lifestyle change. You can adjust the routine based on the severity, but this routine has helped me cope in a world filled with backless bodysuits and crop tops.