The technical name for itchiness, which is a common symptom of psoriasis, is pruritus. If you have pruritus, you don’t need a formal diagnosis to give it a label. You’ll be well aware of this fact, and find that scratching the itch at times only makes it worse. There are a number of sources for pruritus, a couple being the dry skin and the scaly rash that’s developed by people with psoriasis. In any case, it tends to be maddening… leading to a loss of sleep or ability to concentrate during the day.
How can you find relief from this troublesome symptom?
One of the most effect ways to beat the pruritus that results from psoriasis is to moisturize. Specialists recommend using a non-petroleum based moisturizer at least twice per day. Before bed, you can use a heavier moisturizer such as shea butter or natural oils, which will have a chance to seep into the skin overnight, repairing any damage done by dehydration. In the morning, a lighter lotion or moisturizer is recommended so as not to leave a greasy film on the skin.
Using cortisone creams or botanicals such as aloe vera can help have a soothing effect on the ravaging itch of psoriasis-inspired pruritus. These can be applied along with a moisturizer, or many topical creams will include all of the above ingredients for maximum relief. These are best applied after a shower or bath.
Bathing in warm water rather than hot is also a good way to help lock in moisture, as hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils and leave you feeling dry and itchy afterward. If you bath once a day or more, it’s particularly important to retain as much of this moisture as possible, especially in colder months.
Drinking an adequate amount of water and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes can also help in the battle against psoriatic pruritus – these help you fight the problem from the inside out. For anyone who habitually does not drink enough water, the difference in skin tone and overall health will be noticeable right away. Many times skin problems, including infections or pruritus of all types, can be traced to dehydration. Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables will also help with this problem.