If you’re one of the approximately 7.5 million Americans who have psoriasis, you know how difficult it can be — both physically and emotionally — to manage your condition. Severe flares can be painful in more ways than one, and finding the right treatment plan can take months or, in some cases, years.
Research published in February 1998 in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology suggests that journal writing may boost the immune system. Keeping a regular diary is one of the best measures you can take to improve your psoriasis treatment and boost your overall health and outlook.
The following tips will help make your diary of psoriasis symptoms more useful and insightful.
Keep a daily record. Note down key events of the day: what you ate, how you slept, what stresses you were under. If you have a flare-up, you can then look back at the preceding days for clues to discover what might have triggered your psoriasis symptoms. Did you eat something different? Consume more alcohol than usual? Sleep less? Injure your skin? Get a sunburn?
Sometimes a psoriatic flare-up doesn’t show up for 10 to 14 days after a triggering event, especially after a skin injury from a cut, scratch, or severe sunburn. With a diary, you’ll have an accurate, detailed history on hand and won’t have to guess what might have set off a psoriasis flare-up.
Establish a regular journaling time. Some people find it helpful to write in their diaries at the same time every day — for example, just before bed or right after lunch. See what works best for you. And if you happen to miss a day or two, don’t worry, just fill in the best you can. And definitely don’t give up the routine.