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Dealing With Psoriasis

Reducing marital stress due to psoriasis

Dealing with psoriasis

Question: For over eight years, I have had psoriasis on my scalp. My wife has always been extremely supportive, even going so far as helping massage the psoriasis treatments into my scalp.

In the past few months however, she has been complaining about my constant itching and scratching. Although she understands that the scratching relieves the itch, she doesn't seem to tolerate it as well as she did before. The tension between us is increasing and I'm afraid the psoriasis will lead to more problems in the future. What can I do?

Answer: Psoriasis is often difficult on both spouses. Constant itching (also known as pruritus) can be upsetting to both the people who have it and their spouses. Quite simply, psoriasis isn't an easy condition to live with. Keep talking about it and try these tips:

  • Try to keep your scalp cool. Warmth tends to increase the likelihood of pruritus. You can even try using ice packs to gain some relief.
  • Dry skin tends to be more pruritic, so keep your scalp moisturized with a light emollient. Sarna-P is a very effective anti-itch cream.
  • For several decades now, many physicians have been treating psoriasis with tar-based shampoos. To ensure maximum penetration, leave the suds on your scalp for five minutes and then thoroughly rinse them away.

    An all-in-one preparation such as Polytar AF uses soothing menthol to relieve the itching, salicylic acid to dissolve the scales, and hair conditioners to leave hair looking and smelling good. 
  • Although scratching does relieve the itch, you should try your best to avoid any scratching or scraping because it can lead to infection. What's worse, hard scratching can trigger the formation of new psoriatic plaques and worsen the existing lesion.

If you try these tips and the pruritus continues to be a source of tension between you and your spouse, you may need to discuss it with your physician or pharmacist.

Article courtesy of News Canada.

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