Board-certified dermatologist Elizabeth Kream, MD has been dealing with psoriasis since she was a teenager. Because her case is relatively minor, she's able to treat it without systematic medication (like injections or pills), and instead relies on an arsenal of topical products and lifestyle hacks to keep her situation handled.
"I have a little plaque on my knee and a little plaque on my ankle," says Dr. Kream. "I manage my psoriasis with topical medications, but also just expect that sometimes it will flare when I'm under stress."
As any derm will tell you, keeping your skin hydrated is a critical part of any psoriasis treatment routine. "The more pliable your skin is, the less likely it will be to crack or tear. Dry skin is a sign of an unhealthy skin barrier, and when your skin barrier is compromised, it is more prone to infection, irritation, and redness," Dendy Engleman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City, previously told Well+Good.
This explains why Dr. Kream swears by taking short, warm (never hot) showers. "If you're heating up the nice waxes and oils that strengthen the skin oils and they liquify and go down the drain, you're going to have a lot of issues," she says. "Your skin will be more dry, irritated, and prone to getting all sorts of different rashes."
And as far as psoriasis-friendly formulas go, Dr. Kream says moisture is her top priority. Below, shop the three products she swears by for keeping flareups at bay.
Shop a dermatologist's favorite psoriasis products
Dr. Kream loves using this salicylic acid lotion over her psoriasis plaques. “Any AHA or BHA product—like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid—are all going to help smooth out some of those areas,” says Dr. Kream. That’s because these ingredients are all exfoliants, and when paired with moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and ceramides in a lotion, they help to gently work through dead skin cell build-up.
“I use a lot of the Neutrogena Hydro Boost products because they moisturize my skin without having any fragrances,” says Dr. Kream. This gel-cream lotion contains multi-weight hyaluronic acid to boost your skin’s hydration levels, and locks moisture in place.
When Dr. Kream is feeling really dry, she says she’ll just use plain old Vaseline. Vaseline is so good for dry skin because it’s an oil-based occlusive, meaning it works hard to seal in hydration. Plus, it’s non-irritating and helpful for soothing dry and irritated skin, preventing chapped lips, and even creating clean skin wounds.
Learn more about psoriasis skin care:
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