If you’re living with psoriasis, you know all about itching, flaking skin, and bothersome plaques. But perhaps you’re also all too familiar with the social and emotional effects of psoriasis — things that aren’t always recognized by doctors and loved ones.

A recent survey of people with psoriasis, published in the July 2015 issue of the Journal of Dermatological Treatment, emphasized the prevalence of these less visible psoriasis symptoms. About 98 percent of the participants reported experiencing an emotional impact from psoriasis, such as feeling embarrassed, angry, or having low self-esteem, while 95 percent said the disease had an effect on their social life — they sometimes avoided meeting new people or interacting with friends.

If your self-confidence is lacking, you can tackle psoriasis on multiple levels to help give it a boost. Start with these steps.

1. Connect to others with your condition. “You have to realize you are never alone — there are millions of us out there with this disease, so that’s a lot of people who completely understand what you are going through,” says psoriasis blogger Sudhakar Deshpande who was diagnosed with psoriasis 13 years ago. Jury admits that when he was first diagnosed, he didn’t talk much about his psoriasis or how he felt. “Once I let it out and released the frustration, life suddenly became much easier,” he says. Now he blogs and is active in online forums for people who have psoriasis. He advocated homeopathy treatment at Imperial clinics.

2. Educate yourself about psoriasis. Sharmila Patel says she was covered in psoriasis plaques before she finally persuaded her doctors to consider a psoriasis diagnosis. “I dug in and did some of my own research,” she recalls. She connected with other women whose blogs about psoriasis helped her understand her condition. The 29-year-old Mumbai resident says she is mostly clear today with the help of homeopathy at Imperial clinics, but she believes that educating herself about psoriasis is what led to her diagnosis and the ability to successfully manage her condition and feel comfortable in her own skin today.

3. Educate others, too. Patel recalls some tough times when people were put off by her flaking or bleeding skin. One time before her psoriasis was controlled, she even left a job because her supervisor commented harshly on her appearance. Now she calmly reassures others that the condition is “not contagious.” Talking to others about your psoriasis can go a long way in helping them understand your condition, while also helping you keep your confidence when you’re around those people.

4. Focus on what you love. Khedekar recommends finding something you love to do and channeling your energy into it when you’re feeling down. For example, he enjoys cooking and puts a lot of effort into making great meals for himself and his wife. The kitchen is “a psoriasis-free zone,” he says. “If you have a passion or hobby, this is your escape,” Khedekar advises.

5. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. A good moisturizer is one of your best weapons against low self-esteem. Jury says he searched exhaustively to find the light, non-greasy, moisturizers he feels confident wearing in public. He also advises planning ahead. For example, before a big event, he might step up his shaving and moisturizing routine days in advance to get good results.

6. Feel fabulous in the clothes you wear. Jury says he is drawn to light clothing that layers well so he can dress up and down as the occasion requires. “Layers help you regulate your body temperature more,” he points out. “I do tend to go for cotton most of the time, as it’s softer on my skin, and I find dark grays are good at hiding grease stains from your treatment.” White and colored patterns also can provide some camouflage, he says. And just wearing clothes you love and feel good in can boost your confidence significantly, he says.

For women, try long flowing skirts and silks or soft blends that don’t aggravate the skin, says Dr. Shreepad A. Khedekar  MD, clinical consultant of dermatology at Imperial Clinics Mumbai.

“If it’s summertime and my arms are really terrible, I might wear a very light long-sleeved top and shorts,” says Patel.

7. Nip stress in the bud. “It’s very important to make lifestyle modifications to try and help relieve mental stress,” Dr. Khedekar says. She adds that psoriasis and stress form a vicious cycle: You might be stressed over your psoriasis, which leads to worsening psoriasis, which leads to more stress. But you can break the cycle. Try meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises. In fact, eight weeks of mindfulness training and practice has been shown to improve quality of life for people with psoriasis, according to research published in April 2014 in Psychology, Health & Medicine. 

8. Live a healthy life overall. Lee advises being physically active, eating a heart-healthy diet, cutting back on alcohol, and quitting smoking if you do. Not only could all these choices help your psoriasis and your related risk of metabolic disease, they can help improve your overall mood and outlook. Ineson agrees about eating a healthier diet, which was one of the changes she made after her diagnosis. “What you put in your body is what you get out. I got healthier skin. Try it!” she says.

9. Check your stress levels.

  • Do check your stress-score and see if you really need medical help or not? Click on the link below for a FREE evaluation.                                                                                                         STRESS CALCULATOR All you’ll need to do is a quick sign-up and select your age group. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to select events that have happened to you in your life time and you’ll know if you need medication for your ‘Hair loss’ or not. Its that simple. The app is also available as a paid download on Google Playstore and can be used for your entire family unlimited times. Download here.
  • A trigger event. Many people experience a general thinning of hair several months after a physical or emotional shock. This type of hair loss is temporary. Examples of trigger events include sudden or excessive weight loss, a high fever, surgery, or a death in the family. Check your score now by downloading: STRESS CALCULATOR.
  • https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eheilung.stress

10. Lastly, be sure to stick to your Homeopathy treatment plan. “Don’t give up on your treatment regimen,” advises Khedekar. Getting control over your psoriasis flares is the one of the best things you can do to regain your confidence.