Caring for your skin and nails
Taking care of your skin and nails is an important part of living well with psoriasis. Try to avoid anything that irritates sensitive skin. This can help minimize itchiness and pain. Similarly, keep your nails trimmed and clean. This can help prevent them from becoming thick, discoloured, and separated. Here are some other tips to help you take care of your skin and nails:
Wash your hands only when necessary, and avoid harsh soaps.
- Dry hands well—including the areas around the nails—and apply moisturizer or medicated cream.
- Always pat your skin dry, rather than rubbing. Be very careful not to scratch or irritate psoriatic patches.
Keep your skin moisturized.
- Psoriasis often comes with very dry skin. Apply a cream or lotion after showering to help lock in moisture. Generally, the thicker and more soothing the moisturizer, the better.
- Choose a mild formulation that doesn't leave your skin feeling tight.
- Fragrance-free products are typically less irritating.
Choose clothing that won't bother your skin.
- Light-weight fabrics, like cotton, silk, and synthetic materials, are generally more comfortable against your skin than heavier fabrics like denim or wool.
Stay away from harsh laundry detergents.
- Avoid those that contain perfumes—including fabric softener.
Check new products carefully before adding them to your skin care regimen.
- Talk to your doctor or dermatologist first. Using the wrong product or applying it the wrong way can make your symptoms worse.
Keep your nails trimmed short.
- Long nails can catch on surfaces, and the pulling/tearing can cause the condition to worsen.
- Nails affected by psoriasis are vulnerable to bacterial and fungal infections.
Protect your feet.
- If your toenails are affected, wear shoes during strenuous activities or while outdoors.
- Consider wearing water shoes to protect your feet and toenails when at the beach or pool.
Wear gloves when doing laundry, dishes, housework, gardening, or other activities that could involve contact with irritants. Make sure the gloves are not made of latex, however.
Avoid scratching your scalp when washing your hair.
Use sunscreen to protect yourself from damaging sunburns.