Small Area, Big Impact: How to Better Protect Your Feet from Psoriasis
When it comes to balance and mobility, our feet are the most vital part of our body. The simple actions of getting in and out of bed, going for quick walks, and running errands on the weekend are just some among the movements that we usually take for granted—until they become challenging to perform with psoriasis.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation (NFP), our hands and feet are ultra-sensitive, thanks to the high concentration of nerve endings clustered at the fingertips. These sensory neurons, which are a complex mass of joints, muscles, and bones, are responsible for our stability, mobility, and support.
"When it [psoriasis] strikes the hands and feet, has an outsize effect. The symptoms can be more intense and more upsetting," the NFP added.
Around 125 million people worldwide, or 2 to 3 percent of the total population, struggle with a particularly uncomfortable skin condition called psoriasis. In the US alone, more than 8 million people continue to deal with its symptoms, which pose a negative effect on their quality of life when left untreated.
PSORIASIS AND THE FEET
Psoriasis, an inflammatory skin condition that affect various bodily systems, can occur on different places of the body. If it's on the soles of one's feet, the skin condition is called plantar psoriasis.
According to Healthline, plantar psoriasis usually causes the soles to be "partially or entirely covered in thickened, red skin." "You may have sharp, noticeable borders where the skin changes from psoriasis patches to unaffected areas. You may also have painful cracks, which are called fissures," it added.
Common symptoms of psoriasis include:
- silvery scales
- dry, cracked skin
- an itchy, burning sensation
- thickened, ridged nails
- depressions or pits in the nails
- swollen, stiff joints, which are a symptom of psoriatic arthritis
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?
Although researchers are unsure of what causes any of the various types of psoriasis, the immune system is highly involved. And certain risk factors can "can make you more likely to develop psoriasis."
- Family history
This is one of the biggest overall risk factors for psoriasis. Heathline reported that having one parent with psoriasis increases your chance for developing it. "Your risk increases significantly if both of your biological parents have psoriasis," it added.
While people who have other family members with this skin condition are also at a higher risk of acquiring it, anyone can develop it. It is also linked to other health conditions, such as but not limited to:
- Inflammatory arthritis,
- Inflammatory bowel disease (especially Crohn's disease)
- Uveitis (eye inflammation)
- Celiac disease
- Cardiovascular disease
SYMPTOMS OF PLANTAR PSORIASIS
The symptoms of psoriasis on the feet can differ from person to person. The most common symptoms of plaque psoriasis are:
- raised, red, inflamed patches of skin
- silvery scales (plaques) on the red patches
- dry, bleeding cracked skin
- pain around the red patches
- itching or burning around the patches
- thick, pitted nails
- painful, swollen joints (psoriatic arthritis is linked to psoriasis, but not everyone who has psoriatic arthritis has the skin condition)
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR FOOT
Even though our feet only make up a small portion of the body's total surface, the pain and discomfort that may reside there, particularly if brought on by psoriasis, can significantly reduce one's quality of life.
And since our feet are the foundation of an active and healthy lifestyle, so psoriasis on the feet is a serious issue, making getting around a challenge. Here are steps you can take to prevent problems.1. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
According to Healthline, maintaining a healthy weight may provide significant relief. They reported that studies have found a strong connection between weight gain and psoriasis.
"Having a higher waist circumference, hip circumference, and waist-hip ratio were also associated with an increased risk of developing the disease," it said. "Try to eat healthy and keep your weight within a healthy range to help reduce psoriasis flare-ups.”2. AVOID ALCOHOL AND CIGARETTES
According to MedicalNewsToday, alcohol consumption can trigger a new diagnosis of psoriasis or make symptoms worse in a person who already has the condition. "Drinking alcohol can increase the chances of getting psoriasis [and] considerably worsen the symptoms," it said.
On the other hand, the NFP stressed that smoking can increase the severity of the skin condition, making people with psoriasis "can make you less sensitive to treatment."
The NFP recommends that people with psoriasis "do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise plus strength training at least five times a week."
"Intense physical activity might help decrease the prevalence of psoriasis. It also indicated that exercise may also benefit a person’s mental health linked to the diagnosis of psoriasis and the impact on quality of life," it added, noting that people with psoriasis sometimes tend to avoid exercise because they are concerned about:
- psoriasis severity
- skin sensitivity
- what clothes to wear
- participating in social and leisure activities in public
You might sweat after working out and lose moisture from your skin. Proper hydration should be used to replace lost fluids as this can keep the skin moisturized and help those with psoriasis avoid flare-ups.5. MOISTURIZE REGULARLY
Treatments for the psoriasis-related itchy, inflamed skin commonly include medications, topical treatments, and other therapies. Apply emollients (thick barrier creams) and moisturizers frequently to control your symptoms. You can also use urea- or salicylic acid-containing products to thin out scaly skin and topical steroid ointments to reduce inflammation.
6. CHOOSE PROPER SOCKS
Did you know? Socks that are clingy or made of rough material like wool or polyester can irritate psoriasis patches or scales. It worsens skin sensitivity, irritating and aggravating the situation.
For people with skin conditions like psoriasis, it's imperative to allow your skin to breathe. And since some socks can be more troublesome than comfortable, always avoid pieces that trap heat, make you sweat, or have harsh fabrics that scratch your skin and cause irritation.
Instead, choose socks made from cotton, linen, or satin. Or better yet, pick hypoallergenic pieces!
WHY CHOOSE HYPOALLERGENIC SOCKS?
Our allergy-free socks, made from 100% organic cotton, are developed without harmful synthetics, toxic chemicals, and harsh elastics. They aid in symptom relief and provide warmth without latex, spandex, and even formaldehyde. They also prevent skin irritation, blisters, and flare-ups without compromising your comfort.
To avoid triggering your psoriasis or aggravating the skin condition, switch to a more organic, safer choice by wearing pieces from our socks collection perfect for people who have sensitive skin, eczema, multiple chemical sensitivity, and other skin allergies.
TAKEAWAY: With psoriasis or not, your feet deserve better than chemically-blended, synthetic-made socks that give nothing but irritation and discomfort. Whether you want natural fibers, lightweight ones, or thicker pieces for that extra cushioning, we got your feet covered. Read our related blog: Choosing the Right Socks For You. If you want to know more about the skin condition, read: 7 Types of Psoriasis.
DISCLAIMER: The information presented on Cottonique is not, and will never be, intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content materials found on this site, from text, treatments, outcomes, charts, graphics, photographs, and study findings, are created and published for general informational purposes only. It should not, in any way, be construed as a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website.
Thus, readers are encouraged to verify any information obtained from this website with other accurate references and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with their physician. As Cottonique strives to help those with allergies live with better days, the hypoallergenic apparel brand encourages everyone to always seek the advice of their physician or other qualified health providers with any questions they may have regarding a medical condition.