What can I do to help myself?
You may be viewing this page because you are looking for ways to improve or help your psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis and feel that some form of self-help is the answer.
Traditionally, self-help or support groups are designed to provide a setting in which people who share similar experiences come together to offer practical reciprocal, mutually beneficial and emotional support.
Although, self-help and self-management are terms that are viewed in many different ways, they basically should be interpreted as taking control and being involved in your own care. The more you understand about what is happening to you, the more likely you will be able to learn to manage your conditions more effectively.
Both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are conditions which are classed as life-long (chronic) therefore, you will need to cope, manage and live with them for many years. This doesn’t mean that you will not be able to live a ‘normal’, happy and fulfilling life, but you may need to adapt it around the conditions you have.
Learning from others
Once you have accepted that you have a condition that won’t go away, adopting a positive view is a good start. You might find that reading other people stories will inspire you. Read Personal journeys.
Sharing with others
Writing down your thoughts and experiences could inspire others and help you to understand your own journey. Share your personal journey
Hear and see
Sometimes hearing and seeing other people's experiences, can be a useful way of not feeling alone. Short films
With busy lives the use of social media does give access to other people affected by psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. There are many listed and we have a number of social media pages, you may want to consider looking at these, a full list of our social media links are at the bottom of this page. You don't have to contribute, but reading other peoples' experience might make you feel less isolated and gain some mutual support.
Coping with negative thoughts
The psychological impact of psoriasis is often under estimated, it is perfectly normal to feel angry and frustrated about having a condition, which you perceive to have blighted your life. Understanding these feelings and learning how to manage negative thoughts can help. We have a cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) training programme called eTIPs (electronic Targeted Intervention for Psoriasis) which has been specifically designed to help individuals understand and change these negative thought patterns. Go to eTIPs
Making treatments work
You can feel very alone having a condition like psoriasis. After initial diagnosis or many years later, the daily routine of treating your skin with a cream can be very tiresome. But sticking to a regime or creating a routine, which isn’t as intrusive may help you to reduce the symptoms and get the most out of your prescription. See Successfully treating psoriasis
The right exercises performed on a daily basis are an important part of arthritis treatment. For all people, exercise lessens stress and depression and leads to an improved sense of self-esteem and accomplishment. We have produced a physiotherapy and exercise guidance which you may find useful. See Physiotherapy and exercise. You may also like to view our iPhysio programme.
Taking medication correctly is also a vital way help joints and damp down joint inflammation, improve your symptoms and make sure you gain long-term comfort and mobility. See Successfully treating psoriatic arthritis
Because you have psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, you may feel less concerned about your general health, but keeping healthy, following a balanced diet and keeping weight down can have a positive benefit. See Psoriatic Lifestyle and Nutrition.
With conditions such as psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, you might be more prone to developing other conditions and there is an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. See Psoriasis and Heart information
For some treatments you will have been advised to limit or avoid alcohol intake, but in any case sensible limits is always worth considering as in some instances alcohol can trigger a psoriasis flare. See Psoriasis triggers information
External sites that you might find useful
The following are sites that you might find useful places the learn about your general health and where to get further advice: